The State of South Carolina has significant involvement in the nuclear industry. Some 56% of South Carolina’s electric power generation comes from nuclear power. Within a 120 mile radius of the State’s capital city of Columbia, eleven large commercial nuclear power plants provide more than 10% of the nation’s nuclear generated electricity. One of the world’s largest commercial nuclear fuel fabrication facilities is located just a few miles south of Columbia. In the western part of the state just ninety miles from Columbia is a large US government nuclear complex at the Savannah River National Lab Site. Adjacent to the Savannah River Site is a low level
nuclear waste site at Barnwell. In the southern part of the state, is the Navy Nuclear Power School located in Charleston. Because of this industry, there is considerable demand for nuclear engineers in South Carolina. With projected growth in the future, the demand for qualified nuclear engineers will be unprecedented.
The field of nuclear engineering, and in particular, nuclear electric power generation, is experiencing a rebirth. Reliable and affordable electricity is the backbone of the nation’s economy and national security. The US Government has issued a National Energy Policy in which it is currently projecting an increase of nuclear generating capacity of 60,000 megawatts by the year 2020 in order to maintain diversity in the national energy portfolio. This translates to approximately five new large nuclear plants a year being brought on line starting in the year 2010. To maintain this schedule, ordering of new plants must commence during the year 2003. Additionally, the US Department of Energy is endorsing nuclear power
as the preferred energy source for hydrogen production, which is the clean combustible fuel of the future particularly for the automotive industry. To support this growth, the US Congress has under consideration a call for the revitalization of the nuclear power infrastructure in this country. Not only is Congress concerned about the increased energy production, but so is the electric power industry at large.
About the Nuclear Engineering Graduate Program
Studies carried out by the Nuclear Engineering Department Heads Organization (NEDHO) have shown a major imbalance between the number of nuclear engineering students and the positions available. For the BS/MS level the projected supply of graduating students for 2003 was 174 versus 642. To counter this shortage, the federal government is undertaking extensive programs to support graduate students in the nuclear field.
Applicants to the graduate program in Nuclear Engineering are expected to have a baccalaureate degree in engineering, computer science, or physics with at least a 3.00 GPA. Students from non-ABET accredited programs are required to take the GRE. Applicants to all degree programs should visit the Graduate School’s website for more information on admission requirements (http://www.gradschool.sc.edu/).
All graduate nuclear engineering courses will be made available through the University of South Carolina Distance Learning Program called APOGEE (A Program Of Graduate Engineering Education). Students who have full time employment and/or live some distance from the University campus, will be able to access all video streamed course material at any time, and at any place through the internet; for those who prefer, video tapes will also be available.
Students who wish to take selected courses, either as a part of a professional development program, or for graduate credit at a later date, may enroll in Nuclear Engineering courses as non-degree students.
Nuclear Engineering is a program offered through USC's Mechanical Engineering Department. Degrees offered through our ME program are: M.E., M.S. and Ph.D.
For both the Master of Science and Master of Engineering degrees, a specified list of courses constitute a required core (in addition to elective courses) sufficient to give a total of 24 hours for the Master of Science degree and 30 hours for the Master of Engineering. Students working toward the MS degree will also take six hours of thesis preparation leading to a master’s thesis.
Students working toward the Doctoral degree will take a minimum of 18 hours of graduate courses beyond the master’s degree and 12 hours of dissertation preparation leading to a dissertation based on independent research.
For more Information
To learn more about graduate Nuclear engineering study at the University of South Carolina, click to e-mail Dr. Travis W. Knight (firstname.lastname@example.org), Dr. Djamel Kaoumi (email@example.com) or Dr. Jamil Khan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 803.777.4185