Nuclear engineers research and develop the processes, instruments, and systems for national laboratories, private industry, and universities that derive benefits from nuclear energy and radiation for society. They devise how to use radioactive materials in manufacturing, agriculture, medicine, power generation, and many other ways.
Many nuclear engineers design, develop, monitor, and operate nuclear plants used to generate power. They may work on the nuclear fuel cycle -- the production, handling, and use of nuclear fuel and the safe disposal of waste produced by the generation of nuclear energy. Others research the production of fusion energy. Some specialize in the development of power sources for spacecraft that use radioactive materials. Others develop and maintain the nuclear imaging technology used to diagnose and treat medical problems.
More detailed information about Nuclear Engineering is available on the Career Cornerstone Center's Nuclear Engineering site.
Career Guidance Suggestions for Pre-University Students Pre-University students should take as many math and science courses as possible, both during school and as part of after-school programs. Students aged 5-9 should do additional math, puzzles, and building or design projects. Students aged 9-12 should take extra math, and if inspired, explore pre-algebra and geometry. Students aged 12-18 might consider taking advanced algebra, chemistry, calculus, geometry, trigonometry, physics, building, design, and engineering concept courses.
There are also several lessons and activities, and projects and competitions that can help provide students with an interest in engineering first hand exposure to electrical engineering principals. Students who implement these activities and participate in projects or competitions have a better understanding of engineering and its impact on society. They'll be better able to determine if engineering is the career path for them by sharing their interest with other students, and experiencing hands-on applications of engineering. Summer programs and internships are another great way for students at the pre-university level to explore engineering.