June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.1315.1 - 10.1315.8
The Nuclear Sun Shines Bright on South Carolina T. W. Knight, M. Garland, and A. Bayoumi Department of Mechanical Engineering University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina
Abstract The confluence of a number of in-state and out-of-state factors has motivated the establishment of a new graduate nuclear engineering program at the University of South Carolina (USC) in the Fall of 2003. One factor weighing greatly in favor of this effort is the large and thriving commercial nuclear industry in the State of South Carolina. The growing and expected continued need for nuclear professionals makes the establishment of this program timely and positioned to participate in and contribute to new and growing national research initiatives in nuclear engineering. The program covers a broad spectrum of academic interests through the recruitment of faculty with differing research backgrounds and interests and the strategic use of adjunct faculty from the surrounding professional nuclear community. Both internal and external funding is leveraged to provide support for the hiring of tenure-track faculty, adjunct faculty, and graduate student assistants. A dynamic and innovative distance education component is built into the program enabling students to enroll in classes and obtain degrees without having to relocate. This serves well those nuclear professionals seeking post-graduate degrees to further their career goals. A remotely operated radiation detection and instrumentation laboratory course will be offered in the Spring 2005, which will give remote students access to laboratory equipment for completing laboratory assignments and gaining experience with nuclear instrumentation. The alignment of these various interests and the current direction in education and research is believed to promote the growth of this new program and promote nuclear engineering education for the next generation of nuclear professionals and on into the future.
Introduction In Fall 2003, the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Carolina (USC) launched a new graduate program in nuclear engineering and by end of Spring 2005 will graduate its first Masters Degree student.
Bucking what otherwise would seem to be conventional wisdom, given that a new nuclear plant has not been ordered in the US since 1978, the establishment of this program is owing to a confluence of several different factors not the least of which is that more than half of all electricity consumption in the state of South Carolina is provided by nuclear capacity. The replacement of retiring workers alone might serve as raison d’etre given the recent trends in relicensing and power uprates at existing plants which ensures they will remain operating for at least a few more decades. Other in-state factors include the presence of a fuel fabrication facility owned by Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel and the recently designated Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) with a cold war legacy but poised to take on new R&D challenges and respond to initiatives of national import. This proximity to a national laboratory provides an excellent opportunity for collaborative research. In fact, a memorandum of understanding
“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education
Garland, M., & Bayoumi, A., & Knight, T. (2005, June), The Nuclear Sun Shines Bright On South Carolina Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/15267
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