Welcome to the Nuclear and Radiation Engineering Program
The Nuclear and Radiation Engineering Program (NRE) is seeking qualified graduate students for MS and PhD degrees. The NRE program is particularly interested in applicants with a strong background in mechanical or chemical engineering, physics, chemistry or applied math. This is a small, dynamic graduate program within the Department of Mechanical Engineering with strengths in nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear forensics, nuclear non-proliferation, applications of robotic handling of special nuclear materials and neutron beam port technology.
- Educate the next generation of leaders in nuclear science and engineering.
- Conduct leading research at the forefront of the national and international nuclear community.
- Apply nuclear technology for solving multidisciplinary problems.
- Provide service to the citizens of Texas, the United States and the international community.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas (UT) through the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab has received a 3-year $1.2 million grant to lead a four university consortium entitled “Unified Approach to Increase STEM Undergraduate Students Employment in the Department of the Navy”. The three other universities include two Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs), Huston-Tillotson (Austin) and Texas Southern University (Houston) and the minority serving University of Texas at San Antonio. The focus is to offer scholarships and internships to underrepresented minorities to seek employment in the Department of Navy in the civilian or military sectors once they have graduated with their BS degrees in general science (HT), physics (TSU) or electrical and computer engineering (UTSA). Underrepresented students in the Cockrell School or Engineering and College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas are also eligible for internship support. Each of the outside universities sets its own program but in cohesive manner for the overall goal of increasing STEM undergraduate students entering the Department of the Navy. From the left to right on the bottom row: Ruyan Guo (UTSA) Amanda Masino (HT), Karen Magid (HT), and Dimitri Tamalis (Florida Memorial University); top row from left to right: Carlos Handy (TSU), Marsha Creatchman (UT), Steven Biegalski ( UT), Sheldon Landsberger (UT), Ed Tovar (Intechsys) and Amar Bhalla (UTSA).
A continued strong affiliation with Los Alamos National Lab continues with our current and former graduate students. During the summer 11 Mechanical Engineering Longhorns were at Los Alamos. From left to right: Michael Yoho (MS nuclear forensics summer intern); Joshua Williams (LANL staff positon); Joey Hashem (PhD nuclear robotics, LANL graduate research assistant); Clinton Peterson (MS nuclear robotics summer intern); Cameron Knapp (PhD, manufacturing LANL graduate research assistant ); Brian O’Neil (LANL post-doctoral position); Andrew Sharp (MS summer intern, nuclear robotics);Cheryl Brabec PhD nuclear robotics, LANL graduate research assistant); Andrew Zelenak (PhD nuclear robotics, LANL graduate research assistant); Ben Ebersole (MS nuclear robotics summer intern) and Blake Anderson (MS nuclear robotics summer intern).
Enviroklean Product Development Inc., (www.epdi.biz) from Houston, Texas have conducted the first Radiation Safety Officer Training class at the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab from August 11-15 with the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab. Participants from Absorption and Safety Solutions in North Dakota along with EPDI employees took a 40 hour course including hands on instrumentation handling for the characterization of the naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) from the oil and gas industry. From the left on the first row on the bottom is Linda Laster (EPDI ) and Shauna Landsberger (lead Instructor, EPDI); from the left on the second row form the bottom is John Kaufman (Absorbent and Safety Solutions), Frank Laster (EPDI) and Sheldon Landsberger (co-instructor, NETL); and from the left on the top row Vahgn Darmanjian Donald Grimm, Erik Grimm (Absorbent and Safety Solutions) and Tracy Tipping (co-instructor, NETL).
Dr. David Dodoo-Amoo, alongside Dr. Sheldon Landsberger, donates $1000 for a scholarship in Nuclear and Radiation Engineering. The scholarship is open to any student in Mechanical Engineering major in the Nuclear and Radiation Engineering area, or a Physics major in the Radiation Physics Option and has taken one nuclear course or is enrolled currently enrolled in one. David who originally comes from Ghana received his PhD with Dr. Landsberger in 2002. David is currently a Senior Medical Physicist for West Physics (www.westphysics.com) and works out of Dallas, Texas.
Group photo of students in Dr. Landsberger’s Study Abroad Course held in May/June at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. Seventeen students from Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering and Physics took Dr. Landsberger’s course in Concepts in Nuclear and Radiation Engineering. Lectures and laboratories were conducted at the Reactor Institute of Delft (RID). Students also had the opportunity to partake in a two-day field trip to the SCK-CEN Academy for Nuclear Science and Technology and the Belgoprocess facility in Mols, Belgium where they visited a 700 KW research reactor and an experimental underground radioactive waste storage facility, respectively.
Steven Biegalski and three nuclear forensics students attended and presented posters at the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) Academic Laboratory Program in Chicago. The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is a jointly staffed office within the Department of Homeland Security. DNDO is the primary entity in the U.S. government for implementing domestic nuclear detection efforts for a managed and coordinated response to radiological and nuclear threats, as well as integration of federal nuclear forensics programs. Additionally, DNDO is charged with coordinating the development of the global nuclear detection and reporting architecture, with partners from federal, state, local, and international governments and the private sector.(http://www.dhs.gov/about-domestic-nuclear-detection-office). From left to right are Steven Biegalski, PhD student Kenny Dayman (Nuclear Forensics Graduate Fellow), undergraduate student Raj Bhakta (Nuclear Forensics Undergraduate Scholarship) and PhD student Bonnie Canion (Nuclear Forensics Graduate Fellow). Both Bonnie and Raj work with Dr. Sheldon Landsberger and Kenny works with Dr. Biegalski.
Dr. Biegalksi attends the 8th International Conference on Isotopes with his research group in Chicago from August 24-28. Once every three years, ICI offers the international community a rare opportunity for interdisciplinary exchange with colleagues from around the world to meet, talk, explore, and learn more about all aspects of isotope research, production, an application. From left to right are Franziska Klingberg, William Wilson, Steven Biegalski, Matt Montogomery, Christine Johnson and Christine Johnson. All graduate students presented papers to be peer-reviewed and published in the Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry.
Dr. Landsberger was on an International Atomic Energy Agency expert mission at the Comisión Chilena de Energía Nuclear in Chile from July 21-25. He gave a series of lectures on Compton suppression neutron activation analysis in conjuntion witth epithermal neutrons while optimizing the system and performing several preliminary experiments on geological and environmental samples.
Dr. Erich Schneider and Dr. Sheldon Landsberger were invited to attend the International Atomic Energy Agency meeting on the Consultancy on the Development and Implementation of a new Coordinated Research Program (CRP) on ‘‘Options and Technologies for Managing the Back End of the Research Reactor Nuclear Fuel Cycle’’. The CRP will include: development of a standard approach to assess and analyze individual research reactor back end options, perform a quantitative assessment of overall resources required to implement the back end options for each participant countries of the CRP, perform a quantitative comparison of national research reactor spent fuel management approaches versus regional or multinational arrangements for demonstrated or otherwise agreed back-end services and examine experiences from research reactor coalitions that strengthened their negotiating power compared to a single research reactor (i.e. increase of the economic scale because of the larger number of spent fuel, reducing transportation costs, safety and security costs and in general overhead costs). From left to right at the bottom are Madalina Budu (Russian Federation), Lubi Dimitrovski (Australia), Sophie Gouzy-Portaix (IAEA), Nick Gribble (United Kingdom) and Vladimir Daniska (Slovakia). From left to right on the top are Xavier Domingo (France), Erich Schneider (United States), Sheldon Landsberger (United States), Stefan Mayer (IAEA) and Jean-François Valery (France).
Dr. Jayathi Murthy, Chair of Mechanical Engineering gives Mitch Pryor an award for his service in teaching. Mitch Pryor started teaching at the University of Texas in in 1999 as a supplemental lecturer for first-year physics courses for engineering students. In 2001, he began teaching Numerical Methods in the Mechanical Engineering where he has since taught courses in programming, robotics, design, and mechatronics. He was twice nominated for a University of Texas System Regents Award for his teaching efforts. He is currently teaching automatic controls in the Electrical Engineering Department and helping to develop a lab course for drilling and drilling automation in the Petroleum Engineering Department. He co-founded the Nuclear Robotics Group with Dr. Sheldon Landsberger which will include nine graduates in the 2014-15 academic year. He also co-founded the Drilling Rig and Automation Group with Dr. Eric Van Oort from Petroleum Engineering, which includes ten graduate students working on sensors, controls and automation in order to reduce the number of workers required at drilling sites.
Richard Lara an undergraduate student in the Radiation Physics techncial option in the Physics Deparment is doing an internship with Dr. Sasan Bakhtiari at Argonne National Lab in the Nuclear Engineering Division. His primary area of involvement will be on millimeter-wave (MMW) sensor technology for two different applications. One is associated with passive/radiometric imaging and the other is associated with MMW remote vibrometry. While learning about MMW systems, he will also be involved with ongoing research activities on eddy current inspection of nuclear power plant steam generators (SGs). That work is associated with nondestructive examination (NDE) of SG tubing using conventional and emerging inspection techniques. Richard is planning to also include a short write up about his brief involvement with NDE work in the final paper that the internship students submit at the end of summer session.
We welcome Captain Gregory Sablan to the Nuclear and Radiation Engineering Program to pursue his graduate studies. He was last stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington where his previous assignment was commanding the 18th Engineer Company. On leave from his regular Army duties Captain Sablan will be a full time student in Dr. Erich Schneider’s group. Our NRE program proudly continues to offer opportunities to current and former Department of Defense personnel to further their undergraduate and graduate pursuits.
Raj Bhakta, a senior in the Radiation Physics program in the Department of Physics was awarded the US Department of Homeland Security, Nuclear Forensics Undergraduate Scholarship Program. The scholarship is worth $10,000. Raj will be working in the summer at the Department of Energy Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge with Dr. James Bradshaw on a nuclear forensics research project. He will continue in the fall semester writing up his results. Raj has has been an undergraduate research assistant since fall 2013 for Dr. Landsberger who will act has his official academic mentor for the Y-12 project.
Michael Yoho, a graduate student advised by Professor Sheldon Landsberger in theNuclear and Radiation Engineering Program, has recently been awarded his choice of two Department of Homeland Security (DHS) multi-year fellowships, the Nuclear Forensics Graduate Fellowship Program (NFGF) and the Nuclear Nonproliferation International Safeguards Fellowship Program (NNIS), the one he selected. He was one of two students selected from a field of 40 for the Forensics fellowship and the only student from The University of Texas at Austin to be selected this year for either fellowship. Both fellowships provide $50K per year for three years toward his stipend, health insurance and tuition as well as attendance for one conference per year.
Other Research Opportunities
The Materials Science and Engineering , MSE is a major technical area within the Mechanical Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Austin and there are close research collaborations in various research projects using the facilities at the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab. Visit Materials Engineering
Operations Research/Industrial Engineering
The Operations Research Group/Industrial Engineering (ORI), is a major technical area within the Mechanical Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Austin and there are close research collaborations in optimal decision making and the modeling of deterministic and probabilistic systems.
Visit Operations Research/Industrial Engineering