Skip to main content
UW Crest with engineering background
January 6, 2023

Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics to focus on core programs of nuclear engineering and engineering physics

Written By: Samantha Vold


Exciting changes are coming to the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics at UW-Madison! The department has a long history of a strong Nuclear Engineering program, contributing to the existing fleet of nuclear power plants, emerging new reactor designs, and a rapidly expanding fusion energy ecosystem. The Department will be restructuring to sharpen its focus on continuing this legacy. As a part of this transition, the Engineering Mechanics programs will be moving to the Department of Mechanical Engineering this year.

As a first step, the Engineering Mechanics professors — Riccardo Bonazza, Curt Bronkhorst, Jennifer Franck, Roderic Lakes, Jacob Notbohm, Ramathasan Thevamaran, and Fabian Waleffe — have joined the faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, effective January 1, 2023. We will miss their contributions and collegial spirit, but know that these transitions will strengthen our academic programs and research portfolios, and thus the College as a whole. The Engineering Mechanics educational programs will then officially move to Mechanical Engineering after review and approval by relevant campus committees.

These changes will not only identify us as a clear nuclear department to our peers, they will allow us to focus more directly on our cohesive strengths. The restructure places an emphasis on the technology connection between fission and fusion as we grow to support a vibrant network of emerging opportunities in both the public and private sectors . As part of this focus, we are also searching for three new faculty members to join the department, expanding our research portfolio in fusion technology and plasma science.

As Chair of the Department, I am optimistic about this change for the future of the department. If you have questions, comments, or concerns about this transition, please reach out to me at

Paul P.H. Wilson
Paul Wilson

We will be hosting a virtual town hall session at 12:00 PM (CST) on February 1, 2023.

Paul Wilson

Chair, Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics

Grainger Professor of Nuclear Engineering