Letter from the Chair – 1959 Newsletter

Building something great takes time, effort, patience and dedication, and in the months since our last 1959 Newsletter the Department of Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) has shown no signs of slowing down.

Both graduate programs remain as strong as ever. Among public institutions, our Nuclear Engineering (NE) Program maintained its hold on the No. 14 ranking and MSE vaulted to No. 8 in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report. The eight newest MSE and NE faculty joining the department in 2019 make 16 new hires in the last three years, and our 39 total faculty now makes us one of the largest MSE departments in the country.

Andreas Enqvist, Ph.D. was recently appointed NE Program Director and is excited to continue building on the revitalization initiative spearheaded by his predecessor Jim Baciak, Ph.D., particularly when it comes to increased enrollment and visibility. Another addition to the NE faculty is Donald Wall, Ph.D., who joined us from Washington State University as a Professor of Practice and will also serve as the new Director of the UF Training Reactor.

We have a vibrant, growing NE Program tackling exciting new opportunities and challenges and engaging all aspects of Nuclear Engineering including radiochemistry and fusion, so keep an eye out for more stories about what’s happening in and around our NE labs, classrooms and facilities.

As always, we are particularly proud of our students’ achievements. This year we had five National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program recipients, a NASA Graduate Student Research Program awardee and Bryan James, a National Institute of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award recipient we’re featuring in this newsletter. A special recognition goes out to the UF Bladesmithing team for receiving the Grand Prize at the TMS Annual Meeting this year in San Antonio, Texas. Congratulations to them and to all of our students for consistently showing the world the power of Gator Engineering!

Spring 2020’s arrival brings with it the completion of both the new Herbert Wertheim Laboratory for Engineering Excellence and one of the most advanced electron microscopy suites in the entire country at UF’s Nanoscale Research Facility.

The future of our department is bright and our mission is clear. With a 60-year foundation of excellence in place, we’re not just building great materials science and nuclear engineering programs here at the University of Florida – we’re building the best.


Go Gators!

Michele V. Manuel, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering