Faculty Profile: Miguel Abrahantes
Assistant Professor of Engineering
Dr. Miguel Abrahantes’ journey to Hope was rather unique.
Originally from Cuba, he was sponsored by the Reformed Church in America, providing
him with an opportunity to move to West Michigan, where he has mostly
lived ever since. Even though Dr. Abrahantes’ journey to Hope was unique,
it has nevertheless been fulfilling as well.
During his time at Hope, Dr. Abrahantes has continually felt welcomed. “I
felt very well accepted not just as a colleague, but as a part of a
family,” he says.
Dr. Abrahantes has also been comfortable with the size of the college. Even though Hope is small, it is also well regarded for its research programs.
“I have really enjoyed the small-college atmosphere. During
my first days at Hope, I saw the commitment the institution has
in balancing the areas of research and teaching,” he says. “I
knew this was the place for me.”
One of Dr. Abrahantes’ greatest
accomplishments at Hope to date has been his collaborative research
with an engineering
team at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Dr. Abrahantes
and Hope engineering students have been contributing ideas to engineers
at Goddard, who are developing a new space rover, an exploration
vehicle designed to move across the surface of a planet, that does not have wheels.
“We are contributing to the modeling and control of this robotic
structure,” he says. “Students are involved during
the school year and the summer; not only at Hope, but at NASA as
Dr. Abrahantes has worked with engineering students on the rover
project during past school years, as well as summers, and has witnessed
first hand how well prepared they are. “In the past few years I have been
spending the summer at Goddard performing research, where our students have stood very
tall among a research group that includes students from large research universities,” he
Over the years, many of Dr. Abrahantes’ students have pursued
graduate degrees, with their involvement in research central to their success.
“This experience has been extremely beneficial for my past students
that are currently earning doctorates at some of the best engineering
programs in the nation,” he says. “This is one of the
reasons why our students are very well prepared for graduate school,
through their involvements in research
and conference presentations that are typically reserved only for
students from research institutions.”
This profile was written by Christopher M. Lewis, a 2009 Hope
College graduate from Troy, Mich., for the 2009-2010
Hope College Catalog.
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