A picture of Justin Vander Werff

Dr. Justin Vander Werff

Professor of Engineering


B.S. Engineering (Mechanical), Dordt University (formerly Dordt College), 2000.
M.S. Civil Engineering (Structural), Iowa State University, 2002.
Ph.D. Civil Engineering (Structural), Iowa State University, 2014.


Justin teaches engineering courses primarily in the civil and mechanical concentrations. He has been a faculty member at Dordt since 2008 and has taught Structural Analysis, Soil Mechanics and Foundation Design, Structural Steel Design, Reinforced Concrete Design, Transportation Engineering, Machine Design, Mechanics of Materials, Statics and Dynamics, and Materials Science, and Introduction to Engineering. He has also served as a visiting instructor for Structural Steel Design at Iowa State University.

Justin is a member and currently serves as an officer for the Christian Engineering Society (CES). He has served as program chair and general chair for the Christian Engineering Conference. Justin is a also a professional member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He serves as the faculty advisor for the Dordt College ASCE Student Chapter. He is regularly involved with ASCE Iowa Section meetings, the Steel Bridge Competition, the Concrete Canoe Competition, and many local outreaches and activities hosted by the student chapter.

Justin has regularly advised summer undergraduate research students. Research topics have been related to seismic behavior of bridges and structural analysis for local manufacturing firms.

Justin's ongoing research with Iowa State University and the California Department of Transportation includes seismic structural load distribution studies, bridge connection details for seismic regions, and investigation into using accelerated bridge construction methods in seismic regions. This work has maintained connections from some of Justin's PhD work. Earlier research work with the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) also investigated bridge design in seismic regions.

Prior to coming Dordt, Justin served for several years as a structural design engineer for a consulting engineering firm in northwest Indiana, designing structural steel and reinforced concrete structures for a variety of facilities in heavy industry including steel mills, oil refineries, power plants, chemical plants, and substations.

Justin has served as a licensed professional engineer (P.E.) in several states and maintains his P.E. in Iowa and Indiana.

Other Interests

Justin loves to spend time with his family doing things like camping, biking, gardening, fishing, swimming, and reading. He also serves in various ways at his church, plays piano and organ, and enjoys working on home improvement projects.