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Master of Science in Materials and Nuclear Engineering

Master of Science in Materials and Nuclear Engineering (M.S.M.N.E.) is intended to provide the student with a solid background in either applied nuclear science and engineering, with an emphasis in used fuel management, criticality, or radiation detection, or material science and engineering, with an emphasis in materials performance. The program consists of two master’s degree tracks: Materials Engineering and Nuclear Engineering. The materials engineering track consists of a core curriculum in material science, metallurgy, and materials performance, which is to be augmented by advanced level classes in corrosion engineering, physical metallurgy, mechanical metallurgy, mechanics of materials, and nuclear materials. The nuclear engineering track consists of a core curriculum in applied nuclear science and engineering, coupled with advanced classes in the student’s sub-discipline.

Learning Objectives

M.S.M.N.E. Non-Thesis Track

The M.S.M.N.E. non-thesis track strives to provide a learning centered environment where accomplished faculty share their experience and knowledge with students so that graduates of the program can:

  1. Demonstrate a advanced technical knowledge of state-of-the-art and evolving areas associated with  the mechanical engineering field so that they can lead and direct engineering and scientific industry teams in their chosen field of study.
  2. The ability to solve open-ended design problems.
Outcomes

Graduates of the program will demonstrate a strong technical knowledge in chosen mechanical engineering field by passing a comprehensive exam or a design project in the student's major area of study near the completion of the degree program.

Assessment
  1. Comprehensive exam/design project
  2. Track graduates career shortly after graduation
Requirement

Requires 33 credits of approved graduate courses. At least 18 credits must be earned from 700-level courses, of which 15 credits must be in engineering. To complete the Non-Thesis option, students must also successfully complete the Design Project course (ME 796-Design Project in Mechanical Engineering) or pass a comprehensive written and oral exit exam before receiving their degree. For the detailed degree requirement refer to the Graduate Catalog.

M.S.M.N.E. Thesis Track

The M.S.M.N.E. thesis track strives to provide a learning centered environment where accomplished faculty share their experience and knowledge with students so that graduates of the program can:

  1. Demonstrate a advanced technical knowledge of state-of-the-art and evolving areas associated with  the mechanical engineering field so that they can lead and direct engineering and scientific industry teams in their chosen field of study.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to work creatively and independently on research topics.
Outcomes

Graduates of the program will:

  1. Demonstrate a strong technical knowledge in chosen mechanical engineering field by successfully completing course work and integrating knowledge learned in their course work into a thesis.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to learn independently by completing a creative or research project and reporting on this activity in a thesis which should include:
    • A hypothesis (or hypotheses)
    • A set of objectives and goals
    • A critical literature review
    • A theoretical, experimental and/or modeling study
    • A conclusion
  3. Demonstrate the ability to communicate technical information both orally and in writing at an acceptable level of proficiency.

Assessment

  1. MS thesis
  2. Thesis defense (oral exam)
  3. Track graduates career shortly after graduation
Requirement

Requires 33 credits of approved graduate courses. At least 18 credits must be earned from 700-level courses, of which 15 credits must be in engineering. To complete the Non-Thesis option, students must also successfully complete the Design Project course (ME 796-Design Project in Mechanical Engineering) or pass a comprehensive written and oral exit exam before receiving their degree. For the detailed degree requirement refer to the Graduate Catalog.

Career Possibilities

Nuclear engineers research and develop the processes, instruments, and systems used to derive benefits from nuclear energy and radiation. They design, develop, monitor, and operate nuclear plants used to generate power. They may work on the nuclear fuel cycle, the production, handling, and use of nuclear fuel and the safe disposal of waste produced by nuclear energy. Some specialize in the development of nuclear power sources; others find industrial and medical uses for radioactive materials, such as equipment to diagnose and treat medical problems.

About a half of nuclear engineers work for utility companies, and the rest in engineering consulting firms and Federal Government. More than half of all federally employed nuclear engineers are civilian employees of the Navy, and most of the rest worked for the Department of Energy. Some worked for defense manufacturers or manufacturers of nuclear power equipment.