70 years of nuclear engineering

From the NC State College of Engineering Spring/Summer 2021 issue

Seventy years ago, when nuclear science was a secretive field, what was then called North Carolina State College began looking toward the future, becoming the first higher-education institution in the world to install a nuclear reactor and establish a curriculum on campus.

In the 2020-21 academic year, the Department of Nuclear Engineering is celebrating its 70th anniversary of the decision to start the program, and the 60th anniversary of the department, which was established in 1961. Today, the department focuses on a wide range of research topics, and its graduate program is ranked third by the U.S. News & World Report while its online master’s program is ranked first by Best Colleges Review. Its nuclear reactor is one of the most active in the U.S., used by international organizations, companies and students through an online simulator.

“That pioneering spirit is still very much here,” said Kostadin Ivanov, department head since 2015. “And the vision of the College of Engineering and Dean Louis Martin-Vega is a critical point in all of this success.”

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