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Furniss, Jon; Marwil, Jeremy (ed.) / Wisconsin engineer
Volume 100, Number 2 (February, 1996)

Marwil, Jeremy
Engineering mechanics and nuclear engineering departments merge,   p. 11

Page 11

Engineering Mechanics and
Nuclear Engineering
Departments Merge
A merger of academic departments
has occurred in the College of
Engineering between the Engineering
Mechanics and Nuclear Engineering
departments. Students in the Engineer-
ing Mechanics and Astronautics (EMA)
major are now part of the Nuclear
Engineering (NEEP) academic depart-
ment. But these changes do not affect
the academic major or graduation
requirements of Engineering Mechanics
Professor Gil Emmert, head of the
Nuclear Engineering department,
wants to allay the fears of undergradu-
ate Engineering Mechanics students.
Emmert says, "we have tried to assure
everyone that although the program
has come under NEEP, we are commit-
ted to it. The demise of the EMA major
is just not true."
"The best way to maintain the EMA
program was to join forces with another
program,"says Michael Plesha, profes-
sor of Engineering Mechanics. "It was
determined by faculty and student
The overall curricula of the two
departments will differ in the junior
and senior years, but Emmert sees a
unique opportunity in having the first
two years of the NEEP and EMA
curricula the same. Emmert states, "we
have done a drastic overhaul of the
EMA and NEEP curriculum." After the
first two years, engineering mechanics
students will have more choices of what
path they want to follow.
This choices will include a third degree
program for students called engineer-
ing physics. Plesha notes that all three
of these programs will have a common
theme of emphasizing fundamental
science and mathematics.
Plesha makes it clear that the decision
to merge programs was based mostly
on the opinion of the EMA students.
"Student input was a very important
factor in this decision to approve the
Dean Bollinger
allowed the two
academic depart-
ments to merge
because the
Mechanics depart-
ment could no
longer exist as an
department. The
number of faculty in
EMA had dimin-
ished drastically
and the college
could not replace
the faculty due to
budget cuts. Plesha
admits, "in an
atmosphere of
resources, it's hard
to replace all those
The actual changes
that the under-
graduate EMA
student will see are
minimal. The
degree name will     NEEP Assoc.
stay the same upon   nuclear react
graduation and the   are ready to t
listing of classes in
the timetable will not change. In fact,
EMA majors will have a broader
selection of classes and faculty to
choose from in the future due to the
merger of the two academic depart
See "Merge" p. 19
Professor Doug Henderson stands over the
tr pool. He and the rest of his department
ake the plunge and merge with EMA.

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