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Matthew Heun

Professor of Engineering
Calvin College

Areas of Expertise:

Climate Change, Energy Economics, Energy Efficiency, Oil, Renewables, Solar, Wind

Additional Areas of Expertise:

Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI)


* B.S. Engineering, Calvin College, 1989.
* M.S. Engineering, University of Illinois, 1990.
* Ph.D. Engineering, Univeristy of Illinois, 1995.

Research interests:

* Economic growth modeling
* Impact of Energy Return on Investment (EROI) on energy prices
* Sustainable Development in the Developing World Context
* Renewable Energy Systems
* Lithium-ion battery performance modeling for space applications
* Balloon and lighter-than-air vehicle system design and optimization
* Biological analogs for robotic group behavior
* Passive trajectory control for stratospheric balloon systems
* Thermal systems optimization
* Survivable systems for planetary exploration


During his time at the University of Illinois, Dr. Heun worked as a research assistant in the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Center (ACRC), focusing on the optimization of heat exchangers using ozone-friendly refrigerants. After completing his Ph.D., Dr. Heun worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA, where he led studies and experiments related to planetary exploration with balloon systems. After working at JPL, Dr. Heun joined Global Aerospace Corporation (GAC), a start-up aerospace R&D company, as its first full-time employee.

At GAC, Dr. Heun proposed, led, and completed several projects in support of NASA’s Earth Science activities. Dr. Heun spent his 2009 sabbatical in South Africa at the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology where he taught and participated in sustainable energy development.

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