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Working Across Disciplines

Our faculty bring expertise and experience from a variety of industries and academic programs. Their research interests include nuclear reactor design, computational nuclear reactor theory, and radioactive waste management.

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The NETL reactor, designed by General Atomics, is a TRIGA Mark II nuclear research reactor. The NETL is the newest of the current fleet of U.S. university reactors.

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The Nuclear and Applied Robotics Group is an interdisciplinary research group whose mission is to develop and deploy advanced robotics in hazardous environments in order to minimize risk for the human operator.

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August 30, 2016

Christina Petlowany Joins the Nuclear and Applied Robotics Program

September 07, 2017
headshot of Christian Petlowany

Christina Petlowany, a Cockrell School graduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has received a three-year fellowship from the Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Engineering University Program.

This year, the program awarded fellowships to only 31 graduate students in nuclear science or engineering programs across 83 different universities in the nation. In addition, Christina has become the 7th Cockrell graduate student to receive this award. As a fellowship recipient, Christina will be granted monetary support to help fund her graduate studies and research. The fellowship also includes a summer internship at a national lab in which she will work closely with the DOE’s nuclear energy research program.

Christina has joined the Nuclear and Applied Robotics program (

August 30, 2016

Jay Joshi Receives Fellowship

September 06, 2017
headshot of Jay Joshi

Congratulations to Jay Joshi at University of Texas at Austin on his appointment to the Nuclear Nonproliferation International Safeguards Graduate Fellowship Program. Jay was only one of three graduate students to receive this award. This fellowship provides financial support for exceptional students pursuing technical doctoral research relevant to the field of international safeguards. Participating universities foster partnerships between science/engineering programs and programs focused on nuclear nonproliferation and safeguards policy. Armed with both deep technical expertise and policy understanding, NNIS Fellows are primed to take on the exciting and challenging work of international nuclear safeguards. (

August 30, 2016

Mikaela Blood Presenting a Poster at Oak Ridge National Lab on Her Summer Work in Nuclear Forensics

September 05, 2017
Mikaela Blood standing next to poster presentation

Internships play a vital role in the Nuclear and Radiation Engineering program in giving both “real-life” experience and connections for future employment. In the summer of 2017 many undergraduate and graduate students had internships at national labs and industry including Los Alamos National Lab, Sandia National Lab, Oak Ridge National Lab, Open Source Robotics Foundation, Kairos Power, GE Hitachi and Southern Company. As well several undergraduate students were employed by the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab.

August 30, 2016

Dr. Derek Haas and Dr. Sheldon Landsberger Receive Grant

September 04, 2017
headshot of Derek Haas

Dr. Derek Haas (Principal Investigator) and Dr. Sheldon Landsberger (co-Principal Investigator) received the Department of Homeland Security grant in nuclear forensics. Nuclear forensic science, also known as nuclear forensics, is the scientific examination of nuclear or other radioactive material or evidence contaminated with radioactive material in the context of legal proceedings or national security. Unlike forensics examinations for a crime scene, there is no equivalent of a “fingerprint” in nuclear forensics. However, there are clues within the nuclear or other radioactive material that may provide information about the origin or processing of the material. With such information, nuclear forensics helps the investigation link materials, people, places, and events. One type of a material clue is radioactive isotopes. We will be working on the understanding the intricate details about changes that these radioactive isotopes undergo during a nuclear explosion, which will provide insights about the types of materials used. Such nuclear forensics conclusions about materials provides a technical basis for decisions made by national leadership following a nuclear event. Equal to the research objective is the educational objective to train the next generation of students in nuclear engineering, physics, and chemistry – skills that are necessary in nuclear forensics. This project will support two PhD students, Marjolein Pasman and Brandon De Luna, and one undergraduate student. The students will be involved in all aspects of the research at UT-Austin and will also work summer internships at the Air Force Technical Applications Center in Florida where they will learn first-hand from the scientists on the front lines of nuclear forensics. Dr. Haas has explained this grant in a new item. Learn more on the KXAN news website.

August 30, 2016

Students Receive Nuclear Regulatory Commission Reactor Operators Licenses

September 01, 2017
close-up view of nuclear reactor

Congratulations to undergraduate students Isaac Kravitz and Walker Payne who received their Nuclear Regulatory Commission Reactor Operators license. The Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab continues to provide opportunities for students seeking experience in reactor operations. This fall we have five students being trained.

August 30, 2016

Christine Johnson Joins Pacific Northwest National Lab

August 31, 2017
headshot of Christine Johnson

Congratulations to Christine Johnson PhD (Fall 2016) who accepted a position at Pacific Northwest National Lab as a post-doctoral fellow in nuclear forensics.

August 30, 2016

Students Attain Post-Doctoral Fellow Positions

August 30, 2017
headshot of Margaret Byers headshot of Cem Bagdatlioglu

Congratulations Margaret Byers (PhD summer 2017) and Cem Bagdatlioglu (PhD Summer 2017) have attained post-doctoral fellow positions in the Nuclear and Radiation Engineering.

August 30, 2016

YWCA Recognizes Clarice Phelps

August 29, 2017
photo of Clarice Phelps

Congratulations to Clarice Phelps a distant learning student from Oak Ridge National Lab for being recognized by the YWCA Tribute to Women Finalists in Technology, Research and Innovation.

August 30, 2016

Dr. Sheldon Landsberger Teaches Radiochemistry Course in Canada

August 28, 2017
headshot of Sheldon Landsberger

Dr. Sheldon Landsberger gave a one week course in Radiochemistry for seven staff members in Pt. Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station in New Brunswick Canada ( Commissioned in 1983, the 660 MW unit, was the first CANDU-6 to begin commercial operation. Course content include basic radiochemistry, gamma-ray spectroscopy and statistics.

August 30, 2016

Study Abroad at University of Ferrara 2017

August 25, 2017
group of students and Dr. Landsberger wearing hard hats

For the 6th consecutive time Dr. Landsberger has led a Maymester Study abroad program giving the undergraduate course “Concepts in Nuclear and Radiation Engineering”. In 2017 thirteen students from the Cockrell School of Engineering, including six and one Teaching Assistant from Mechanical Engineering , and three from the College of Natural Science attended the University of Ferrara for one month. Included in the course work and four laboratory sessions were special lectures given by invited professors and two trips to the research reactor in Pavia and the world famous underground physics laboratory in Gran Sasso. In the picture Dr. Landsberger is with the seven ME students.

student wearing safety goggles working on project

UT student Richard Lara during his second summer as an intern at Argonne National Lab  working on a pulse millimeter wave project.