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Developing And Assessing An Undergraduate Nuclear Engineering Program At The U.S. Military Academy

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Conference

2004 Annual Conference

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Innovations in Nuclear Education I

Page Count

9

Page Numbers

9.406.1 - 9.406.9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/13355

Download Count

38

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Paper Authors

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Gary Sandquist

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Brian Moretti

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Edward Naessens

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

1 Developing and Assessing an Undergraduate Nuclear Engineering Program at the U.S. Military Academy

COL Edward Naessens, LTC Brian Moretti, Prof. Gary Sandquist*

U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY 10996 *University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Abstract

In 2002 the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) at West Point established a nuclear engineering (NE) major beginning with graduates of the Class of 2005. The major represents a significant broadening of the West Point academic program and will provide the Army with additional nuclear trained officers as leaders in homeland defense, health physics, and the development of national nuclear defense and policy. A four-step evaluation and assessment process has been developed to assess accomplishment of program goals. Through the use of concept maps, block learning objectives, rubrics, and embedded evaluation instruments, changes to the program can be made while ensuring that USMA continues to graduate outstanding officers and leaders.

Introduction

In 2002, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point established a nuclear engineering (NE) major available for study beginning with the Class of 2005. The NE curriculum was developed to meet all accreditation requirements for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The establishment of the NE major represents a significant broadening of the West Point nuclear program, and will provide the Army additional officers schooled in nuclear disciplines. Cadets first develop strong fundamental skills in mathematics, physics, and general science. They then apply these fundamental skills to the study of nuclear power plants, nuclear weapons, radiation effects, radiation shielding, and the environmental impact of nuclear power. Embedded design problems reinforce and integrate concepts presented in the classroom. To determine if our courses accomplish specified outcomes, we have developed an innovative methodology to assess accomplishment of program outcomes through a process of assessing embedded indicators.

The splitting of the nucleus has made available to mankind an almost limitless source of energy. This energy source is currently used throughout the world to generate electricity in nearly 450 nuclear power plants. In addition many nations, including potential adversaries, have acquired nuclear weapons. Such widespread use of nuclear energy, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, suggests that officers in the Army of the 21st century should have some knowledge of nuclear processes. NE is relevant to today’s Army for many other reasons. Officers must be effective leaders in a nuclear or radiation environment, they may participate in homeland defense as part of a nuclear and radiation detection task force, or work with

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Sandquist, G., & Moretti, B., & Naessens, E. (2004, June), Developing And Assessing An Undergraduate Nuclear Engineering Program At The U.S. Military Academy Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/13355

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