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College of Engineering

Nuclear Engineering

Educational Objectives

The undergraduate education in the School of Nuclear Engineering has the following goals and objectives:

• Provide the B.S. graduate with the technical capabilities required for successful performance as a nuclear engineer. Nuclear engineers are challenged by a wide variety of problems related to consumer and industrial power, space exploration, water supply, food supply, environment and pollution, health and transportation, among others. Therefore, the technical capabilities required of the nuclear engineer are highly varied. The School of Nuclear Engineering’s program of education will provide:

- A fundamental knowledge of the traditional and evolving areas in nuclear engineering and requisite subject areas.

- The ability to mathematically model and analyze data.

- The ability to use computers as tools in solving engineering problems.

- A working knowledge of radiation measurements and statistical analysis.

- An ability to solve open-ended design problems systematically.

• Prepare graduates to be effective engineers in the workplace. In addition to technical skills, the modern engineer must be able to communicate effectively, perform efficiently as a member of interdisciplinary project teams and display excellent interpersonal skills in order to fulfill expectations of most industrial employers. Graduates should have the ability to:

- Effectively communicate technical information orally and in writing.

- Function efficiently as an individual, on a team and with peers.

- Address difficult, complex problems and adapt to new situations.

- Work with a diverse, interdisciplinary workforce.

• Instill in students a sense of responsibility to their profession, their community and society at large. The undergraduate program should go beyond the purely technical preparation to assist students in developing their sense of responsibility to the broader environments in which they must live and function. Upon completion of their program, graduates should have developed a commitment and sensitivity to these broader professional and social needs. They also should have developed:

- A commitment to professional and ethical behavior in every endeavor.

- The motivation and the ability for lifelong learning inside and outside of a formal educational setting.

- A strong work ethic.

- An appreciation of the impact of engineering solutions within a global and societal context.

- A sensitivity to world affairs and cultures.

- A commitment to public safety and understanding of nuclear processes.

In order to meet these objectives, the School of Nuclear Engineering has developed a curriculum with a broad base in the humanities and basic sciences upon which to build a nuclear engineering career. The required courses provide a strong foundation in basic sciences, including physics, mathematics, computer science and chemistry. Engineering science courses include mechanics, materials, electric circuit analysis, thermodynamics, fluidmechanics and heat and mass transfer. These form the foundation of any engineering program related to nuclear processes and applications.

Specialized courses in reactor physics and engineering build on this foundation. In addition, each student develops an area of specialty through the careful selection of 15 hours of technical electives. These areas may include such diverse nuclear specialties as reactor engineering, nuclear materials, reactor physics, controlled thermonuclear fusion, reactor safety, energy systems, security, nuclear medicine, instrumentation, controls and reactor simulation. New areas include computational methods, hydrogen generation, fuel cells and plasma-material interactions. Additionally, nuclear engineering students may select electives that prepare them for careers in medical diagnostics and treatments, nuclear waste management, plasma processing and related software development.

To prepare nuclear engineering students to meet their educational goals, they will complement their technical preparation with general education electives consisting of 18 credit hours of courses that provide an integrated and well-rounded program in the humanities and social sciences.

Graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering (M.S.NE), Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) are offered for qualified students seeking advanced degrees.The M.S.NE normally is obtained by students with a B.S. in engineering.

Financial aid with remitted tuition for graduate students includes teaching and research assistantships as well as traineeships and fellowships.

Information about the M.S.NE and Ph.D. programs can be found at the School of Nuclear Engineering website.

Areas for graduate research and study include nuclear theory and analysis, fuel management, design of advanced nuclear systems, reactor thermal-hydraulics and safety, artificial intelligence, fusion plasma engineering and technology, radiation effects, energy materials, advanced reactor fuels, laser plasma physics, plasma-material interactions, irradiation-driven nanopatterning, radioactive waste, direct energy conversion, energy storage, fuel cells and nuclear hydrogen systems.

A coordinated undergraduate/graduate program leading to a higher degree is available. Under this program, undergraduate students can apply for admission to the Graduate School at the beginning of their final semester. Qualified and interested students may start planning their graduate program with their undergraduate counselors at the beginning of the junior year.

Although one objective of the nuclear engineering program is to help students develop in specialized areas, the primary goal is to prepare them for a professional career. As a result, students are encouraged to develop a broad background in engineering and science and an awareness of social, economic and environmental issues. Thus equipped, they will be capable of continued professional growth in the constantly changing technological world.

The curriculum in nuclear engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org. Further information about the undergraduate program in nuclear engineering is available through the School of Nuclear Engineering website.