The University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering

SNEI Curriculum

The curriculum is designed around the 1.1 Megawatt TRIGA research reactor, health physics instrumentation and other experimental facilities maintained at the UT-Austin Nuclear Engineering Teaching Laboratory (NETL). The strong practical and experimental component of the Institute curriculum will be complemented by classroom lectures providing a sound grounding in the fundamentals of health physics, nuclear reactor physics and nuclear systems engineering.

The schedule for the Institute is as follows:

Students Arrive Tuesday, July 5 , 2011
Institute: Weeks 1 and 2, Health Physics
Wednesday July 6 - Tuesday July 19
Field Trip to Nuclear Power Plant Wednesday July 20
Institute: Weeks 3 and 4, Reactor Engineering
Thursday July 21 - Wednesday August 3
Graduation Social Event, Students Depart By August 4, 2011
 

Weeks 1 and 2, Health Physics

Students in labThe first two week module, Health Physics: Theoretical Aspects and Applications and Health Physics Instrumentation Laboratory, is taught with the supposition that the undergraduate students have little background in this area.

The two week course in health physics is divided into two distinct fractions. The morning session will incorporate 3 fifty minute lectures on the basics of health physics. There will be a total of four lecture days each week with a grand total of 24 lectures. At the end of each week there will be a short exam.

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Weeks 3 and 4, Reactor Engineering

IMG_0329The second two week module, Nuclear Reactor Engineering, will also be taught under the assumption that the students have no special background knowledge of reactors. Therefore, the students will be exposed to the basic physical and engineering concepts of nuclear reactor design and operation with only the appropriate university-level mathematics background assumed.

The morning session, Theoretical Aspects of Reactor Engineering, will incorporate two one hour and fifteen minute lectures separated by a fifteen minute break, with a short exam at the conclusion of Week 1 and a longer exam at the end of the module. The afternoon Reactor Laboratory will feature eight hands-on experiments using the UT TRIGA Mark II reactor. Here are the topics to be covered each day.

 

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Power Plant Field Trip

The 2009 and 2010 groups traveled to the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant. In 2011 we will again hold a field trip to one of the two commercial nuclear power plants in Texas, Comanche Peak or South Texas Project. The trip will likely take place on Wednesday, July 20.  The staff at the plant will give us an excellent four hour tour featuring the steam systems, generators, turbines, pumps, cooling pools, and other engineering highlights.  The guides will make a presentation describing employment at a nuclear power plant and even help you take the first step in the recruitment process.

 

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