It’s a new semester, and many things have changed for UF’s nuclear engineering department since the last time I posted.
For one thing, the department merged with the materials sciences and engineering department. The move is meant to help the department grow by allowing for a larger pool of professors to teach classes and deal with administrative duties.
But most nuclear engineering students can attest to the fact that the department is small. Personally, I know three nuclear engineering students — for the sake of full disclosure, one of those three is my boyfriend — and they say the department doesn’t have the popularity that other facets of engineering have.
Did this play into why the departments merged? I’m no expert, but I’m guessing probably not. I’m thinking it has a lot to do with the fact that nuclear engineering classes are tough and nuclear energy itself is under attack after the Fukushima incident.
From what David Hintenlang, interim chairman for the department in January, told me, the move would merge the departments’ budgets — which is a good idea given the budget cuts every department is facing.