Outreach

The NETL is happy to host tours of the reactor facility and has hosted many groups over the years.  Other universities, like San Angelo State, University of Texas at Arlington, and Southwestern University send classes on a regular basis.  We have hosted a number of local tour groups like Boy Scout troops and home school organizations on a repeat basis.  Local high schools have taken advantage of our facility to educate their students on nuclear research, and UT's Honors Colloquium summer program for academically talented high school Texans includes our tour on its agenda for each year.  We’ve been honored to host international organizations as well, including oil executives from China and Brazil.  Having people tour our facility and learn more about nuclear research is an excellent way for us to promote the discipline and foster understanding of nuclear science and its many applications.

Westlake High School has a formal student-mentor program. The NETL recently provided a mentor and guidance for a project to evaluate whether water samples from the Austin area aquifers have individual, unique trace element components (as determined by neutron activation analysis).

The NETL provides nuclear experience, training and education for personnel from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission who have responsibilities related to research and test reactors.

In recent years, the NETL  has established a strong educational collaboration with the Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Ingenieurs de Caen(ENSICAEN), France.  Undergraduate students at ENSICAEN are required to have an internship outside of France. While many of the students stay in neighboring European countries, others have chosen the United States.  The students are mainly involved in neutron activation analysis experiments.

Neutron activation analysis (NAA) remains an excellent technique to introduce undergraduate students to nuclear science and engineering coming from different academic areas. The NAA methods encompass an appreciation of basic reactor engineering concepts, radiation safety, nuclear instrumentation and data analysis. At the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab at the University of Texas at Austin, we have continued to provide opportunities through outreach programs to Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas Southern University in Houston and Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, all Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  Dr. Landsberger has an HBCU funded grant through the Office of naval Research to support such activities.  The cornerstone of this program is to secure a relationship with each institution through clear educational and research objectives and goals.

"The student chapter of the American Nuclear Society at the University of Texas participated in the 2011 and 2012 UT Merit Badge University, an annual gathering of local Boy Scouts troops working with the UT community to earn merit badges in a variety of topics.  Members of UT ANS, some of whom are graduate research assistants at the NETL, taught classes that helped approximately three hundred Scouts earn their Nuclear Science Merit Badges through lectures and hands-on activities demonstrating the fundamentals of nuclear radiation, radiation safety, and applications of radiation in nuclear power production, industry, nuclear medicine, and fundamental scientific research."  The NETL also hosts Boy Scout troop tours as part of the merit badge process in nuclear energy.