Welcome to the web site of the Kansas State University (K-State) Student Chapter of the American Nuclear Society (ANS). Please allow me to share the rich heritage of the nuclear program here at K-State.
The American Nuclear Society was established on December 11, 1954, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. The K-State Student Chapter of ANS was instituted in 1958, the same year in which the K-State Nuclear Engineering (NE) Department was formed. Prof. Robert Clack was the first faculty advisor to the K-State Student Chapter of ANS. Afterwards, from 1972 until 2002, Prof. Hermann Donnert served as faculty advisor to the K-State Student Chapter of ANS. In 1972, the National Chapter of ANS discussed initiating an honor society, but at that time did not follow through. Taking the initiative, in the academic year of 1977-78, the K-State Student Chapter of ANS formed an honor society, the Alpha Nu Sigma Society. Later in 1979, the National ANS Chapter formulated an honor society based on the constitution of the K-State Alpha Nu Sigma Society. The National Alpha Nu Sigma Society was officially organized in 1980 with the members of K-State's Student Chapter grandfathered into the National Alpha Nu Sigma Society. The K-State ANS Student Chapter is therefore the founding chapter of Alpha Nu Sigma.
The K-State Nuclear Engineering (NE) Department was founded in 1958 with Prof. William Kimel as Department Head. At that time, the program offered baccalaureate and master degrees in the field of Nuclear Engineering, and had an enrollment of approximately 40 undergraduate students. The NE Department moved into Ward Hall, then a new facility, in the summer of 1963. Ward Hall is also the home of the K-State TRIGA Mark II nuclear reactor, which first went critical in the summer of 1962. The K-State Nuclear Engineering baccalaureate degree was ABET accredited in 1964, becoming the first accredited Nuclear Engineering B.S. degree in the United States (as well as in the world). Also in 1964, the Nuclear Engineering Ph.D. degree program was started at K-State. Undergraduate enrollment in the K-State NE Department at times exceeded 60 students. Unfortunately, plunging enrollment in the late 1990's threatened the future of the nuclear program at K-State. Yet, a solution was found.
In 1996, the K-State NE Department merged with the K-State Mechanical Engineering (ME) Department to become the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering (MNE) as we now know it. In 1999, the Director of Academic Affairs, Kansas Board of Regents approved the present Nuclear Engineering Option within the MNE department, while still retaining the M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Nuclear Engineering.
Over the years, K-State has conferred 583 Nuclear Engineering B.S. degrees, 164 Nuclear Engineering M.S. degrees, 59 Nuclear Engineering Ph.D. degrees, and 10 of the newly introduced Mechanical Engineering Nuclear Option degrees. We presently have over 40 students enrolled in the Nuclear Engineering Option baccalaureate degree program, with an additional 12 students enrolled in the Nuclear Engineering graduate program. And we are growing quickly.
Additionally, the K-State Student Chapter of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) has enjoyed a revival. The K-State ANS Student Chapter offers a format by which students interested in nuclear sciences and technologies can meet to discuss and learn about various aspects of the nuclear industry. Seminars on job opportunities, historical nuclear projects, and nuclear-political issues are held throughout the year. Furthermore, the K-State ANS Student Chapter offers national membership to the ANS, and students from K-State often attend national ANS student symposiums to give presentations on nuclear-oriented research work at K-State.
Those interested in the field of nuclear science, be it radiation detection and measurement, radiation shielding, reactor core design, plasma physics, or nuclear materials, please feel free to attend the ANS student meetings. We encourage you to join us in the endeavor of discovering the physics of this fascinating and remarkable energy resource yielded by the atom. We hope to see you at the next meeting!
Douglas S. McGregor, Ph.D.
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