Power Engineering Technology: A New Program Targeted At The Nuclear Power Industry Conference Paper uri icon


  • Recent studies indicate that over the next five years, there will be significant increases in the demand for utility workers. These studies also show that the present supply of these workers will not keep pace with this anticipated growth. This is especially true in the nuclear power industry, where the aging workforce and expected increase in the number of operational nuclear power plants are early indicators of a severe shortage of skilled utility workers. In Texas alone, NRG (South Texas Power Nuclear Operating Company), Luminant, and Exelon have all announced their intentions to license and build six new nuclear power plants. These plants will require approximately two thousand qualified personnel to operate and maintain them. Traditionally, the nuclear power industry has relied on a strong nuclear navy and nuclear construction work force to supply their human resource needs. However, these resources have dwindled leaving the nuclear power industry looking for new sources to fill their staffing requirements. It is in this context that engineers from the South Texas Project Nuclear Power Plant approached the Engineering Technology and Nuclear Engineering Departments at Texas A amp; M University in April 2007 with a proposal to create a four-year Power Engineering Technology degree. After four months of effort, a proposal was submitted to the Texas Workforce Commission for the resources necessary to fund this and other related initiatives. This proposal has been funded and work on the new Power Engineering Technology program has begun. As a starting point, a faculty member spent the Summer of 2007 onsite at the South Texas Project Nuclear Plant to learn about their workforce needs. Using this knowledge, a new curriculum is being designed that includes a strong emphasis in three technical areas: Electronic Engineering Technology, with a focus in the areas of power, instrumentation, and control. Mechanical Engineering Technology, with a focus in the areas of materials, thermal systems, and mechanics. Nuclear Engineering, with focus in nuclear reactor physics/operation and radiological safety. This paper will present the new Power Engineering Technology curriculum, progress to date, ongoing acadernia/industry interactions, and success stories that have resulted from this new program. American Society for Engineering Education, 2008.

name of conference

  • 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings

published proceedings

  • 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings

author list (cited authors)

  • Porter, J., Alvarado, J., Morgan, J., Poston, J., Peddicord, K., & Crenshaw, J.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Porter, Jay||Alvarado, Jorge||Morgan, Joseph||Poston, John||Peddicord, Kenneth||Crenshaw, John