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February 27, 2024

NEEP celebrates “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day”

Written By: Samantha Vold
Graduate student Louise Ferris leads a tour of the Pegasus-III Fusion Energy Experiment.

On February 22, 2024, the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics joined in the celebration of DiscoverE‘s annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. Over 160 participants from high schools throughout southern Wisconsin visited the UW-Madison campus to learn about career opportunities in nuclear engineering.

The day began with department facility tours, including the Pegasus-III Fusion Energy Experiment, Helically Symmetric eXperiment (HSX), the Ion Beam Laboratory, and a virtual tour of the UW Nuclear Reactor.

Following the tours, participants returned to the DeLuca Forum in the Discovery Building for lunch and a panel discussion, part of a series of diversity seminars hosted by the Nuclear Engineering Department Heads Organization (NEDHO).

The day concluded in the atrium of the Discovery Building with an expo featuring 12 stations of hands-on activities and a visit from Bucky Badger!


A student from Milwaukee Excellence Charter School asks the panel a question

The focus of the day was the diversity panel, moderated by NEEP Professor Juliana Pacheco Duarte, and composed of panelists Prof. Lisa Marshall (ANS Vice-President/President-Elect), Dr. Kirsten Laurin-Kovitz (Associate Laboratory Director, Argonne National Lab), Tracy Radel (Vice-President of Engineering, SHINE Technologies), and Amber Dotzler (Nuclear Criticality Safety Engineer, Paschal Solutions, Inc.).

The panel discussion began with an introduction of each panelist and an overview of their journey in nuclear engineering. The floor was then opened to questions from the audience, leading to discussions of how to pay for college (and life), what it’s like to be a women in nuclear engineering and how to handle impostor syndrome, and the importance of mentorship. To hear our panelists’ stories and advice for yourself, you can watch the recording of the panel on our YouTube channel.

From left to right: NEEP Professor Juliana Pacheco Duarte, Tracy Radel, Professor Lisa Marshall, Dr. Kirsten Laurin-Kovitz, and Amber Dotzler
Participants watch the NEDHO Diversity Panel – Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day edition at the DeLuca Forum at UW-Madison


The expo featured stations by the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics, ANS UW-Madison Chapter, Solis, UW-Madison College of Engineering, Engineering Summer Program, Constellation, NextEra Energy, Realta Fusion, Type One Energy, SHINE Technologies, UW-Madison Medical Physics Graduate Student Outreach Council, and Maydm.

NEEP alum Adam Payleitner talks to expo participants about Constellation
Expo participants fill the Discovery Building atrium for Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day
NextEra Energy Point Beach representatives talk with expo participants
Panelist Amber Dotzler (left) chats with expo participants
Bucky learns about ultrasounds from the UW-Madison Medical Physics Graduate Student Outreach committee
Bucky peers through a spectroscope made with the help of NEEP student group Solis


Thank you to our event sponsors. We could not have made this event successful without your support.

Ross and Tracy Radel