In September of 2002 South Carolina State University (SC State University) in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UWM) received approval by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education to offer a Bachelors of Science Degree in Nuclear Engineering. This agreement was unique in its approach and the first of its kind at the beginning of the nuclear renaissance. This agreement was initiated because of the need to expand the inclusion of minorities in all levels of nuclear energy, research, development, and production. Currently, the Nuclear Engineering Program (NEP) is in partnership with both North Carolina State University (NC State) and the UWM. Under these agreements, students in the nuclear engineering program complete the second half of their senior year at either the UWM or NC State University in order to meet all requirements to obtain the Bachelors of Science Degree in Nuclear Engineering (conferred by SC State University).
The program began with five (5) students and grew to over 55 students (at present). As of May 2013, the NEP has awarded 27 Bachelor of Science degrees in Nuclear Engineering. Due to its success, SC State Nuclear Engineering Program achieved Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET accreditation in 2008 (retroactive to 2005). It is the only Undergraduate Nuclear Engineering program in the state of South Carolina. The program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET; http://www.abet.org, and it is the only Nuclear Engineering program at an HBCU.
The SC State Nuclear Engineering Program has attracted and retains a permanent and highly qualified faculty capable of teaching all of the Nuclear Engineering courses offered at SC State and our partnering institutions (UWM & NC State). The Program has a permanent core faculty consisting of three Ph.D.s, all of which are in Nuclear Engineering. The permanent faculty brings over 40 years of combined teaching and training experience and over 40 combined years of industrial experience.
- The SC State Nuclear Engineering Program constructed and operates a highly acclaimed, state-of-the-art Radiation Science teaching laboratory.
- The SC State Nuclear Engineering Program constructed a state-of-the-art Environmental Radiochemistry laboratory.
- The SC State Nuclear Engineering Program has formed partnerships with industry and federal agencies for scholarships and research support.
- The Nuclear Engineering Program attracts distinguished and prominent guest nuclear engineers, including two presidents of the American Nuclear Society, an Under-secretary and Associate Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy, and a Commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
- The SC State Nuclear Engineering Program has established recognized outreach programs (Summer Nuclear Science Institutes) for high school students and guidance counselors in the Southeast region. The success of this program recruited students to SC State within STEM and other disciplines. To date, we have had over 100 student participants in the Institutes (from 2008-2012). Out of the 30+ student participants that are currently enrolled at a College or University, 10 participants are currently enrolled at SC State University.
Nuclear Engineering Program Mission
The mission of the Nuclear Engineering program which supports the mission of the University and the College is to produce engineers who are highly skilled, competent and well prepared in the fields of Nuclear and Radiological Engineering, to enter professional careers in the public and private sectors and pursue degrees beyond the baccalaureate level in professional or graduate school.
Program Educational Objectives
- To educate nuclear engineers who are highly sought after in nuclear and related fields.
- To educate nuclear engineers who can advance to graduate studies.
- To train graduates who have the communication and problem-solving skills to succeed as professionals in any environment (as individuals in groups or in leadership positions).
- To produce graduates who are aware of the impact of their activities as engineers in the realm of ethical, environmental, societal, legal and global concerns.
Nuclear engineers harness the power of the atom to benefit humankind. They search for efficient ways to capture and put to beneficial use those tiny natural bursts of energy from a disintegrating atom. As a nuclear engineer, you may be challenged by problems in consumer and industrial power, space exploration, water supply, food supply environment and pollution, health, and transportation. Participation in these broad areas may carry you into many exciting and challenging careers. These may include the interaction of radiation with matter, radiation measurements, radioisotope production and use, reactor engineering, and fusion reactors and materials.
As a nuclear engineer, you may…
- Develop designs for nuclear plants for electric power and ships.
- Apply radiation in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
- Develop ways to use radiation to produce and preserve food supplies.
- Operate and support nuclear energy systems to reduce environmental pollution from fossil fuels.
- Develop power plants to power satellites and deep space probes.
- Develop and apply regulations to ensure safety in handling radiation sources and operating nuclear systems.