Research opportunities abound for both undergraduate
and graduate students.
Our faculty work at the leading edge of their nuclear science and engineering disciplines with active collaborations worldwide.
Our department’s research expenditures reached $26.5 million in 2020, and research opportunities abound for both undergraduate and graduate students. Many of our students (some as early as the sophomore year) work closely with faculty on innovative research projects and some have co-authored papers published in scientific journals.
We boast over 20 labs, and several of our major facilities are on par with those you might find at a national laboratory. Here are just a few:
Michigan Ion Beam Laboratory
Advancing our understanding of ion-solid interactions by providing up-to-date equipment with unique and extensive facilities to support research at the cutting edge of science. Learn more.
Nuclear Engineering Laboratory
The NEL hosts several labs, including: the Detection for Nuclear Nonproliferation Laboratory, the Glenn F. Knoll Nuclear Measurements Laboratory, and the High Resolution TH Imaging Laboratory.
Plasma, Pulsed Power, and Microwave Laboratory
Investigating the fundamental physics and technology of interactions between beams of electrons, ions, plasma, microwaves, laser light and radio frequency radiation with plasmas, materials, structures, and biological cells. Learn more.
Thermal Hydraulics Lab
Separate-effect and integral-effects tests in reactor thermal hydraulics to support the improvement of light water reactors (LWRs) and development of advanced non-LWR reactors, including molten salt reactors and high-temperature gas-cooled reactors. Learn more.
HIGH FIELD SCIENCE LABORATORY
NERS researchers use three state-of-the-art high power laser systems: HERCULES, Ti:Sapphire, and T-cubed. The facility is current building ZEUS, which will be the most powerful laser in the country. Learn more.
Access to clean, affordable, and reliable energy improves human lives. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), nuclear power is the largest source of clean energy in the United States, providing 53% of the emission-free energy in 2020. Nuclear energy has emerging national and international market opportunities in addition to gigawatt scale electricity. Twenty-first-century nuclear energy will include zero-carbon direct forms such as heat and energy carriers like electricity and hydrogen. Partnerships with industrial users to provide electricity, heat, plasmas, and advanced materials will improve economic competitiveness.
Environment and Health
Advances in nuclear and radiological science can improve the efficacy of medical diagnosis and treatment, aid in the environmental cleanup of chemical and biological contaminants, and decrease the environmental effects associated with deploying nuclear technology, importantly in the storage and disposal of used nuclear fuel.
Nuclear Security and Defense
The deployment of nuclear technology comes with the responsibility to control and account for radiological materials. This is true in many applications including homeland security, medical imaging, and nuclear fuel cycle monitoring to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Advances are needed in methodologies for the safeguards of nuclear and radiological materials, tools for science-based stockpile stewardship, and the understanding of materials under extreme conditions.
Technological revolution springs from new fundamental discoveries. Discovery comes through using world-class experimental facilities, including particle beams and radiation sources, to interrogate systems under extreme conditions, improving our ability to detect radiation signals and apply advanced computing to understand physical interactions.