Saturday, May 25, 2013

Nuclear Science and Engineering

Nuclear Science and Engineering

The students, professors, and research staff of the MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) study nuclear reactions and radiation, their applications, and their consequences.  We generate, control, and apply nuclear reactions and radiation for the benefit of society and the environment.  Today our Department is working to make nuclear power the safest, most economical, and most environmentally benign source of energy, while also laying the foundations for exciting new applications of nuclear and radiation science and technology.  As one of the world’s leading academic departments in our field, we also have a responsibility to inform public debates on the wise, humane uses of nuclear science and technology.
Members of our department are making important contributions to the engineering of fission power reactors, to thermonuclear fusion and plasma physics, and to monitoring, detecting, and securing nuclear materials.   Current research includes the development of new tools for modeling and controlling complex nuclear and radiation processes, the design of new materials with enhanced performance in radiation fields, the use of coherent control to engineer radiation sources and more precise measurement instruments, and new generations of medical technologies.
Our department enjoys extensive research and educational collaborations with industry, with the federal government and the national laboratories, and with partners in several other countries, including Japan, France, Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, providing our students with many opportunities for study and research.
Areas of research and instruction in the department include:
  • Advanced reactor design and development
  • Fuel cycle technology and economics
  • Plasma physics and fusion
  • Coherent control and quantum information processing
  • Materials in radiation environments
  • Energy innovation management and policy

Graduate Education

Graduate students in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering gain a broad education that prepares them for a range of careers in industry, research, and the academic world. Our programs attract science and engineering students with a diverse range of undergraduate degrees including physics, chemistry, mathematics, materials science, and chemical, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering. Only about half of the graduate students in our department have majored in nuclear engineering as undergraduates. 
We offer the following graduate degree programs:
  • Master of Science in Nuclear Science and Engineering

    Students in this program develop core knowledge in nuclear science and engineering and a foundation for productive work in the nuclear field and advanced graduate study. Most students specialize in one of three fields: fission nuclear technology, applied plasma physics, or nuclear science and technology. Students with adequate undergraduate preparation generally complete the degree requirements in 18 months to two years.
  • Nuclear Engineer

    This two-year program provides students with deeper knowledge in nuclear science and engineering than is provided in the master’s program and trains students for creative professional careers in engineering application and design. Each student plans an individual program of study and must complete and orally defend a substantial research project of significant value. The program emphasizes professional application and is less research-oriented than the doctoral program.
  • Doctoral degree

    In this program, students build comprehensive knowledge in nuclear science and engineering, develop competence in advanced engineering research, and gain the broad perspective to assess the role of nuclear science and technology in our society. Candidates must complete an approved program of advanced study and a sophisticated research project in nuclear science or in a nuclear-related field in another department.
  • Students may also choose to participate in interdisciplinary degree programs affiliated with the nuclear science and engineering department, including Technology and Policy, and Systems Design and Management.