Why nuclear engineering?
Nuclear energy provides nearly 20 percent of the country’s electricity. It’s also the No. 1 source of emission-free electricity because it doesn’t produce greenhouse gases.
Nuclear engineers are in high demand. The construction of new nuclear power plants, the continued license renewal for existing reactors and the retirement of much of existing work force have prompted an unprecedented recruitment effort throughout the nuclear industry.
Dominion’s nuclear stations provide about a third of Virginia’s power. With headquarters in Richmond, Va., the company serves as a leader in providing safe, reliable nuclear-generated electricity.
VCU offers the most comprehensive nuclear engineering program in the state. In partnership with Dominion and with funding from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the VCU School of Engineering offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the field of nuclear engineering.
Nuclear engineering at VCU
The new VCU nuclear engineering program was the university’s response to the industry demand for qualified nuclear professionals in Virginia. The first nuclear courses were offered in the fall of 2007, and the first class of undergraduate students enrolled in a new nuclear engineering major concentration within mechanical engineering in the fall of 2009. Simultaneously, a new nuclear engineering Ph.D. concentration was developed.
Currently, approximately 65 new students are enrolled in the undergraduate nuclear engineering track and approximately 25 graduate students are enrolled in the new nuclear engineering M.S. and Ph.D. programs.
The first class students receiving an M.S. degree with a concentration in nuclear engineering graduated in December 2010, and the first undergraduate class graduated in May 2012.