A nuclear engineer researches and develops the processes, instruments, and systems used to get benefits from nuclear energy and radiation. Many of these engineers find industrial and medical uses for radioactive materials—for example, in equipment used in medical diagnosis and treatment.
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A nuclear engineer will typically do the following:
Nuclear engineers are also on the forefront of developing uses of nuclear material for medical imaging devices, such as positron emission tomography (PET) scanners. They also may develop or design cyclotrons that produce a high-energy beam that the healthcare industry uses to treat cancerous tumors.
Nuclear engineers typically work in offices. However, their work setting varies with the industry in which they are employed; for example, those employed in power generation and supply work in power plants.
Nuclear engineers use mathematics and science to develop economical solutions to technical problems. Their work brings commercial applications and scientific discoveries together to meet consumer and social needs.
Considerable preparation is needed for candidates going into this field. Engineers derive economical solutions to technical problems by applying scientific and mathematical principles.
For more than 15 years, nuclear engineer Sarah Kovaleski has worked in an industry where there are nine men to every woman. She explains how she became a leader in her field – and that belonging can mean being different.
Nuclear engineers research and develop the processes, instruments, and systems used to derive benefits from nuclear energy and radiation.
If you want to become a nuclear engineer, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a nuclear engineer.
For this instalment, we interviewed Jack Gamble. Jack’s a nuclear system engineer. Many thanks to Jack and his green-glowing fingers for typing us out these answers.