The Engineering School (“Faculté des Sciences Appliquées”) at ULB launched, at the beginning of the 60s, a new section in Physics Engineering, in order to develop teaching and research activities related to the developing nuclear activities. For this time on, ULB has been graduating hundreds of engineers having a strong education in nuclear engineering.

Students entering the Master in Physics Engineering at ULB will follow compulsory courses in nuclear physics, nuclear reactor theory, nuclear metrology, and control and safety of nuclear power plants. They can deepen their education in this field with additional courses in thermalhydraulics, advanced reactor theory, nuclear fuel cycle, dosimetry and radiation protection, reliability and safety… in a bilingual (French/English) context, with teachers from academia, industry and research centers.

ULB has an agreement allowing master students to spend their second year at CEA-INSTN in an Erasmus-like programme.

ULB has also joint the BNEN consortium in 2006 and is now actively contributing in this national master-after-master educational network.

BNEN – Belgian Nuclear higher Education Network

In a country where a substantial part of the electricity generation will remain of nuclear origin for a number of years, there is a need for well educated and well trained engineers in this area. Public authorities, regulators and industry brought their support to this initiative. In 2001, the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK CEN and five Belgian universities signed a consortium agreement to set up an education programme in nuclear engineering. In the academic year 2006-2007, a sixth university, ULB, joined the programme. The universities involved are now: KUL (Leuven), UG (Ghent), VUB (Brussels), UCL (Louvain-la-neuve), ULg (Liège) and ULB (Brussels). These seven partners have engaged themselves to provide students and young-professionals with a high-standard nuclear engineering programme.

The BNEN academic programme is a one-year (60 ECTS) Master-after-Master programme open for holders of a Master degree in engineering. For students not fully satisfying this requirement, special entrance considerations apply. The programme consists of ten courses to be followed mandatory (41 ECTS), the opportunity to select a number of advanced courses at will (up to 4 ECTS worth) and a Master thesis (15 ECTS). The subjects of the courses range form nuclear physics, nuclear reactor theory, nuclear thermohydraulics to reactor plant operation and control, radiation protection and safeguards and nuclear materials. It also includes courses on nuclear energy and the nuclear fuel cycle. For a complete list of all courses, see http://www.sckcen.be/bnen/courses_shares.html. All courses are given in a modular fashion, i.e. the students get a course in the duration of one up to three weeks of continuous lectures and lab sessions. Attention is indeed paid to the fact that most courses are not only theoretical ones, but many of them have exercise sessions and laboratory sessions associated with them. These sessions are organised and thought by the scientific staff at SCK CEN.

Both full-time students and young-professionals are enrolled in the BNEN programme. The latter usually take on a subject of their day-to-day job to study for their Master thesis while the full-time students typically take a research subject at SCK CEN. These subjects cover all possible domains related to nuclear engineering.

The advanced courses either deepen or broaden a subject touched in the regular courses. BNEN itself organises each year a number of these advanced courses for which we invite specialists in a certain field. Some of the courses that were organised are “Severe accidents” (CEA), “Decommission of nuclear facilities” (SCK CEN), “Underlying R&D for the disposal of radioactive waste” (SCK CEN) and “Production of radioisotopes” (IRE). All these courses are open for attendance by not only BNEN students, but also ENEN students and (young-)professionals.

Website:    http://www.sckcen.be/bnen

Partners:   KULeuven, UGent, VUBrussel, UCLouvainULiègeULBruxelles, SCK CEN

Official language:   English

President of the consortium:   Prof. Dr. Ir. Jacqueline Lecomte-Beckers,ULiège (2006-2007, 2007-2008)