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Nuclear Engineering Career Opportunities as a PhD

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello All,

I just got my B.S. in Physics and am now beginning a PhD program in Nuclear Engineering focusing on radiation detection using semiconductors. I very much enjoyed my Physics degree and want to stay in fundamental research for my career, in which case I would also say, I have no interest in working at a power plant. I was wondering if anyone could give me some possible research-oriented career opportunities after getting a PhD in this field. Or point me to some good resources for career paths. Thank you.

Answers and Replies

  • #2
My knowledge of this field is minimal. Perhaps working at places like CERN, SLAC, and other types of accelerator facilities could use those skills to augment all of the Physics Wonks employed there. Just a thought. Then there are places like Sandia Labs I suppose. Nuclear power industry isn't booming like it was a couple decades ago, but the players in that game might need to do research to make fusion a viable energy source.
  • #3
I started off in a very similar way to as you describe TEAMER366. I took a bachelor's degree in physics and a masters in nuclear engineering and then went to pursue a PhD in basic nuclear physics, partly because I also thought of staying in basic research. Now however, I work at a major research facility doing nuclear engineering work (not reactor based). While I don't do much basic research any more, I help develop instruments which are used by other scientists to carry out basic research. Nuclear engineers don't only work at power plants, and with the research area you are describing, probably you would not match the profile of someone who would work at a power plant in any case. A national laboratory or other research institute sounds like it would be much more suited for the line of work you describe.

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