Dordt University’s Engineering Department was recognized nationally for its outstanding student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Dordt received honorable mention for being in the top third of student chapters.
Dordt has eight to 10 student officers who meet weekly to plan events. The club is advised by Dr. Justin Vander Werff, a faculty adviser, as well as two alumni who serve as practitioner advisers. Along with other engineering clubs, the ASCE club regularly hosts events that bring practicing professionals to campus. These events are typically attended by 30-50 students, faculty, and local engineers. In addition, the club organizes field trips and regional tours. The student officers also receive the opportunity to go to the ASCE annual meeting for the Iowa section. The largest event the club looks forward to is the concrete canoe competition, which is anticipated to be held at Dordt in 2021.
“Dordt University’s engineering faculty members are passionate about discipling students in what it means to be Christ-centered and servant-oriented in our engineering work,” says Dr. Justin Vander Werff, associate professor of engineering. “There is nothing quite like actual planning, coordination, and project management for students to practice what this really means.”
When students come to Dordt, they experience learning beyond the classroom, with club activities and community involvement. The ASCE is specifically tailored to engineering students and is an impressive organization that has connections nationwide. By providing programs for professionals and students, the ASCE focuses on leading and equipping young engineers by providing opportunities for experience and potential work connections. Dordt’s engineering program participates in the Iowa Section of the ASCE alongside schools like University of Iowa and Iowa State University.
“When it comes down to it, there is only so much you can learn in a classroom and academic setting, and the ASCE provides students a way to experience engineering in action, and all of the learning and growth that comes along with it,” says Vander Werff.