UNM's Department of Nuclear Engineering is the only nuclear engineering program in the state of New Mexico and one of only a handful in the western United States that offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.
Former School of Engineering Dean Joseph L. Cecchi announced May 8, 2014 that Anil K. Prinja would become the inaugural chair of the new Department of Nuclear Engineering. His appointment began July 1, 2014.
Nuclear engineering is an exciting, rapidly-evolving field which requires engineers with an understanding of physical processes of nuclear energy and an ability to apply concepts in new and creative ways. Nuclear engineers are primarily concerned with the control, monitoring, and use of energy released in nuclear processes.
Some nuclear engineers work on the design and safety aspects of environmentally-sound, passively safe nuclear fission reactors. Others are looking to future energy solutions through development and implementation of nuclear fusion systems. Others are helping in the exploration and utilization of outers pace by developing long term, reliable nuclear energy sources. With the renewed concern in environmental science, nuclear engineers are working on safe disposal concepts for radioactive waste and on methods for reduction of radiation releases from industrial facilities. They also work in developing a wide variety of applications for radioisotopes such as the treatment and diagnosis of diseases, food preservation, manufacturing development, processing and quality control, and biological and mechanical process tracers. For each of these fields there are numerous opportunities for nuclear engineers in basic research, applications, operations, and training.