The College of Engineering -- University of Wisconsin-MadisonAnnual Report 1998

Big Lettersing a laser flash, Assistant Professor Riccardo Bonazza's research team records digital pictures of gases mixing in a 10-meter-tall shock tube. Bonazza is studying what a shock wave does when it hits a layer
Shock tube analyzes fusion
separating two gases of different densities waiting at the bottom of the tube. Images are shot at progressive points in time. Bonazza will reassemble the images into one full representation of a shock wave passing through the gases, allowing researchers to predict the behavior of the gases in other systems. By understanding how gases mix in a large shock tube at lower pressures, researchers can extrapolate to the scale of an inertial confinement fusion system and validate computer codes being developed to simulate a fusion reaction. (Pictured: Top row/from left: Jason Oakley, Paul Brooks, Riccardo Bonazza. Bottom row: Mark Anderson, Bhalchandra Puranik.)

New funds for Fusion Technology Institute

Nearly $3.25 million in new funding from the Department of Energy will keep faculty, staff and students in the college's fusion programs busy over the next three years. A combination of nine grants will support 10 to 12 new graduate students working toward PhDs in nuclear engineering and engineering physics. In addition, fusion programs will be looking for about 10 undergraduates to work on special projects, said Fusion Technology Institute (FTI) Director and Professor of Engineering Physics Gerald Kulcinski.

The research falls into three broad areas: design of magnetic fusion power reactors; analysis of fusion targets for inertial confinement fusion; and design of chambers that contain small thermonuclear explosions.

Projects will be led by UW faculty and senior scientists. Specifically, Professors Gregory Moses, Riccardo Bonazza and Gerald Kulcinski, along with scientists Joe MacFarlane, Robert Peterson, Mohamed Sawan, David Cohen and Laila El Guebaly will lead work involving other faculty and scientists in the FTI. The new projects are in addition to ongoing research conducted by FTI for the Department of Energy, several DOE National Laboratories, NASA and other not-for-profit energy research organizations in the U.S. and Germany.

Radiation sciences offered to undergrads

Engineering physics launched a new track in radiation sciences for undergraduates in fall '97. The track is designed to appeal to students wanting to emphasize broader applications of nuclear engineering, rather than nuclear power. The track will broaden the career prospects of EP undergraduates, says Department Chair Gilbert Emmert. Graduates of the program will have a good foundation to pursue graduate study in either health physics or medical physics. They'll also be attractive to companies seeking to hire BS-level engineers with a background in applying radiation and nuclear processes in industry.

The EP department worked with the Department of Medical Physics to develop the track's curriculum. The department's design course was broadened to include projects in radiation sciences design as well as nuclear reactor design. The curriculum includes courses on biological effects of radiation, radiation detection and instrumentation, shielding of radiation, and the safe handling and disposal of radioactive materials.

The degree granted will be Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering. It is recommended that students pursue an MS degree in either medical physics or health physics after obtaining the BS degree.

Gilbert A. Emmert, Chair

Gilbert A. Emmert
811 Engineering Research Building
1500 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1687

Tel: 608/263-1646
Fax: 608/263-7451

Copyright © 1998 University System Board of Regents

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1998 Annual Report Contents