Brian Woods
Brian Woods

Welcome to the School of Nuclear Science and Engineering!

The internationally recognized faculty and staff at the School of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) balance compelling experimental and theoretical research and computer-based modeling and simulation with a fierce dedication to student education, growth, and success. 

With an annual research budget of over $8 million, 25,000 square feet of dedicated lab space, and our 1.1 megawatt TRIGA reactor, we support research in several signature areas, including reactor design, radiation detection, nuclear materials development, nuclear fuels, and health physics, to name a few. 

NSE’s inclusive culture of diversity and collaboration translates regularly to discoveries that have a real impact on science, industry, and society. For example, NSE researchers played a vital role in gaining regulatory approval for an advanced light-water reactor, several of which are operational or under construction. 

More recently, the NuScale small modular reactor, whose original concept was developed at NSE, represents a breakthrough in nuclear technology. It’s exceptionally safe, reliable, and less expensive to build and operate than other reactors. Modules can be operated individually or linked to deliver as much carbon-free power as necessary, wherever they’re needed. In 2020, the groundbreaking design was certified by the federal government. 

Reactor design is just one of our many strengths. Our people have contributed to nuclear safety, national security, and nonproliferation. We protect the environment by finding safe solutions for nuclear waste recycling and storage. We develop radiation-resistant materials for myriad applications. A team of our researchers opened a production bottleneck for a life-saving radioisotope used by thousands every day. And students always play an integral part in our progress. 

NSE offers ABET-accredited undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs in nuclear engineering and radiation health physics. The masters of radiation health physics is also offered online. Our exceptionally high faculty-to-student ratio ensures students a rewarding and successful experience designed to provide them with the practical and professional skills they’ll need to succeed in their chosen careers. 

Graduate students have numerous options to participate in meaningful research on campus and with research partners such as Idaho National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, NuScale Power, and the Department of Energy. Many raise their profiles by presenting at professional conferences and publishing in peer-reviewed journals. We also pride ourselves on abundant opportunities for undergraduates to participate in impactful, hands-on research led by faculty and graduate students and through internships. 

I’m proud to say that our graduates are highly sought because of both their outstanding technical aptitude and because they have performed under professional standards as rigorous as those in the workplace. 

From every angle, the future looks bright for the School of Nuclear Science and Engineering. We constantly aim to give students the best possible experiences and provide them with the tools to succeed in the academic and professional worlds, whatever their goals might be.

Brian Woods 
Head of the School of Nuclear Science and Engineering
Henry W. and Janice J. Schuette Chair in Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics