• Support PF! Buy your school textbooks, materials and every day products Here!

Nuclear engineering career

  • Engineering
  • Thread starter Dailydon
  • Start date
  • #1
4
0

Main Question or Discussion Point

hi I am a second year community college student and I'm interested nuclear engineering. Is there any material like books or online sources that I can read to see if I want to go into this field?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
QuantumPion
Science Advisor
Gold Member
902
42
From what I've heard now is not the best time ever to be a nuclear engineering student - mainly due to the "failed renaissance". There was a big boom in the sector in the mid 2000's due to the idea that there would be a big nuclear comeback - which mostly fizzled out due to economic factors. So there are tons of grads looking for few jobs and the competition is tight. I would suggest at the very least dual majoring in mechanical engineering as a contingency.
 
  • #3
4
0
From what I've heard now is not the best time ever to be a nuclear engineering student - mainly due to the "failed renaissance". There was a big boom in the sector in the mid 2000's due to the idea that there would be a big nuclear comeback - which mostly fizzled out due to economic factors. So there are tons of grads looking for few jobs and the competition is tight. I would suggest at the very least dual majoring in mechanical engineering as a contingency.
So as far as a college to transfer to does it matter which one as long as the school offers an undergrad program in nuclear program?
 
  • #4
QuantumPion
Science Advisor
Gold Member
902
42
So as far as a college to transfer to does it matter which one as long as the school offers an undergrad program in nuclear program?
I would seek to get into one of the prime nuclear engineering schools, namely Penn State, U of Wisconsin, Purdue, U of Michigan, MIT, U of Tennessee, etc.
 
  • #5
4
0
I would seek to get into one of the prime nuclear engineering schools, namely Penn State, U of Wisconsin, Purdue, U of Michigan, MIT, U of Tennessee, etc.
How is Berkeley as far as a nuclear engineering program. I know they don't have a reactor being nuclear free but I am from southern california so tuition would be considerably cheaper for me. I have a 3.71 gpa so I don't know how much that'll factor into transfer applications. I was considering north carolina as they have a reactor on campus which would help with building technical knowledge. Would interning at a power plant help with applications.
 
  • #6
QuantumPion
Science Advisor
Gold Member
902
42
I don't know much about Berkeley's nuclear engineering program, sorry.
 
  • #7
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
18,821
2,009
How is Berkeley as far as a nuclear engineering program. I know they don't have a reactor being nuclear free but I am from southern california so tuition would be considerably cheaper for me. I have a 3.71 gpa so I don't know how much that'll factor into transfer applications. I was considering north carolina as they have a reactor on campus which would help with building technical knowledge. Would interning at a power plant help with applications.
Just because a university has a nuclear reactor on campus doesn't necessarily mean that one will build "technical knowledge" with respect to nuclear energy. Building one's technical knowledge means reading the scientific and technical journals in order to understand the relevant issues of the day, and even then one has to dig deep. Also, read the trade press like Nuclear News and Nuclear Plant Journal to get an idea of who is doing what and who is hiring.

Berkeley has a decent program. Digby MacDonald (formerly at PSU) is there, and Don Olander is still there, but probably only taking a few grad students. I'm not familiar with the other faculty.

NCSU has a good program and do the schools that QuantumPion mentioned.

At the moment, many of the new builds are on hold because of cheap natural gas and subsidized wind power.

If one wants to go into nuclear, then one should diversify into thermal process or energy generation in general in order to be able to move into non-nuclear areas if nuclear doesn't pick up.

These days, having skills in programming and computational physics, particularly FEA and CFD, with knowledge of materials, especially with mechanics of materials, fluid transport and fluid-structure interaction, and corrosion would be helpful.
 
  • #8
4
0
Just because a university has a nuclear reactor on campus doesn't necessarily mean that one will build "technical knowledge" with respect to nuclear energy. Building one's technical knowledge means reading the scientific and technical journals in order to understand the relevant issues of the day, and even then one has to dig deep. Also, read the trade press like Nuclear News and Nuclear Plant Journal to get an idea of who is doing what and who is hiring.

Berkeley has a decent program. Digby MacDonald (formerly at PSU) is there, and Don Olander is still there, but probably only taking a few grad students. I'm not familiar with the other faculty.

NCSU has a good program and do the schools that QuantumPion mentioned.

At the moment, many of the new builds are on hold because of cheap natural gas and subsidized wind power.

If one wants to go into nuclear, then one should diversify into thermal process or energy generation in general in order to be able to move into non-nuclear areas if nuclear doesn't pick up.

These days, having skills in programming and computational physics, particularly FEA and CFD, with knowledge of materials, especially with mechanics of materials, fluid transport and fluid-structure interaction, and corrosion would be helpful.
OK so a good mastery of solidworks. I am learning python with my physics class. Is this a useful tool to use?
 
  • #9
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
18,821
2,009
OK so a good mastery of solidworks. I am learning python with my physics class. Is this a useful tool to use?
Knowledge of SolidWorks or Pro/Engineer is good, but those are 3D Cad programs, and may not be the best for FEA. One should learn how to generate a solid model for FEA, however. FEMap is an alternative.

Python is good for manipulating lines of code and perhaps dealing with I/O. Most scientific and engineering analysis (computational physics) software that I've experience is written in C++ or Fortran. I've seen script files written in Python, and mostly for data and file handling, similar to Unix/Linux script files.
 

Related Threads on Nuclear engineering career

Replies
2
Views
3K
Replies
0
Views
3K
Replies
4
Views
753
Replies
0
Views
2K
Replies
0
Views
1K
Replies
2
Views
1K
Replies
0
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
904
Top