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Development Of A Nuclear Engineering Program At Prairie View A&M University A Historically Black University (Hbcu)

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

A Renaissance in NRE Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.458.1 - 10.458.8



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Paper Authors

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Sukesh Aghara

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Irvin Osborn-Lee

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

Development of a Nuclear Engineering Program at Prairie View A&M University, a Historically Black University (HBCU)

S. Aghara,a* I. Osborne-Lee a and Mehran Visehb , Richard Wilkinsc a Department of Chemical Engineering, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX/ b Department of Computer Engineering, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX c Department of Electrical Engineering, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX


Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), one of the nation’s leading Historically Black Universities (HBCUs), in 2002 through the DOE Minority/Majority University Partnership Program (MMUPP) established a nuclear engineering program in its chemical engineering department. This paper will discuss the courses and the curriculum being developed at PVAMU as part of its strategy to help supply nuclear engineering graduates for the next generation. Since its early days until the early 1980s, there was a tremendous interest in nuclear engineering and it was easy to attract and retain the best young talent to this field. However, with a combination of nuclear accidents in the power sector and the end of cold war, the public perception and the political significance of the nuclear industry has been on a decline. This has lead to a shrinking supply of new nuclear engineering graduates with competence in design, modeling and operation of nuclear power reactors and the peripheral industry. A 2002 American Nuclear Society (ANS) report states that the supply of graduates with nuclear engineering background has depleted significantly over the years leading to a serious personnel shortage in all applied fields of nuclear engineering1. To address this developing concern many national organizations have initiated programs to support and develop nuclear engineering curriculum that will educate students in the field of nuclear science. PVAMU’s nuclear engineering program is geared towards educating and contributing engineering students with nuclear background. These students will be educated so that they can either find placements in the nuclear industry or pursue advance nuclear engineering degrees at other institutions. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (JBHE) reports that the overall percent of graduating Blacks in science and engineering is substantially lower then in other fields2. Enrollments at traditional nuclear programs have declined over the years and hence it should be no surprise that the challenge to encourage and involve students in nuclear program is also felt at PVAMU. The paper will discuss the course curriculum and the overall approach to encourage student enrollment in nuclear classes.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Aghara, S., & Osborn-Lee, I. (2005, June), Development Of A Nuclear Engineering Program At Prairie View A&M University A Historically Black University (Hbcu) Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15199

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