A Student's Outlook

We asked a current engineering student at Georgia Institute of Technology, William Murphy, also known as Billy, several questions as well so as to gain a current student's perspective. Billy will graduate from Georgia Tech with a degree in Nuclear and Radiological Engineering in May 2005.

First off, what inspired you to pursue an education in nuclear engineering?

Originally? the desire to research fusion power, and nuclear engineering is kind of a pre-requisite, but I've strayed from that. It's simply not feasible in the immediate future.

This is true-- it may take a while . . . so, given that, what kind of work are you aiming to enter after you graduate? Do you think you'll pursue further studies at some point in the future, perhaps?

I think I'll eventually go for a business-ish education, at some point, with an emphasis on engineering. I'd like to eventually be involved in the design of future reactors being built in the US. That's my ultimate goal thus far.

What do you think has been your favourite class/ set of classes/subject while in college?

I'd have to say the Radiation Lab class I'm taking now because we're actually taking measurements off of a subcritical graphite pile and coming up with a lot of the data one usually finds tabulated these days.

That's really interesting . . . what about a least favourite class?

Er . . . I'm generally not very fond of heat transmission-- not a big thermo fan. I mean, I can do the work; I simply dislike it!

I am aware you were involved/are still involved in an intership . . . what did/does that entail?

Personally, I was in spent fuels management. I mostly did 'grunt intern clerical work,' but about a third of the time I ran computer codes for storing spent fuel safely.

This was in South Carolina, correct?

Charlotte, North Carolina, although most of Duke's nuclear plants are in South Carolina. Duke is the company I worked for.

Are there any words of wisdom you might give to prospective nuclear engineering students?

Take AP classes in high school-- it definitely helps in college. Absolutely get internships starting the summer after sophomore year!


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