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MechE or Engineering physics for a future in the nuclear field

  1. Aug 14, 2010 #1
    Hi, first of all i would like to apologize for the probably rather bad English.

    I am this semester starting my first year at the university. It starts of with three years (undergrad) and then ends with a two year masters exam. The field is Mechanical engineering. So the masters that i can choose from range from industrial engineering (more economy based) to the field of applied mechanics, such as fluid mechanics, solid something mechanics, wave mechanics and stuff like that. Aswell as "Nuclear energy engineering". I can choose 14 different masters.

    People attending at engineering physics can choose the same masters as me, apart from the more economy based masters. They can however choose to get a master in the field of mathematics. Aswell as a more "applied physics" master. Such as quantum stuff, sub atomic stuff etc.

    I would like to have the opportunity to get a Phd in the field of nuclear physics, but i really dont know what my options are after getting the master in Nuclear energy engineering.
    I am afraid that i´l get stuck getting a phd in "how to optimize the cooling system in a nuclear power plant" or something like that, or stuck designing fans for a turbine etc.

    Is there a possibility for me to get a phd in a more "nuclear physics" kinda field after getting my exam in meche with a master in nuclear energy engineering?

    In the master there are courses about nuclear physics.

    I do however have the option to switch to engineering physics, but i really dont know if i would be able to make it threw that, as its like the hardest thing you could get yourself into. And the way i see it, the field of mechanical engineering is a lot broader than engineering physics. As it seems like alot of the people getting an exam in engineering physics (if not getting a phd or having really good grades ending up withing the field of finance) end up being programmers, or designing electric circuits.

    And i do admit that i really do not know what a mechanical engineer do within the field of nuclear engineering, just that i am afraid that all they do is to sit and design, like fans in autocad.

    And there are no pure 5 year nuclear educations in my country, such as the one in mechanical engineering that i will attend to.

    Thanks for taking your time reading this. And once again, i am not a native English speaker, so the spelling might not be that good.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2010 #2
    In general, if you are trained as an engineer in your BS/MS degree, it would be very difficult to switch to do research in physics.
    I was trained as an ME, and almost double major in physics, so I will give you an ME example. In the standard undergraduate curriculum, you will take a thermodynamics course, but this course is no where near what a physicist is supposed to learn about thermo physics (statistical mechanics). The same apply to dynamics/mechanics. You are unlikely to learn classical mechanics. Other topics important to physicists, such as EM and quantum, etc., not a chance in ME.
    I am not familiar with nuclear engineering curriculum though.
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