UNM Nuclear Engineering Expert Teaches Course at Sandia

November 22, 2013

Bob BuschUNM nuclear engineering lecturer Robert “Bob” Busch was featured in the November 15 issue of Sandia Lab News, the bi-weekly newspaper for Sandia National Laboratories. The article reports on a nuclear engineering fundamentals course Busch taught this past summer at the Tech Area 5 at Sandia National Laboratories. The goal of the course was to enable differently trained people at Sandia, including nontechnical support staff, to communicate with each other about nuclear energy.

Busch teaches undergraduate courses in UNM’s Nuclear Engineering program, including nuclear criticality safety courses. He also directs the Nuclear Criticality Safety Group (NCSG), an organization that offers courses, workshops, and networking to nuclear criticality safety professionals worldwide. Nuclear criticality safety focuses on everything done to fissile material outside nuclear reactors.

For the Sandia course, Sandia Lab News reports, “Busch modified his sophomore-level introduction to nuclear engineering for a wider audience.” The class included nuclear engineers but also others without a background in nuclear energy or who had not studied the subject in a number of years. Over 10 two-hour sessions, Busch covered such topics as nuclear reactions, radioactive decay, interaction of heavy charged particles and matter, neutron cross sections, and ranges of betas. Although the special course included no tests or grades, the participants were assigned to teams who worked together to learn the material presented in class.

Participants in the Sandia course found the classes to be very informative and also fun. Busch agrees, saying that he is open to the idea of teaching more classes at Sandia in the future.

To read the article in Sandia Lab News, see http://www.sandia.gov/news/publications/LabNews/archive/13-15-11.html#3