Engel is the researcher who snagged a $2 million federal earmark to research advanced electromagnetic launchers, or rail guns, alongside the U.S. Office of Naval Research. MU administrators have said they replaced Engel as the lead of that project because he wasn’t proceeding properly with the work, a charge he denies. Annie Sobel, an adjunct engineering professor who has a military background, was named project lead, which raised some eyebrows because she is also the wife of Rob Duncan, MU vice chancellor of research.
Gu, Zhou and Chang filed a complaint against Engel after he gave them zeros for lab reports he said had been plagiarized. Gu denied the charge, saying the team worked together on the same problem and came up with the same results but submitted different reports.
Engel said he was suspended before he had a chance to ask for the reports back and prove the plagiarism. The students did not have their reports available for the Tribune to review.
Engel declined to get into specific student information but stands by his charge that “it was obvious the students were plagiarizing.”