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Faculty Profile: Roger Veldman
Associate Professor of Engineering

Dr. Roger Veldman, who is a Hope College graduate, recalls the “great fundamental education” he received during his time at college and, he says, “I was excited about the chance to come back and use some of the knowledge I had gained to help students along their career paths.”

Hope provided “very close interaction with faculty” when he attended, and, he says, “it’s very exciting to be a part of helping the next generation of students have that same experience.”

In light of recent growth in the engineering program at Hope College, Dr. Veldman thinks that “there are even more students and faculty involved now than when I was a student. It really is an exciting place to teach and conduct research.”

He works on research projects involving students throughout the school year and he continues that work in the summer as well. The research explores how aircraft structures respond during explosions and what can be done to minimize the damage. He explains, “It involves computer simulation but also experimental testing—we do some blast testing.” As coordinator of the research, Dr. Veldman reflects that, “It’s been a good project for students to be involved in.”

Having worked with several of the same students over the last couple of years, Dr. Veldman has found that it’s “impressive to see the students mature, take on more responsibility, and handle increasingly complex analysis tasks.”

He says that “Hope students are great to work with; they’re focused, mature, and really eager to take on challenges.” He deeply appreciates how the students at Hope are “very good at tackling complicated issues and even if they don’t have a clear-cut path of where they’re going, they’re willing to explore.”

Hope College, he finds, encourages that mentality within its curriculum. “Hope is a great environment to learn in,” Dr. Veldman says. “You have the small campus environment, you have a lot of interaction with faculty, and you have an institution that values academics so it takes its coursework seriously.”

Because Dr. Veldman has experienced Hope both as a student and now as a teacher, he has the advantage of seeing the college from two different perspectives.

“As a student, I think you gain academically without a doubt, but you also develop and mature as a whole person,” he says.

As a teacher, Dr. Veldman has realized that “there’s just amazing growth and development of our students over the four-year period.” I think Hope is a great institution—not just for learning, but for overall personal and professional growth.”

This profile was written by Bethany A. Katerberg, a Hope College senior from Grand Rapids, Mich., for the 2006-07 Hope College Catalog.

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