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NE 170B

Course Title: 
Nuclear Design: Design in Bio-Nuclear, Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Therapy
Course Units: 
Catalog Description: 
  • A systems approach to the development of procedures for nuclear medicine and radiation therapy. Each semester a specific procedure will be studied and will entail the development of the biological and physiological basis for a procedure, the chemical and biochemical characteristics of appropriate drugs, dosimetric requirements and limitations, the production and distribution of radionuclides and/or radiation fields to be applied, and the characteristics of the instrumentation to be used.
Prerequisite Knowledge and/or Skills: 
  • NE 170A/B is a "capstone" design course requiring students to integrate the knowledge obtained in their undergraduate courses into a comprehensive design experience. This course is best taken after completing the remaining undergraduate Nuclear Engineering requirements. Students who took 170B are not allowed to take 170A, or vice versa.
Course Objectives: 
  • NE 170A/B is markedly different from other undergraduate courses in that the instructor acts more as a coach than a teacher. Sketching some broad design parameters of a system that presents real-life engineering issues, that will include health, safety, environmental, and other dimensions, the instructor sherpherds the students through a comprehensive design experience. Students must take charge of their own learning, using the instructor as a consultant and resource to point them in the right direction when they "get stuck.' It is the instructor's objective to create an environment in which students can work in teams to both meet design requirements and gain confidence in their abilities and leadership skills in solving large, complex, open-ended projects.
Course Outcomes: 

I.  Concept development

  • Make a written proposal for the project.
    • Set up a design goal.
    • Identify design parameters of the system and sketch the performance of the proposed system.
  • Establish quantitative models that show the performance of the system, by taking charge of their own learning, and analyze the system performance quantitatively.
  • Identify multiple design constraints in the project, and develop an optimized solution or solutions.

II.  Feedback and Improvement

  • Modify the preliminary design to
    • optimize the performance of the system
    • make the system comply with applicable regulatory requirements.

III.  Demonstration, Presentation and Reporting

  • Make a prototype of the system to demonstrate that the design is feasible.
  • Prepare a written final design report and oral presentation of the report.
  • Participate in an academic conference such as a student design competition hosted by the American Nuclear Society.
Topics Covered: 

Actual nuclear system design involving:

  • Radioactive waste management: safety (radiological, criticality), waste treatment (solidification, transportation), waste disposal (geologic repository).
  • Applications of radiations and radionuclides; medical purposes, safeguards.
Textbook(s) and/or Other Required Materials: 
  • None.
  • Undergraduate textbooks from other NE courses should be the first source of references.
Class/Laboratory Schedule: 
  • Students perform their design project by a team. They meet regularly (e.g. once per week) with faculty supervisor to give a progress report, obtain advice and discuss design issues.
Contribution of Course to Meeting the Professional Component: 
  • This course contributes primarily to the students' knowledge of engineering topics, and does provide design experience.
  • Since NE170A/B is a comprehensive design project, it implicity contains elements of economic, environmental, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, sustainability considerations. Some projects could contain elements of political and societal considerations.
Relationship of Course to Degree Program Objectives: 
  • This course primarily serves students in the department. The information below describes how the course contributes to the undergraduate program objectives.
  • NE170A/B encompasses most of the NE program's educational objectives, including emphasis on design methodology, working in teams, and preparing comprehensive written and oral presentations.
Assessment of Student Progress Toward Course Objectives: 
  • Student's ability to work with other team members, participating but not dominating the group, working constructively with others.
  • Planning, establishing, and developing a concept into a realistic design.
  • Written final design report (typically 50-100 pages in length, addressing as many issues as possible)
  • Oral presentation of report: each member gives a 15-20 minute presentation of some part of the report, followed by a questioning by the instructor to explore topics the student didn't cover as well as general knowledge expected of a student completing the program
  • Written Proposal (within the first 3 weeks): 25%
  • Bi-weekly report to the instructor: 25%
  • Written Final Report: 30%
  • Oral Presentation: 20%