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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.
Miltiadis Alamaniotis, Andreas Ikonomopoulos, Lefteri H. Tsoukalas
Nuclear Technology | Volume 177 | Number 1 | January 2012 | Pages 132-145
Technical Paper | Nuclear Plant Operations and Control | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT12-A13333
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Nuclear power plants are complex engineering systems comprised of many interacting and interdependent mechanical components whose failure might lead to degraded plant performance or unplanned shutdown with loss of power generation and negative economic impact. As a result, continuous component surveillance and accurate prediction of their failing points is necessary for their on-time replacement. In this paper, a probabilistic kernel approach for intelligent online monitoring of mechanical components is presented. Specifically, the probabilistic kernel notion of Gaussian processes (GPs) is applied to the distribution prediction of a component's degradation trend. The proposed method exploits the learning ability of a GP and updates its prediction using a feedback mechanism. The methodology is tested on actual turbine blade degradation data for a variety of topologies (i.e., kernels). The GP estimations are compared to those obtained with a nonprobabilistic, kernel-based machine learning algorithm, the support vector regression (SVR). The comparison outcome clearly demonstrates that GP prediction accuracy outperforms SVR in the majority of the cases while providing a predictive distribution instead of point estimates as SVR does.