Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences

NERS COVID-19 Update

A Message from Todd Allen About the Upcoming School Year


NERS Students:

Whether you are here in Michigan, or in another corner of the world, I hope you are staying safe, healthy and active. As you heard from President Schlissel and Dean Gallimore, we are thrilled to be able to welcome you back to campus this Fall for a public health-informed, in-residence semester. On behalf of the entire NERS faculty and staff, we cannot wait to see you roaming the halls of Cooley and our many labs again. 

The Fall semester will be designed to consist of a mixture of both in-person and remote experiences designed to deliver the top-quality education NERS is known for, structured to reflect our commitment to public health. Our goal is to ensure you can receive the course content even if you need to be remote from campus for your specific personal reasons.

We are still working through the details of our courses and how each will be conducted, so please stay tuned for more information. The University’s Maize and Blueprint website provides comprehensive information about its implementation plan, guiding principles and current status, and the College’s COVID website is updated regularly to provide engineering-specific information. Please also check this page regularly, where we will post new information as we have it.

There will, of course, be big changes to what the semester looks like, which you have already heard from the University and College leadership. I want to take a moment to reinforce some of those for you here:

Academic Calendar

Academic calendar adjustments will reduce back-and-forth travel for you, and allow for sufficient time between semesters for implementing any needed public health protocols before you return. 

  • Fall 2020
    • Fall classes begin Aug. 31, 2020 and meet continuously through Nov. 20, 2020.
    • There will be no fall break.
    • The last day of in-person classes is Nov. 20, the Friday before Thanksgiving.
    • Students are strongly advised to travel home and remain there until the winter term begins.
    • Fall classes resume Nov. 30 – Dec. 8 as remote-only instruction with exams and final projects conducted remotely.
  • Winter 2021
    • Winter semester will begin on Jan. 18 with a day celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • Classes will begin on Jan. 19 and meet continuously through Apr. 20.
    • There will be no winter break.
    • The later start to the semester is designed to provide students with additional time for rest and self-isolation (if needed before returning to campus), and faculty planning for winter instruction.
    • Final projects and exams will be Apr. 22 – 29.

Prevention & Care

  • You will be provided with a starter kit that includes hand sanitizer and face coverings.
  • Health and safety officials will continue extensive monitoring in real time. 
  • Plans and protocols for testing for infection and additional contact tracing will be in place. 
  • Michigan Housing will set aside living spaces to quarantine and care for those diagnosed to with significant exposure to COVID-19. 

Campus Experience

  • Community-building and learning opportunities will be adapted, including recreational sports, fitness classes, student group activities, performances and other socially enriching experiences.
  • Physical distancing requirements will be necessary in some settings, such as common spaces, dining areas and transportation.

I want to stress, however, that major changes in conditions could mean a need to adjust parts of our plan. We will need to remain agile and ready to adapt as circumstances change.

The NERS faculty and myself are confident that we will provide an innovative, in-person fall 2020 that will both meet the needs of our students and advance our mission. Let’s take care of ourselves and each other. We hope you are as excited as us to get back to doing good work together!

If you have any questions you can reach out to me personally or attend one of our department meetings every Friday at 4pm. Check your email for the link.

Glow blue,
Todd Allen