The University of Texas at El Paso Nuclear Engineering Workforce Program (NEWP) was awarded a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to develop the workforce needed for the design, construction, operation and regulation of nuclear facilities and the safe handling of nuclear materials.
The grant will provide scholarships of up to $10,000 per year to a cohort of undergraduate students. These students will have the opportunity to participate in a multi-faceted program that will prepare them for careers in the nuclear industry. The program includes nuclear engineering courses, as well as learning and research experiences at UTEP and nuclear energy-related facilities.
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Calvin M. Stewart, Ph.D., leads the program as the grant’s principal investigator, along with co-PI’s Omar Cedillos, Ph.D.; Norman Love, Ph.D.; and Yirong Lin, Ph.D., who are also associate professors in mechanical engineering. The management team includes UTEP, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Kansas City Nuclear Security Campus, and Sandia National Laboratories. Research will be conducted at UTEP and U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) facilities across the country.
“The NEWP program provides students with knowledge and hands-on interactions with the disruptive technologies that will give them a competitive edge in the nuclear workforce,” Stewart said. “It is our opportunity to build a nuclear science and engineering program at UTEP and meet the workforce need in this important area of engineering.”
The NEWP training can be applied to both civilian and military applications of nuclear power. Students can become operators at one of the 98 licensed nuclear power plants operating in the United States. Students can work for the NNSA, which has a mission to maintain the nuclear stockpile, prevent nuclear weapon proliferation, counterterrorism, and power the nuclear navy. Students could also become a U.S. Navy nuclear officer via the Navy Nuclear Propulsion program.
The NEWP program is actively recruiting undergraduate junior and senior students for the fall 2019 semester. Students who are interested should contact Stewart, the NEWP program director, at email@example.com.
Students will be offered the opportunity to conduct research on campus with the Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSETR) faculty and participate in summer internships with the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, National Laboratories such as Sandia and Los Alamos, and nuclear power plants.