The University of Illinois is in its second century of operation and is recognized as a national center of excellence in education. The College of Engineering, founded in 1868, has grown and prospered with the University, establishing itself as a productive center of engineering research and education.

The Department of Nuclear Engineering was established in 1958 as an inter-disciplinary program and was granted departmental status in 1986. Its name was changed to the Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering in 1999 to reflect the three paths typically followed by its students, and the wide variety of courses available to them. The change was approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education at its June 15, 1999, meeting.

"We are looking forward to a bright future while we grow our program and support the growth in the nuclear industry," said NPRE ILLINOIS head James F. Stubbins. "We are proud of the accomplishments of our faculty and alumni in the past 50 years, and we look forward to continuing this leadership with new students and new ideas in the next 50 years."