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Open House and Dedication for Engineering Center Will Be Sept. 6

by Dan Cash

HOLLAND – An open house featuring examples of original student work will be a highlight of the dedication celebration for the new Haworth Engineering Center at Hope College on Friday, Sept. 6.

The dedication ceremony itself will take place at 2 p.m.outside the center, which was completed this summer and faces 10thStreet east of Central Avenue. Tours will follow that will feature not only the building but student-designed projects, including the Formula SAE car completed in 2010.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Participants in the ceremony will include Mary Bauman, chairperson of the college’s Board of Trustees; John C. Knapp, president of Hope College; Richard G. Haworth, chairman emeritus of Haworth Inc.; Roger Veldman, professor of engineering and chairperson of the department; and Kurt Dykstra, mayor of Holland.

Faculty and students will be present during the open house to show research and other work being done in the labs, which are already in use. Fall semester classes began on Tuesday, Aug. 27.

The 9,000-square-foot addition to the northwest corner of VanderWerf Hall is named in honor of a lead gift from Haworth Inc and the Haworth family. Supported by many donors through the college’s “A Greater Hope” comprehensive campaign, the project has been completed for a total cost of $3.75 million, including an endowment for ongoing maintenance.

The Haworth Engineering Center spans three levels, and integrates existing space as well as the new construction.

The ground floor provides space for research and equipment, helping expand the opportunities the department provides for students through collaborative faculty-student research and make the most of existing resources.

The middle floor of the addition consists entirely of a multi-purpose laboratory developed especially for all types of engineering-student design projects as well as projects sponsored by industry on which students in the department work collaboratively. The construction project also included the renovation of laboratories in VanderWerf Hall for use in engineering classes, including creation of a new, larger laboratory for introductory engineering.

The top floor features a new computer-aided design (CAD) laboratory that at 40 seats is double the size of its predecessor. The upper floor also includes a study room, waiting area and faculty offices.

The college’s engineering program grew out of the department of physics, which began offering courses in engineering in 1979, although engineering instruction at Hope goes back at least three decades more, with the department of mathematics offering “Mechanical Drawing”/”Engineering Drawing” for several years beginning in the 1940s. Engineering became a stand-alone department in 2006, and now has seven full-time and three part-time faculty. Accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the college’s Bachelor of Science in Engineering can include emphasis in biochemical, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental or mechanical engineering.

VanderWerf Hall opened as “Physics Mathematics Hall” in 1964 and was extensively renovated in 1989 and 2011. Renamed for Hope’s eighth president, Dr. Calvin A. VanderWerf, in 1981, the building houses the departments of computer science, engineering, mathematics and physics.

Architectural design for the Haworth Engineering Center was by FTC&H of Grand Rapids. Construction manager was G.O. Construction, a joint venture of GDK Construction Co. of Holland and Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. of Grand Rapids. Construction began in September 2012.