Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics

Program Details

Our undergraduate degree in engineering physics is a research-oriented degree for top students ultimately interested in attending graduate school. You must have a GPA of at least 3.5 and junior standing to be eligible for admission. Students in the program choose a focus area that influences course requirements and research topic areas.

 

Degree Information

Nanoengineering

Students choosing this topic area study the physics, chemistry, and mathematics of nanostructured materials. Nanoengineering requires manipulation and control of matter on the molecular and atomic scale in order to obtain materials and properties not otherwise achievable. Examples include molecular machines, high strength composite materials, and new concepts for solar cells.

 

Plasma science and engineering

Plasmas are ionized gases with engineering applications ranging from electricity production via fusion reactions to to industrial processing (such as semiconductor etching). Students in this thrust area obtain a strong background in physics and engineering, with an emphasis on electricity and magnetism.

 

Scientific computing

Modeling and simulation are rapidly reaching the point where they can provide realistic simulation of very complex engineering systems. In order to exploit these capabilities, students choosing this focus area develop strong backgrounds in numerical analysis and software engineering and apply these techniques to realistic engineering applications.

Research Projects

Research projects for the BS degree in engineering physics

 

Rather than the traditional focus on design in an engineering undergraduate degree, the Engineering Physics degree is focused on research. EP majors spend two years on common math, science, engineering and liberal electives courses and then specialize in a research-active emerging technology focus area. This includes a research project in which EP majors work closely with a faculty research mentor, accumulate eight research credits over their last four semesters, and complete a research thesis.

 

The first course in the research sequence — EP 468, Introduction to Engineering Research — assists students in learning about the research process and identifying a research project, in order to provide them with a successful launch into their research. This is the first in a series of four courses in the research sequence that were developed to guide students in their pursuit of research and completion of a thesis. The research sequence courses also provide connections between the students in the EP major and a supportive framework for engaging in research.

 

In the subsequent courses of the research sequence, a student works with their faculty mentor to formulate a research proposal, conducts the research to solve or otherwise address the problem, and presents their research in a written thesis and oral defense of the results. Throughout this process, the EP research students meet weekly to develop and hone their skills. Frequently the advanced students meet in conjunction with the EP 468 students to provide guidance and promote community amongst students in the major.

 

Tips from past students for successful projects

[Audio transcript]

 

Examples of past thesis topics completed by EP students:

Kevin Gotrik:
Surface Studies of Random Block Copolymer PS-r-P2VP on Silicon Substrates by Near Edge X-Ray Adsorption Fine Structure (NEXAFS) Spectroscopy
Adam Jandl:
Development of Flexible Ferroelectric Thin Films for Use in Memory Applications
Eric Newton:
Asymptotic Analysis of Crack Tip Fields in Ductile Single Crystals with Cubic Symmetry
Andrew Scholbrock:
Attribute Management in ACIS Based Geometry Files
John P Sheehan:
Isolating Pseudowaves for Use in Determining Relative Ion Concentrations in a Multi-Ion Species Plasma
Shauheen Soofi:
The Elastic Modulus of Matrigel as Determined by Atomic Force Microscopy
Stephen Throson:
Use of a Non-Ambipolar Electron Source To Produce a Plasma in a Multi-Dipole Chamber

Accreditation

The Department of Engineering Physics has not sought ABET accreditation for the engineering physics undergraduate degree because it is intended for those who plan to go on to graduate studies and/or a research-related career. Although the lack of ABET accreditation does not preclude one from obtaining professional licensing, the process is somewhat longer in most states than licensed professional engineers.

Enrollment

 

Academic Year Sept. 2010 Sept. 2011 Sept. 2012 Sept. 2013 Sept. 2014 Sept. 2015 Sept. 2016 Sept. 2017
Number of Graduate Students
EM 27 28 22 28 31 26 26 28
NEEP 88 92 102 92 104 105 100 106
Number of Undergraduate Students
EM 102 90 83 106 121 184 222 228
EP 13 20 24 19 15 19 29 32
NE 70 91 86 87 77 129 124 126

 

Degrees Granted

 

Academic Year 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017
Engineering Mechanics
B.S. 32 33 36 22 25 21 24 56
M.S. 1 11 10 6 9 6 6 6
Ph.D. 0 2 1 1 3 2 2 1
Engineering Physics
B.S. 8 6 3 7 3 9 9 0
Nuclear Engineering
B.S. 17 21 20 22 20 32 33 28
Nuclear Engineering & Engineering Physics
M.S. 12 27 28 30 19 33 23 19
Ph.D. 9 9 3 6 9 11 9 10