Nuclear Engineering

University of California, Berkeley


The Department of Nuclear Engineering was established in 1958. There are currently about 78 graduate students in the department. Graduates find opportunities for employment and professional careers in the United States and abroad. Recent graduates are employed in academia, industry, national laboratories, and state and federal agencies.

The Nuclear Engineering program is comprised of classroom and laboratory instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels and a strong, diverse research program. The projects are part of the department's ongoing mission to provide an education to individuals who will make key contributions and become future leaders serving California and the nation by improving and applying nuclear science and technology.  The department's research areas include applied nuclear physics; bionuclear and radiological physics; computational methods; energy systems and the environment; ethics and the impact of technology on society; fission reactor design; fuel cycles and radioactive waste; plasma fusion science and technology; laser, particle beam, and plasma technologies; nuclear materials and chemistry; nuclear thermal hydraulics;  risk, safety, and large-scale systems analysis, and nonproliferation.

The department has strong relations with the nearby Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryLawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory. A number of faculty and students collaborate with researchers in these laboratories, and use the facilities of these laboratories in their research projects.

Other Resources

The department hosts a Monday colloquium series during the academic year. For further information and the schedule, please see the department's website.

The department sponsors the Rad Watch project. The department has been performing a large range of radiation measurements starting in March 2011, following the releases of radioactive materials from the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. One of the goals of this activity was to measure the radioactivity in Californian samples that could potentially be associated with the releases in Japan using state-of-the-art experiments, to publish the data without filter or restriction, and to put the results in the context of the radiation we are exposed to in our daily lives. In response to the resurgent interest in radiation levels due to the expected arrival of cesium at the North American west coast, we are increasing our efforts again to measure samples potentially affected by the Pacific Ocean current transport. In addition to measurements samples of fish, seaweed, crab, etc., we are part of the Kelp Watch 2014 initiative, which aims at measuring a potential cesium uptake into kelp over the next year.

Undergraduate Programs

Nuclear Engineering: BS, Minor
Chemical Engineering/Nuclear Engineering: BS (Joint Major in conjunction with the College of Chemistry)
Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences/Nuclear Engineering: BS (Joint Major)
Materials Science and Engineering/Nuclear Engineering: BS (Joint Major)
Mechanical Engineering/Nuclear Engineering: BS (Joint Major)

Graduate Programs

Nuclear Engineering: MEng, MS/MPP, PhD

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Nuclear Engineering

Faculty and Instructors


Lee A. Bernstein, Adjunct Professor.

Massimiliano Fratoni, Assistant Professor. Nuclear reactor design, fuel cycle analysis, fusion reactors.
Research Profile

Ehud Greenspan, Professor. Professor of the Graduate School.

Peter Hosemann, Associate Professor. Microscopy, nanomaterials, Nuclear materials, material science, radiation damage, corrosion in liquid metals, materials development, materials under extremes, nuclear applications, ion beam microscopy, nanoscale mechanical testing.
Research Profile

Daniel M. Kammen, Professor. Public policy, nuclear engineering, energy, resources, risk analysis as applied to global warming, methodological studies of forecasting, hazard assessment, renewable energy technologies, environmental resource management.
Research Profile

Ka-Ngo Leung, Professor. Professor of the Graduate School, Plasma and Ion Beam technology in microfabrication processes.

Edward C. Morse, Professor. Applied plasma physics: fusion technology: microwaves, experimental investigation of RF plasma heating, experimental studies of compact toroids spectral method for magnetohydrodynamic stability.
Research Profile

Eric B. Norman, Professor. Professor of the Graduate School, nuclear astrophysics, experimental nuclear physics, homeland security, neutrinos.
Research Profile

Per F. Peterson, Professor. Nuclear engineering, heat and mass transfer, reactor thermal hydraulics, nuclear reactor design, radioactive waste, nuclear materials management.
Research Profile

Rachel Slaybaugh, Assistant Professor. Computational methods, high performance computing, neutron transport.
Research Profile

Karl A. Van Bibber, Professor. Experimental nuclear physics, Particle Astrophysics, Accelerator Technology and Neutron Sources.
Research Profile

Kai Vetter, Professor.

Jasmina L. Vujic, Professor. Nuclear engineering, numerical methods in reactor physics, neutron and photon transport, reactor core design and analysis, shielding, radiation protection, biomedical application of radiation, optimization techniques for vector, parallel computers.
Research Profile


Ralph E. Berger, Lecturer.

Alan Michael Bolind, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

T. Kenneth Fowler, Professor Emeritus. Plasma physics, nuclear engineering, magnetic fusion, confinement and stability of plasmas for thermonuclear fusion, fusion reactor design, spehromak compact toroid plasma confinement configuration.
Research Profile

Lawrence M. Grossman, Professor Emeritus. Nuclear engineering, reactor physics, numerical approximation methods in neutron diffusion, transport theory, control and optimization theory in nuclear reactor engineering.
Research Profile

Selig N. Kaplan, Professor Emeritus. Radiation reactions, interaction of radiation of matter, detection and measurement of ionizing radiation.
Research Profile

William E. Kastenberg, Professor Emeritus. Risk management, risk assessment, nuclear reactor safety, ethical issues in emerging technologies.
Research Profile

Donald R. Olander, Professor Emeritus. Nuclear engineering, nuclear materials: reactor fuel behavior, hydriding of zirconium and uranium, high-temperature kinetic and thermodynamic behavior of nuclear reactor fuels, performance of degraded nuclear fuels.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Department of Nuclear Engineering

4155 Etcheverry Hall

Phone: 510-642-4077

Fax: 510-643-9685

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Department Chair

Peter Hosemann, PhD

4151 Etcheverry Hall

Phone: 510-642-3477

Student Affairs Officer

Kirsten Wimple Hall

4149 Etcheverry Hall

Phone: 510-642-5760

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