Oregon State University

Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics


Nuclear Engineering

Nuclear engineering prepares you to utilize the energy of the atom for a variety of 
applications. Nuclear and thermo-fluid physics are used in the design, operation, and safety 
of nuclear power systems. Nuclear engineers perform research and develop new reactor 
designs, advanced computational techniques, nuclear fuel recycling and management 
strategies, and radioisotope technologies for use in medicine and industry. The curriculum 
includes research and training using OSU’s 1 Megawatt nuclear reactor. 
 What Nuclear Engineers do… 
  • Design safer nuclear power plants for electricity production
  • Design nuclear power systems for satellites and deep space exploration
  • Design advanced nuclear reactors for hydrogen production
  • Design methods for nuclear fuel recycling
  • Use radiation to explore the structure and dynamics of materials 

Radiation Health Physics

Radiation health physics is an integrated study of the physical aspects of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, their biological effects, and the methods used to protect people and their environment from radiation hazards while enabling beneficial uses of radiation and radioactive material. A pre-medicine option in radiation health physics allows you to complete the entrance requirements for most medical schools.

What Radiation Health Physicists do...

  • Develop programs to protect people from excess radiation exposure
  • Manage radiation safety at nuclear plants and hospitals
  • Design radiation shields for industrial and medical applications
  • Design and use sophisticated radiation detection systems
  • Study the effects of radiation on biological and environmental systems


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