What are the innovative design projects that can benefit the advancement of the nuclear industry? The nuclear engineering capstone design class students are trying to address that. This class is a capstone design class for junior (3rd-year students) in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics, Universitas Gadjah Mada. Students are expected to carry out a semester-long group project in their chosen topics in this class. This year, seven groups are doing various nuclear system design projects ranging from nuclear reactor design to nuclear desalination plant in Indonesia.
During the 16 weeks courses, students are expected to make a project proposal, proposal presentation, progress presentation, and final presentation. Then, they must submit a final report in an undergraduate thesis format to familiarize themselves with academic writing. During those weeks, three lecturers in charge of this course give them advice, one-on-one consultation, and questions to refine their research design process.
Figure 1. Final presentation of students design project
By enrolling in this course, students are expected to be able to design a nuclear system with their existing knowledge of science, mathematics, basic engineering, and nuclear engineering obtained from their previous courses. They need to adhere to current regulations, user requirements, and security and safety standards used in the nuclear engineering field. They also need to use and evaluate their design with existing nuclear codes and performance indicators.
The result of their nuclear engineering system design is auspicious. Some promising ideas include new fuel composition for KLT-40S reactors, waste container design for Indonesian Space Reactor, Mo-99 online retrieval system with Molten Salt Reactor, and many more. By researching those topics, they learn to assess the state-of-the-art research published in journal articles and try to make their own design or improve the current system with their creativity. Hopefully, some of the projects can be continued as an undergraduate thesis or presented at a research conference.
Nuclear Engineering System Design is a meaningful learning and research experience for the undergraduate student at the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics, Universitas Gadjah Mada. The lecturers hoped to see more innovation and creative ideas from DNEEP students in the upcoming years. Hopefully, the works that have been done in the class can enhance the research environment in the DNEEP and Indonesia’s nuclear engineering field for years to come. (ayp)