A4 Conference proceedings

Higher Level Academic Nuclear Engineering Education in Finland – Need of Post Graduates?

Open Access publication

Publication Details
Authors: Salomaa R, Ala-Heikkilä J, Tuomisto F, Kyrki-Rajamäki Riitta, Vihavainen Juhani, Lehto J, Harjula R, Olin M, Vanttola T, Avolahti J, Aurela J, Koskinen K, Heikinheimo L, Hyvärinen J, Juurmaa T, Palmu M
Publication year: 2013
Language: English
Title of parent publication: NESTet 2013 : Nuclear Education and Training. Transactions, Madrid, Spain 17-21- November 2013
ISBN: 978-92-95064-19-5
JUFO-Level of this publication:
Open Access: Open Access publication

Numerous new nuclear experts are needed in Finland to replace retirees and to recruit new ones for the various R&D tasks arising in the field of nuclear engineering. The Finnish nuclear competence review in 2012 showed that of the 3300 professionals over 10% had a postgraduate degree - mostly obtained in the 70´es to 80´es. Even a mature field still needs many high level academics? Postgraduate researchers can be trained in a wide variety of technical and socio-economic R&D tasks of nuclear energy. Strict scientific approach partly assures the quality and enables to create a broader perspective. Besides innovativity, problem solving skills, and specific personal competence, an expert has to understand nuclear safety and safety culture. In a small country special and general knowledge may have to be compromised. Postgraduate E&T requires resources to pursue relevant R&D. In Finland long-term funding has been based on national research programs like SAFIR2014 (nuclear safety) and KYT2014 (nuclear waste management). Fusion energy research is fully coordinated by the Euratom-Tekes Association. For Generation IV activities an informal GEN4FIN network is established. Academy of Finland has financed a research consortium called NETNUC 2008-2011 and the Ministry of Education and Culture is sponsoring the doctoral school on nuclear engineering and radiochemistry, YTERA 2012-2015. The future strategy of R&D and its role in postgraduate education is briefly discussed. We have utilized many European E&T schemes under EFTS (e.g. ENEN, PETRUS, CINCH) and the EU projects comprising educational components. The role of European research facilities (JRC, JET, etc.) has been instrumental in researcher training. ENEN and its activities are connected to Finnish postgraduate activities. Fusion researchers have participated in two goal oriented training programs (GOT). The time span in achieving expertise is long: the steps M.Sc. -> D.Sc./Ph.D. -> a "tenured position" takes a minimum of 5+5+5 years. Besides competent researchers, teachers and instructors are needed, too. Finnish universities have supported nuclear engineering education by creating new tenure track positions. Post graduate studies can take three routes: 1) full-time (fast) researcher training at academic doctoral schools, 2) part-time graduate studies with university supervision, external instructors/mentors, and participation in R&D programs, or 3) completion of the degree by continuous education during the job

Last updated on 2017-22-03 at 15:03