Nuclear engineering focuses on the methods, devices, and systems required for the peaceful use of nuclear technology.
Rensselaer launched its plan for NE research in the late 1950s when the Atomic Energy Commission funded a project to construct a linear electron accelerator in 1958. The NE Department was officially formed in 1960 and is one of the oldest such programs in the U.S. The construction of the accelerator facility was completed in 1961 and the facility would soon be named after Professor Gaerttner who was instrumental in establishing NE at Rensselaer and who served as NE’s first departmental head. Within a few years, the NE Department at Rensselaer awarded its first PhD degrees and then B.S. degrees.
At Rensselaer, concentrations are available in fission reactor physics, reactor engineering, health physics, thermal-hydraulics, reliability and safety, and fusion engineering. Boasting unique and state-of-the-art research facilities, Rensselaer students have access to a critical reactor, a large electron accelerator, and modern computer interfacing technology. With today's need for inexpensive sources of energy, Rensselaer nuclear engineering graduates are in great demand for positions in industry or graduate study. Additionally, there are exciting possibilities in space power propulsion, fusion reactor engineering, medicine, and national defense.
RPI's nuclear engineering program is one of the programs in the U.S. that are qualified for DOE scholarships ($5,000 one year for students entering their sophomore, junior, or senior year of undergraduate study) and fellowships ($50,000 a year over three years for graduate students). Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.