Missouri S&T Nuclear engineering becomes independent department, gets new name

Missouri S&T's pool-type nuclear reactor. Photo by Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

“We are witnessing the dawn of a new nuclear age,” says Missouri 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.”