Nuclear engineering becomes independent department, gets new name

Posted by
On October 20, 2020

photo of Cherenkov glow in nuclear reactor

A Cherenkov Glow is observed and studied by students in the reactor at Missouri S&T. Photo by Michael Pierce, Missouri S&T.

The nuclear engineering program at Missouri S&T is gaining a higher profile as a new academic department: nuclear engineering and radiation science.

“We are witnessing the dawn of a new nuclear age,” says S&T Chancellor Mo Dehghani, who approved the new department earlier this month. “Missouri S&T intends to lead the way with its flourishing nuclear engineering program.”

Missouri S&T’s nuclear engineering program has been housed within the mining and nuclear engineering department for nearly 20 years. The newly independent department will incorporate the program’s existing resources, including a pool-type nuclear reactor. The Missouri S&T reactor is equipped with several experimental facilities designed for research and laboratory activities and is available for use by students, faculty and researchers from S&T and other institutions.

“Missouri S&T is home to the first on-campus nuclear reactor in the state of Missouri,” says Dr. Richard Wlezien, vice provost and dean of the College and Engineering and Computing at S&T. “We are proud to be one of a few U.S. universities to provide students with hands-on reactor experience as they prepare for careers in the growing nuclear energy field.”

Missouri S&T was one of the first institutions in the nation to offer a nuclear engineering degree. The program started as an option under metallurgical engineering in 1960, making 2020 the 60th year of nuclear engineering at S&T.

“As we enter our 61st year, nuclear engineering is experiencing a new beginning as we continue our tradition of excellence into the future,” says Dr. Ayodeji Alajo, interim chair of nuclear engineering. “I look forward to continued growth in the department and the opportunity to showcase S&T’s capabilities in nuclear engineering.”

About Missouri University of Science and Technology

Founded in 1870 as the University of Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of more than 7,600 students and part of the four-campus University of Missouri System. Located in Rolla, Missouri S&T offers 99 degree programs in 40 areas of study, including engineering, the sciences, business and information technology, the humanities, and the liberal arts. Missouri S&T is known globally and is highly ranked for providing a high return on tuition investment, exceptional career opportunities for graduates, and an emphasis on applied, hands-on learning through student design teams and cooperative education and internship opportunities. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit

Share this page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


One thought on “Nuclear engineering becomes independent department, gets new name”

  • Jim Kreilich says:

    Congrats Indeed! Jealous I am not able to attend MSM/UMR/MST over again . Lived across the street from the nuclear reactor in 64’65’ at 1210 Pine & played frisbee in open space south of reactor. At that time one could walk in and look down in reactor pool. A lot of us took a class called Atomic & Nuclear Physics or Abomb. Assume lots has changed..
    Congrats to MS&T. BSME 68 MSCS 72