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UNLV Unveils Nuclear Engineering Certificate Program to Meet Industry Demands

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Program on nuclear safety is the first of its kind to offer dual credits toward completion of the certificate and a Master of Science in Materials and Nuclear Engineering.
Campus News  |  Jun 14, 2013  |  By UNLV Media Relations
Media Contact: Megan Downs, Office of Media Relations (702) 895-0898

The Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering has launched a graduate level nuclear safety engineering certificate program, the first of its kind in Nevada and one of only a handful offered in the country.

The Nuclear Criticality Safety Engineering (NCSE) Certificate program, funded through a $200,000 grant by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), was designed in response to predicted nuclear workforce skill demands and a recent industry study that indicated half of the nation's nuclear utility workforce would need to be replaced in the next five years. The program began offering courses this month.

Questions of nuclear safety continue to be a topic of major importance around the world, and the program will offer graduate credits for students to gain fundamental knowledge in skills for entering the nuclear industry and make them more attractive to potential employers.

"Achieving certification helps engineers fulfill important requirements to ensure the safety of facility operations, workers and the general public," said Charlotta Sanders, program coordinator for the certificate program and associate research professor of nuclear engineering. "It's truly a win-win all around."

The certification meets a host of requirements for the practicing Nuclear Criticality Safety Engineer, following U.S. Department of Energy guidelines, U.S. NRC regulation, and industry standards.

The graduate level courses can also be used toward a Master of Science degree in Materials and Nuclear Engineering. Professionals can also take these courses online as part of their continuing education.

The certificate program's four courses cover theory and application of standards, practices and regulatory requirements, criticality benchmark evaluations and criticality design calculations. The NCSE certificate-related courses are offered on a regular basis throughout the academic year. For more information, please go to

The next courses for the program will begin in the fall 2013 semester.