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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.
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 169 | Number 2 | October 2011 | Pages 155-167
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE10-81
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The topic of this paper is solving the burnup equations using dedicated matrix exponential methods that are based on two different types of rational approximation near the negative real axis. The previously introduced Chebyshev Rational Approximation Method (CRAM) is now analyzed in detail for its accuracy and convergence, and correct partial fraction coefficients for approximation orders 14 and 16 are given to facilitate its implementation and improve the accuracy. As a new approach, rational approximation based on quadrature formulas derived from complex contour integrals is proposed, which forms an attractive alternative to CRAM, as its coefficients are easy to compute for any order of approximation. This gives the user the option to routinely choose between computational efficiency and accuracy all the way up to the level permitted by the available arithmetic precision. The presented results for two test cases are validated against reference solutions computed using high-precision arithmetics. The observed behavior of the methods confirms the previous conclusions of CRAM's excellent suitability for burnup calculations and establishes the quadrature-based approximation as a viable and flexible alternative that, like CRAM, has its foundation in the specific eigenvalue properties of burnup matrices.