Collaboration creates nuclear research opportunities for students
The next generation of leaders in nuclear science and tech just experienced a summer like no other.
A new program from the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) offered 12 undergraduates from McMaster the opportunity to conduct nuclear research in cutting-edge facilities and to work with leading academic and industry experts.
The eight-week Nuclear Undergraduate Research Experience Program began in Chalk River, Ont., where the students — seven from McMaster’s Faculty of Science and five from the Faculty of Engineering — gained hands-on experience working with researchers and staff from CNL, the country’s premier nuclear science and technology organization.
After two weeks, they returned to Hamilton, where they continued their research in McMaster’s labs and facilities, including the McMaster Nuclear Reactor, Canada’s most powerful research reactor and only major neutron source.
Students were paired with a CNL employee and a McMaster researcher for the whole summer, providing them with consistent mentorship and research guidance.
“If this is a sampling of future employees in the nuclear industry, we’re all in good hands,” says Gina Strati, CNL’s director of academic partnership programs. “We weren’t easy on them. We provided them with a sampling of the different types of research we do at CNL. We kept them busy every day with tours, lectures and hands-on activities. They were competent and bright and they asked a ton of questions.”
In 2022, CNL and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) partnered with McMaster with the goal of advancing nuclear research, education and training. Recognizing the growing demand for a more experienced and skilled workforce in the nuclear sector, this partnership established the Nuclear Undergraduate Research Experience program in May.
Programs like this play a significant role in broadening students’ horizons and giving them the tools they need to work in a growing industry, says Dave Tucker, McMaster’s chief nuclear officer and associate vice-president, Nuclear.
“I want to express my appreciation to CNL and to AECL for their great work to sponsor this research experience program,” Dave says.
Read the full story plus student testimonials at McMaster Daily News.Research excellence, Students