NE Department Honors Retiring Professor J. Michael Doster

The Department of Nuclear Engineering celebrated Professor J. Michael Doster’s retirement on April 27 with an event at The Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center. Colleagues, both current and former, along with alumni and members of our advisory board joined the festivities. Stories were shared about the career of Professor Doster that brought lots of laughter and a few tears.

Doster’s relationship with NCSU’s Nuclear Engineering Department began nearly 50 years ago in the fall of 1973 as an undergraduate student. He completed his BS in the spring of 1977 and entered graduate school that August. Doster’s teaching career actually launched while pursuing his PhD when the department hired him as a visiting instructor for an undergraduate course. In March of 1982, he officially began as Assistant Professor.

Doster’s accolades over the years include University Outstanding Teacher (twice), Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor, George H. Blessis Outstanding Adviser Award, and ASEE’s Glenn Murphy Award, a national honor bestowed on a distinguished nuclear engineering educator in recognition of notable professional contributions to the teaching of undergraduate and/or graduate nuclear engineering students.

The words of his students provide evidence of Doster’s influence on the nuclear community. Dr. Ellen O’Brien said about her former advisor, “Dr. Doster is the reason that I truly became passionate about the field of nuclear engineering, that I earned my Ph.D., and most importantly, he is the reason that I believe in myself as an individual, as a student, and as a scientist.  His dedication, passion, and guidance helped me see how I wanted to shape my future, and for that, I will be forever grateful.”  Dr. Konor Frick added, “To help prepare me for my future career, Dr. Doster spent countless hours transferring his 40+ years of knowledge to me. His research still excites him; often he would exclaim, “This is fun stuff”. He constantly goes beyond to provide his students with guidance in research, career, and home life.”

Nuclear Engineering Professor J. Michael Doster may be retiring, but his impact will continue with the establishment of the J. Michael Doster Fund for Undergraduate Excellence in Nuclear Engineering.

The fund was established to honor Dr. Doster’s enduring guidance as a scholar, mentor and professor on the department and most especially his commitment to a robust undergraduate experience. It was created with gifts from Nuclear Engineering alumni in special recognition of his retirement from the faculty in 2022. Gifts to the fund may be used to support the undergraduate program of the department, including undergraduate research support, undergraduate student travel, equipment and resources to support the undergraduate student experience, and more.

If you wish to support this fund, you can give online at

For more information on support this fund or the Department of Nuclear Engineering through your estate, please contact Anna Knight at