Making a Successful Career in Nuclear Engineering?

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A somewhat challenging field, pursuing a career in nuclear engineering can be a great option. Read the following post to know more about nuclear engineering . Updated on 22.03.2017

Engineering as a discipline has broadened its scope and many new branches are becoming popular. Numerous new branches of engineering are also emerging today and one such popular one is nuclear engineering. As a branch, nuclear engineering mainly deals with principles of nuclear physics. The work of a nuclear engineer is typically concerned with nuclear power plants.

What is Nuclear Engineering?

The branch of engineering, which is concerned with fusion and fission of atomic nuclei, is termed as Nuclear Engineering. This is mainly based on the principles of nuclear physics and the application of sub-atomic physics. Nuclear fission also has sub-groups which come under this field of engineering.

Maintenance and interaction of nuclear weapons, nuclear power plants and nuclear reactors are also included in this field of study.

The problems of nuclear proliferation, radioactive waste disposal, nuclear safety, thermodynamics transport and nuclear radiation are all part of nuclear engineering.

A nuclear engineer generally works directly either with the nuclear power plants or with the national laboratories as researchers.

Courses and elements of nuclear Engineering

Nuclear engineering deals with a vast number of areas. So, its elements and courses are also varied. It can mainly be divided into three broad sections and students can specialize in any one.

The most important part is medical physics, which includes nuclear medicine. Radiation therapy, diagnosing imaging and health physics are also a part of medical physics. Students specializing in this sector also need to study how to control x-ray machines for MRI and PET. So, part of medical physics is also taught in the curricula of nuclear engineering.

The next important sector is to deal with nuclear fuel or nuclear material. Nuclear fuel is mainly a sub-branch of nuclear material. To study nuclear material you need to concentrate on its two sub-groups, namely nuclear fuel and modification of these materials inducing irradiation. To increase efficiency of the nuclear reactors, improvement of nuclear fuels is also very important. Studying irradiation effect has many purposes. It is used to study systemic changes of the components of a nuclear reactor. It also includes the study of minute modification of metals with the use of ion-beams.

Protection of radiation and radiation measurement is also another important region of nuclear engineering. Also termed as radiological radiation this is generally used to save people from the harmful ionizing radiation. Nuclear engineers are becoming more aware about the development of more effective ionizing radiation detection system. Along with that detector designing, measuring atomic and nuclear parameters, fabrication, analysis and radiation of imaging system are also a part of radiation measurement.

Eligibility and Colleges offering Nuclear Engineering

Numerous colleges are there outside and abroad India who offers Nuclear engineering courses. However, to take admission in such engineering colleges you need to clear either of the exams like JEE, GATE or AIEEE. Having a B.E degree is necessary for the students to be a successful nuclear engineer. To apply for a bachelor degree in college you need to have a bright career in your 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and English as your subjects. In some states of India students need to clear some typical exams arranged by those states.

The top Eight engineering institutions are

  1. Indian Institutes of Technology at Kanpur
  2. IIT Chennai.
  3. Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University
  4. Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics
  5. HomiBhaba National Institute.
  6. Jadavpur University
  7. Delhi University. 
  8. Many research institutes are also there who offers PhD degree.
Job prospects

Nuclear engineering can offer you some hot career options. A job is offered to candidates either a bachelor degree or masters’ degree. A nuclear engineer will find work opportunity either as an engineer at a nuclear power plant or a research fellow in some research institution. They can also have bright careers is academics as professors and lecturer in the nuclear engineering department of a top college. They can also work with numerous government as well as private organizations.

Future prospects

Career opportunities are ample with nuclear engineering and a nuclear engineer is also handsomely paid. Day by day people are becoming more aware about environment safety. More students are leaning towards this abstract group of engineering. As per SuhasSukhatme, former Chairman, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, Government of India, India has to go in for nuclear energy in a big way in the near future.

Renewable energy has to be invigorated to the maximum possible and there has to be a focus on the significance of nuclear energy to meet the country's necessity in the future. Students should be encouraged to develop a career in this field. With such scenarios in view it can be said that this field of engineering is sure to yield better results in future.