The Department of Nuclear Engineering (NE) has been a solid piece of the Tickle College of Engineering for many years, consistently ranking highly among all institutions in the US and growing to have one of the nation’s largest NE student populations.
As the department continues to set up shop in the new Zeanah Engineering Complex, it will do so with a familiar face at the top, as Chancellor’s Professor, Postelle Professor, and Department Head Wes Hines has agreed to continue as NE’s leader for another term.
“We’ve had a highly successful period of growth over the last decade, one that we will continue to build upon in our new home in the Zeanah building,” said Hines. “I’m honored to have been chosen to continue my leadership role, and am excited about what the future holds for our department.”
For college Dean Matthew Mench, the move to have Hines stay in his current role was an easy decision.
“Under Wes’s leadership, our nuclear engineering program has continuously ranked among the top programs in the nation in many different measures, and consistently produces top quality engineering graduates at all levels that get excellent opportunities after graduation. The research impact of the department has continuously grown during his time as head, and he has the overwhelming support from his faculty, staff, students, and myself,” said Mench, the Wayne T. Davis Dean’s Chair in the college. “Nuclear engineering is a high-demand discipline that intersects medical science, clean energy, defense, and many other areas of national importance critical to our collective future, and Dr. Hines is the right person to lead our program forward.”
Hines was first named NE department head in 2011, while he was serving as interim vice chancellor for research. He also served as interim associate dean for research and technology for the college from 2008-09.
He joined the department as research assistant professor in 1995, and was promoted to full professor in 2005.
Hines earned his bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Ohio University in 1985 and attended US Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Florida in 1986 before working as a Naval officer on nuclear submarines from 1987-90.
After his time in the Navy, Hines earned an MBA in 1992 and a master’s and doctorate—both in nuclear engineering—from Ohio State University in 1992 and ’94, respectively.
He is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society, a recipient of the American Society for Engineering Education’s Glenn Murphy Distinguished Nuclear Engineering Educator Award, a Fellow of the International Society of Engineering Asset Management, an Ohio State Distinguished Alumni Award winner from both the college of engineering and the mechanical engineering department, and has won several UT accolades during his time in Knoxville.