On May 12 2015, the SCK•CEN Academy for Nuclear Science and Technology organized the first edition of its 'Nuclear Career Day' at the Royal Academy for Sciences and Arts in Brussels (KVAB). This day aimed at informing students and young professionals about the possible pathways to enter a career in nuclear and providing a platform for networking between participants, education and training providers, and potential employers.
The Nuclear Career Day started with information about advanced academic programs allowing Masters in sciences and engineering to specialize in a particular nuclear application. Presentations were given on the master-after-master in nuclear engineering provided by the Belgian Nuclear higher Education Network (BNEN), the Radiation Protection Expert (RPE) course provided by UHasselt, ISIB, IRE and SCK•CEN and programs in medical physics at KU Leuven.
In a second session professionals from nuclear industry, research and the medical sector presented their personal career path and explained how this was influenced by their educational background and additional training.
In the last part of the morning session the participants were introduced to the possible career opportunities at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the preparatory commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).
After the morning program substantial time was reserved for a networking lunch. In the Atrium of the KVAB a career fair was set-up with participation of several companies and institutions. During the lunch, participants could interact with possible employers at the booths of Belgoprocess, CTBTO, the JRC of the European Commission, FANC, ENGIE (former GDF SUEZ), IAEA, ONDRAF-NIRAS, Rad4Med, SCK•CEN and Westinghouse.
In the afternoon, two shuttle buses took the participants to Mol and Leuven for the optional technical visits to Belgoprocess, SCK•CEN (BR1 reactor and HADES facilities) and the University Hospital in Leuven.
The day was concluded with a social event in the heart of Brussels, where participants reflected on the day and their future career while enjoying a selection of the finest Belgian beers.
With approximately 60 students and young professionals participating together with 30 representatives of academic programs and employers, the first edition of the Nuclear Career Day has been a success. The initiative highlighted that the scientific and technical challenges that are specific to nuclear applications need competent professionals. It also showed that various interesting opportunities to develop a career in nuclear exist, both in Belgium and at international level.
View the pictures
taken during the event.