2011 PROFILES

Peter Hamstra

An Engineer With Broad Horizons

Peter Hamstra grew up in the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona, a city of 4 million. Coming to Sioux Center, Iowa, population 7,000, was a big change, but a welcome one: “It lets you get away from the same old city stuff,” he said. “I’ve never found it hard to be entertained here.” Part of the reason there’s so much to do, he says, is that most students – almost 90 percent – live on campus.

In his freshman year, Peter remembers being able to spontaneously start games such as Sardines and Capture the Flag with others. He found that the Campus Green, a lengthy green space in the center of campus, enabled and encouraged students to spend time together.

Participating in intramural and club athletic activities helped Peter meet people from all majors and backgrounds. In fact, he joined the lacrosse club at Dordt before ever picking up a lacrosse stick. The team taught him the game.

With more than 90 programs to choose from at Dordt, Peter picked engineering. Engineering challenges Peter but also enables him to meet those challenges: “Professors make you prove yourself, but they give you the tools you need.” He says that despite the difficult lab work, the 14-student average in the engineering classroom means students can interact more directly with professors, who are often available and willing to help beyond the classroom.

Peter has learned how the scientific method rests on presuppositions, and that faith has plenty to do with fluid dynamics. Dordt professors consciously connect faith and life as they teach, pushing students beyond mastering technical skills and giving them a solid understanding of God as Creator and Sustainer.

Now, with the help of Dordt's Career Services, Peter is searching for his next step--his first job with the title 'Engineer.' The outlook is good if test scores are an indicator: Dordt engineering graduates have earned an incredible pass rate of 98% on the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) exam over the last decade, surpassing the nation’s top engineering schools.