University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering


If you’re recruiting engineering talent, you may already know that UW-Madison graduates in nuclear engineering, engineering mechanics and engineering physics are some of the best young engineers around. But did you know that some of our college's brightest students choose our degree programs?


These programs offer an exceptionally broad and challenging education. They are unusual majors, offered at only a small number of engineering colleges in the nation. It's the challenge and uniqueness of these programs that attracts outstanding students — and that makes them, in turn, outstanding additions to your engineering team.


Shared features of the degree programs


The degree programs stress what recruiters tell us they want in new engineers. There is a strong emphasis on communication skills, both written and verbal, as well as teamwork skills. Students in these majors have a strong background in the environmental, economic, regulatory and ethical issues associated with today's complex engineering field. Because of the breadth and depth of their education, graduates of both programs are suitable for technical positions in which a broad engineering science background is needed.


Here's what these graduates can offer your company:


Engineering mechanics


Engineering mechanics graduates are similar to mechanical engineering graduates, but have much greater depth in structural mechanics, solid mechanics, stress analysis, vibrations & dynamics, advanced mathematics & computer methods--including finite element methods — and engineering design. An astronautics option is available for students interested in engineering mechanics applications in the aerospace field.


Graduates of this program have been employed in a wide variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing, in both large and small companies. Some of the jobs for which companies have hired our engineering mechanics graduates include:


  • Development engineer for an automobile manufacturer
  • Stress and fatigue engineer for an aerospace company
  • Design engineer for a small Wisconsin manufacturer
  • Structural mechanics analyst for a large aerospace company
  • Development engineer for a farm machinery manufacturer
  • Systems engineer for an avionics company


Nuclear engineering


Nuclear engineering graduates receive a strong education in thermal hydraulics and heat transfer, advanced mathematics and computer methods, as well as in nuclear reactor analysis and engineering, and nuclear materials. Of course, they are extremely well prepared for employment in the nuclear industry. But they are also well prepared for many other challenging engineering positions requiring expertise in fluid flow, thermal systems and processes, and related subjects.


In addition to nuclear engineering positions in the nuclear power industry, recent graduates are working in jobs such as:


  • Accelerator engineer for a university research lab
  • Consulting engineer for a large consulting firm
  • Environmental engineer for a government agency
  • Applications specialist for a medical technology firm
  • Thermal hydraulics engineer for an industrial HVAC lab
  • Computer data acquisition specialist for a hospital research lab
  • Development engineer for a computer manufacturer
  • Design engineer for an industrial conveyor company


Engineering physics


Our new program for a bachelor of science in engineering physics can be a perfect fit for emerging industries that design and manufacture devices at the micro- and nanometer scale; for example, precise and repeatable positioning technologies as well as the mechanics and materials selection for such devices. Many firms are entering the market as developers of fundamental tools than enable research and operations at the sub-micron level and are important to a variety of industries and applications ranging from semiconductor instrumentation to uses in defense and biotechnology. This undergraduate degree with its applied math and physics fundamentals and a specific focus area in nanoengineering gives the student a clear advantage in their engineering education.


The new bachelor of science in engineering physics (BS-EP) is designed to provide graduates with highly developed skills in emerging technological areas. These graduates will become an immediate source of talent to accelerate development of high-tech, start-up companies in Wisconsin and throughout the United States. Initially the technological focus areas will be nanoengineering, plasma science and engineering, and scientific computation; the technological emphasis areas will be constantly revisited and revised to align with emerging technologies and student interests. It is our hope that the BS-EP program will be distinguished by the following integral, salient features: a strong emphasis on math and physics, delay in choice of a technical focus area to late in the junior year, specialized education in an emerging technology, and emphasis on research and a team project culminating in a senior thesis. This program is designed for the ever-changing economics and technologies of the 21st century. A common curriculum with our engineering mechanics and nuclear engineering majors for the first two years of coursework provides a fundamental foundation. This rigorous curriculum will prepare students for the final two years of study with an emphasis on their choice of one of three technical focus area electives and team-focused activities aligned with current faculty research programs. Because students need to be academically strong and highly motivated to work effectively within the various emerging technology research groups, the BS in engineering physics degree program will be a selective one with a high GPA requirement: 3.5 for admission into the program during their sophomore year.