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2021 Student Conference
April 8–10, 2021
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NC State celebrates 70 years of nuclear engineering education
An early picture of the research reactor building on the North Carolina State University campus. The Department of Nuclear Engineering is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its nuclear engineering curriculum in 2020–2021. Photo: North Carolina State University
The Department of Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University has spent the 2020–2021 academic year celebrating the 70th anniversary of its becoming the first U.S. university to establish a nuclear engineering curriculum. It started in 1950, when Clifford Beck, then of Oak Ridge, Tenn., obtained support from NC State’s dean of engineering, Harold Lampe, to build the nation’s first university nuclear reactor and, in conjunction, establish an educational curriculum dedicated to nuclear engineering.
The department, host to the 2021 ANS Virtual Student Conference, scheduled for April 8–10, now features 23 tenure/tenure-track faculty and three research faculty members. “What a journey for the first nuclear engineering curriculum in the nation,” said Kostadin Ivanov, professor and department head.
Thursday, February 11, 2021|12:00–1:45PM (1:00–2:45PM EST)
Juan J. Cortez
University research reactors have been a cornerstone of nuclear engineering research and education since the first reactor was deployed at North Carolina State University in the 1950s. The population of university reactors grew to a high of almost 80 in 1970 but has dropped to 24 operating today. The US Department of Energy - Office of Nuclear Energy supports the remaining reactors through fuel and infrastructure funding. The Nuclear Science User Facilities(NSUF) collaborated with the National Organization of Test, Research, and Training Reactors (TRTR) to study the needs of the university research reactor community. Staffing and knowledge transfer were identified as critical areas. The panel will discuss challenges and opportunities in these areas including how COVID-19 has affected their facilities.
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