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Nuclear engineering career

  1. Oct 24, 2014 #1
    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?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 24, 2014 #2

    QuantumPion

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    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.
     
  4. Oct 24, 2014 #3
    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?
     
  5. Oct 24, 2014 #4

    QuantumPion

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    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.
     
  6. Oct 24, 2014 #5
    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.
     
  7. Oct 24, 2014 #6

    QuantumPion

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    I don't know much about Berkeley's nuclear engineering program, sorry.
     
  8. Oct 24, 2014 #7

    Astronuc

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    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.
     
  9. Oct 24, 2014 #8
    OK so a good mastery of solidworks. I am learning python with my physics class. Is this a useful tool to use?
     
  10. Oct 24, 2014 #9

    Astronuc

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    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.
     
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