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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 well.”

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 says.

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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