NRC Funds Development of New Grad-Level Corrosion Courses

NRC Funds Development of New Grad-Level Corrosion Courses

NRC Funds Development of New Grad-Level Corrosion Courses

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has awarded Professors S. Ankem (Department of Materials Science and Engineering [MSE]), Aris Christou (MSE and Director, Graduate Program in Nuclear Engineering), and Mohammad Modarres (Department of Mechanical Engineering and Director, Graduate Program in Reliability Engineering) a one-year, $100K education grant to develop new modules on the corrosions of metals for graduate level courses in the Clark School's Nuclear Engineering, Reliability Engineering, and Sustainability Engineering programs. The material will emphasize forms of corrosion, eliminating corrosion, and making nuclear reactors safe.

The new additions to the curricula are geared toward nuclear industry professionals, materials science students, mechanical engineers, and NRC and Department of Energy staff. To reach more students in the professional community, the coursework will also be offered as part of the new, fully-online M.S. programs in Nuclear and Sustainability Engineering beginning in academic year 2011-2012.

The educational research project will produce three separate course modules that can be integrated into existing courses, or combined into a new course called “Corrosion Degradation.”

The first new course module, on probabilistic risk assessment of corrosion and risk prediction methods of corrosion, will be developed for direct insertion into two existing courses, Probabilistic Risk Assessment & Risk Management and Materials Degradation. The second will add a laboratory section to the Materials Degradation syllabus, including a hands-on corrosion testing experience. The third will address the physics of failure of the corrosion phenomena. The course modules will consist of a combination of video presentations, Powerpoint presentations, and special lecture notes which will be made available to current and future students.

The new course, "Corrosion Degradation," is designed to instruct graduate students in the fundamentals of materials-environment interactions. The course outline includes liquid-solid interactions, direct dissolutions mechanisms, electrochemical corrosion, the kinetics of corrosion, and corrosion prevention. Gas-solid interactions will emphasize the reaction products, kinetics and wear mechanisms. Students will study specific examples of corrosion modeling as well as failure analysis and in-situ corrosion testing within an environmental scanning electron microscope. Students will also learn how to prevent the corrosion, what risk factors should be used to assess safety and, in the case of nuclear reactors, how to decide when a shutdown is warranted.

For more information, visit the graduate programs' web sites:

The Graduate Program in Nuclear Engineering »
The Graduate Program in Reliability Engineering »
The Graduate Program in Sustainability Engineering »

Related Articles:
Protecting Nuclear Plants from Cyber Attacks
Pertmer Appointed Managing Director of Radiation Facilities
Youn, Cumings Receive NRC Grant

June 14, 2010


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