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I want to go into research, but...
« on: Aug 15, 2006, 05:10 »
none of the schools in my state offer ANYTHING with a nuclear engineering degree. There's no way I can afford to go out of state unless I get some serious finacial aid, so I'm wondering, what should I do? I'm almost done with my sophmore year and currently working on a B.S. in mechanical engineering. My GPA is hovering at about a 3.9 (bunged one class in my first semester and it won't go away  >:( ) and I have a VA dependent's scholarship that will get me halfway through a masters if I stay in state. Is it realistic to get a master's in ME and try to get into research in the nuclear field? Fusion research has always been a huge dream of mine, and research in improving fission technology looks interesting too.

One of my thoughts has been to complete my B.S. in mechanical then try to get a fellowship or something and go to a school with a nuclear program. In my immediate area, Georgia Tech in Atlanta seems to be the best bet.

I would appreciate any advice in the matter, I'm really unsure of what to do, I don't have a lot of money to work with, and unless there is a lot of money out there for aspiring researchers in the field I'm pretty much stuck where I am. Thanks in advance, and sorry for the wall of text  :)

Offline Roll Tide

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Re: I want to go into research, but...
« Reply #1 on: Aug 16, 2006, 08:32 »
As long as you are in the Southeastern US (except NC), you can get in-state rates at any public school in the Southeastern US (except NC). Something called the Southern consortium of schools or something like that used ot exist; I think it is the Academic Common Market today.

Not that there is anything wrong with ME, but there are some good programs out there for Nuke.
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Re: I want to go into research, but...
« Reply #2 on: Aug 17, 2006, 11:29 »
There are usually some good openings for interns out west at PNNL. This is the website (I couldn't get it to link for some reason) check it out.....
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Re: I want to go into research, but...
« Reply #3 on: Sep 16, 2006, 03:36 »
This might help-

There is going to be such a shortage of people in the nuclear field just from normal attrition over the next few years... something is bound to be out there ...

Your best shot if you stay where you are may be to consider a dual major in physics...might be enough to get you in grad school for a full ride-you will just need to start contacting some colleges and see. A lot of universities are losing or merging nuclear programs (very common to merge with mechanical), so I do not know if that makes a big difference anyway.

Fusion is so out there right now, it really is not going to happen until we take a few more intermediate steps from a practical engineering perspective-I suspect your mechanical engineering degree will help do that. The cutting edge with regards to nuclear propulsion/power applications will probably be done by the military-the Navy in particular. Check out the NAVY/NASA partnership and VASIMR (oooo this baby should make your mouth water...):

The research part of the propulsion end is going on right now, but the power end reactor development has not started-the NAVY, I am sure, is looking at this as a possible power plant for naval propulsion (a direct energy conversion power plant...woo hoo no steam a bout a future reactor/electric sub?  They made the liquid metal reactors once...they would do it again if they could lose the steam plant and reduction gears...gotta love the Silent Service!)...well that is where I see a possible cutting edge for the future-this will probably happen before you ever see a fusion source developed.

Check this out if you are not drooling all over yourself by now:

« Last Edit: Sep 16, 2006, 03:53 by Beta_effect »


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