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.
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.
From May 27-28 Dr. Lyabo Usman (middle) from the University of the Witwatersrand Tebogo and Dr.Tebogo Kupi (right) from North West University, both in South Africa visited the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab as part of a Nuclear Security Education program sponsored by the US State Department Partnership for Nuclear Security and CRDF Global. Here Dr. Steven Biegalski is explaining some the experimental facilities at NETL. Presentations of nuclear security culture, non-proliferation implementation of nuclear security lectures within a nuclear engineering curriculum, overview of experimental facilities and a tour of the TRIGA research reactor were given by Dr. Biegalski and NETL staff.
Dr. Sheldon Landsberger gave a 40 hour short course entitled "Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy and its Applications at Atomic Energy Canada Limited at Chalk River Laboratories" from January 13-17. Fundamentals of gamma ray spectroscopy and its applications in low level counting, neutron activation analysis, and environmental analyses with many examples were given to sixteen Chalk River employees. Some recent advances in gamma ray spectrometers and quality control procedures were also presented.
Dr. Sheldon Landsberger gave invited lectures at the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia from April 21-25. The short course was entitled Gamma-Spectrometry and Advances in Nuclear Methodologies in Low Level Gamma Ray Counting: Applications in Environmental Analysis. His Lectures covered fundamentals of gamma-ray spectroscopy, Compton suppression neutron activation analysis and source receptor modeling.
Harry Linder wins two awards at the ANS Student Conference at Penn for Best Paper in Fuel Cycle and Waste Management in the Graduate Student Category and Best Game App in the Innovation Track: App Design Contest. The paper was on his MS thesis: Return on Investment Analysis for Uranium Recovery from Seawater Using a Chitin Nanomat Based Absorbent. The Best Game App was a nuclear fuel cycle version of a town building game like Clash of Clans.
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.
Mechanical Engineering students James Kendrick (left) and Ryan Tipps (right) and Physics student Jay Joshi (center) are three undergraduate research assistants supported by a $15,000 gift from AREVA (www.areva.com) through the generosity of Dr. Finis Southworth, Chief Technology Officer in Lynchurg, Virginia and Paul Murray from AREVA Federal Services, in Charlotte, North Carolina. James is working with Dr. Steven Biegalski on monitoring used nuclear fuel, while Ryan Tipps is working with Dr. Erich Schneider on a study to show economics of natural gas on generation capacity in US over the medium to long term, and Jay is involved a policy project review of documentation from anti-nuclear groups with Dr. Sheldon Landsberger.
On the left is Captain Jacob Morton who has a two year educational leave of absence from Fort Hood, Texas. He will be working in health physics and nuclear instrumentation research for his MS and is fully paid for by the US Army. Jacob is a health physicist at Fort Hood. In the middle is Michael Yoho who was a Sargent and Infantry Team Leader in the US Army. Michael received the highest award from the University of Texas (Powers Fellowship) to be supported for his PhD work which is in nuclear forensics with Los Alamos National Lab. Michael graduated from Mechanical Engineering with a 3.94/4 GPA. Before attending University of Texas he served in Iraq for several years and was honorably discharged. On the right is Raymond Lane who served in the US Nuclear Navy for 13 years as an Engineer Watch Supervisor among his other duties. Raymond is currently working at the South Texas Project Electricity Generation Station (Nuclear Power Plant) in Bay City, Texas 75 miles south of Houston and is pursuing his MS degree as a distant learner.
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