Dr. Hank Voss, working with science and CR&I faculty, staff and students, led the research, design and communication of many features on the Euler Science Complex.
“I love discovery, working with students, my family and building the Kingdom. If you enjoy doing something, you can do a lot.” Voss said, “We just have to be innovative. I was made for it. I am doing what is in my DNA.”
Voss serves as a professor of engineering and physics and as the acting director of Taylor’s Science Research Training Program. Prior to his arrival in Upland, he spent 15 years as a research scientist working for Lockheed Research in Palo Alto, California.
Although he has Midwestern roots – his Ph.D. and M.S degrees are from the University of Illinois; his B.S. is from the Illinois Institute of Technology) -- Voss confessed that his family initially wondered what would compel him to leave the Silicon Valley for Upland, Indiana.
In the end it was the opportunity to shape the lives of students that was too good to pass up.
“We have very bright, well-rounded, very sharp, enthusiastic, missions-minded students,” Voss said, adding that half of his students have gone on to graduate school. “I like to work with students like that. They have the bigger picture…a lot of them are capable when they come in to Taylor. They are willing to be mentored one-on-one.”
One-on-one mentoring as well as hands-on learning has characterized Voss’ work at Taylor. Under his guidance, his students have studied thunderstorms from space, built high-altitude balloon payloads, dug wells in search of water and oil, manufactured instruments for NASA satellites, built a solar car and retrofitted a linear accelerator from medical to classroom applications – to name a few.
“We need to inspire students,” Voss declared. “I was impacted through the moon launches – the challenge of the unknown. If we are going to succeed as a nation, we have to be inspired.”
A Christian voice in sciences and education in general is needed now more than ever, Voss notes, who went on to enumerate issues of increasing concern for those in the faith community that include bio and techno ethics, technology in humans, questions of neuroscience and origins and the intermingling of human and animal parts in surgical settings.
“Christians should take leadership in science ethics. If Christians don’t take the lead in these issues, who will?” he queried. “True education must contain knowledge of God.”
“Most major universities were started by Christians – that has stopped. We need to be good Bereans,” Voss said, referencing the inhabitants of Berea who, after they heard the preaching of Paul and Silas, brought the teachings of scripture to bear on their day-to-day lives.
“We are called to glorify God with our talents. We are in the world but not of the world. We should use those talents to glorify God,” he continued. “We challenge students with what they really need for graduate school. We build advanced sensors, publish findings and stimulate faculty enhancement. People take us seriously as they see us write our proposals and publish our data.”
Beyond the heft of his schedule that includes classroom teaching, research and mentoring work, Dr. Hank Voss and his wife Jeanette are the parents of nine children – eight boys and one girl.
After arriving in Upland, the couple was instrumental in the launch of The King’s Academy, a Christian school for grades K-12. During the school’s inaugural year, only eight students attended. Now the school has its own building in Jonesboro and is home to nearly 115 students.
Beyond The King’s Academy, the number of physics majors has grown as well – from ten students when he first arrived in the early 1990s to around forty today. This makes Taylor University one of the top undergraduate schools in the State of Indiana in terms of physics majors.