Distinguished Alumni

The Dordt College Alumni Association has named Mike Vander Wel, P.E., of Seattle, Washington, the 2017 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award. Vander Wel graduated from Dordt College in 1989, with a degree in mechanical engineering.

As chief engineer for equipment and tool engineering and manufacturing engineering with The Boeing Company, Vander Wel is responsible for providing functional leadership across commercial programs and product development and for re-establishing agile production engineering capability and capacity for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“This society’s 100-year endeavor for human flight will be one of the few things remembered of us in the far human future, and I have the unexpected privilege to be a leader in a hundred-year-old company in this amazing industry,” said Vander Wel. “The daily unfolding of our understanding of the science behind aerospace design and, for me, the science of building airplanes, is exactly what Dordt College trained me to do.”

Reflecting on his experience at Dordt, Vander Wel said, “If I could push the Great Rewind Button of Life, I most certainly would have reprised my experience at Dordt.”

As an M.I.T. Leaders for Manufacturing Fellow, Vander Wel holds a master’s in business administration and a master’s in civil and environmental engineering. He also holds a master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington and in engineering management from Washington State University.

As the 2017 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, Vander Wel will be honored with the award during Dordt’s Defender Days in October.