Nuclear technology plays a crucial role in a wide variety of contexts and sectors in Belgium, including power production, waste management, nuclear fuel production, etc. The Belgian Nuclear Higher Education Network (BNEN) combines the expertise in nuclear education and research of six major Belgian universities (KU Leuven, UGent, VUB, UCL, ULG and ULB) with the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK-CEN.
Nuclear technology plays a crucial role in a wide variety of contexts and sectors in Belgium, including:
The Belgium Nuclear Higher Education Network combines the expertise in nuclear education and research of six major Belgian universities (KU Leuven, UGent, VUB, UCL, ULG and ULB) with the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre.
The current programme can be divided into three core blocks:
The collaboration with SCK*CEN makes it possible to include actual use of facilities in the curriculum, supporting the development of skills and competences in a research environment. All subjects are taught by academics appointed by the partner universities, whereas the practical exercises and laboratory sessions are supervised by the experts of SCK*CEN. The Master’s thesis offers an opportunity for internship in industry or in a research laboratory.
All teaching activities take place on the premises of SCK*CEN. Courses are organised in English and in a modular way; teaching in blocks of one to three weeks for each module allows optimal time management for students and lecturers, facilitates registration for individual modules, and allows easy exchange with international students.
BNEN has served as a role model for the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN) which now has become an association of over 60 members (universities, industry, regulators, research centres), aiming at facilitating mobility in Europe for students in nuclear engineering.
One particular aspect of the BNEN degree is that it automatically leads to the recognition as Class I Expert by the Federal Agency of Nuclear Control. In order to receive this accreditation the programme must at least offer 24 credits in Nuclear Safety and 12 credits in Radioprotection.
The Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering programme is an internationally oriented, interuniversity programme organised by BNEN in close collaboration with nuclear research centres and industry. The aim of the BNEN programme is to provide students with all the skills and scientific and technical background necessary to carry out duties at a high level of responsibility in order to ensure the safe and economical operation of nuclear power plants, the regulation and control of nuclear installations or to design new nuclear systems.
A major strength of the BNEN programme, as to its sustainability, is that it allows providing high quality academic education by experts from (or appointed by) the main Belgian universities at low individual cost and thus very efficiently harmonised/rationalised. In addition, the participation of the nuclear research centre SCK*CEN in the consortium provides superb realistic experimental facilities in a difficult (radioactive) environment at low cost for the universities.
A further fundamental strength of the programme can be found in the fact that a well-balanced curriculum is offered where the contents and format have been discussed at length with representatives of the major nuclear companies that are the first potential employers of the graduates. Objectives and programme outcomes were defined that encompass in depth disciplinary specific competences as well as, but in a less pronounced way, transferable skills and competences that are needed for an efficient integration of a graduate in a larger engineering team. There is a nearly complete overlap between objectives and realised competences in courses, electives, exercises and Master’s thesis. This can be ascribed to the following contributing factors:
Graduates possess the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out duties at a high level of responsibility in:
In addition, the degree itself is an important part of the legal qualifications necessary to become a safety professional in a major nuclear installation.
This programme will provide you with advanced chemical engineering and process technology skills for exciting and challenging careers in the chemical and process industries. This programme also prepares graduates for a PhD study.
If you’ve studied chemical engineering before, you’ll develop your knowledge in key areas such as reaction engineering, process modelling and simulation, pharmaceutical formulation, and fuel processing. If your degree is in chemistry or another related science or engineering discipline, you’ll build your knowledge and skills to convert to a specialisation in chemical engineering.
The course has been designed to provide a greater depth of knowledge in aspects of advanced chemical engineering and a range of up-to-date process technologies. These will enable you to design, operate and manage processes and associated manufacturing plants and to provide leadership in innovation, research and development, and technology transfer.
Your Research Project module gives you the chance to study in cutting-edge facilities where our researchers are pushing the boundaries of chemical engineering.
We have world-class facilities for carrying out research in manufacturing (including crystallisation), processing and characterising particulate systems for a wide range of technological materials, as well as facilities for nanotechnology and colloid science/technology.
We also have high performance computing facilities and state-of-the-art computer software, including computational fluid dynamics (CFD), for modelling and simulation of a wide range of processes. This will provide a strong background knowledge in industrial process and equipment design and optimisation.
This course is accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council. This adheres to the requirements of further learning for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status.
The path you take through this programme will depend on your background. If your degree is in Chemical Engineering, you’ll take a suite of compulsory modules on advanced topics such as recent advances in chemical engineering, reaction engineering, multi-scale modelling (including CFD), pharmaceutical formulation and fuel processing. If your degree is not in Chemical Engineering, you’ll build the knowledge you need to succeed in this area with modules such as Separation Processes, Reaction Engineering and Chemical Process Technology and Design.
You’ll then complement this with a choice of optional modules, allowing you to gain specialist knowledge in a topic that suits your career plans or personal interests. Different modules will be available to you depending on your background – for example, if your degree is in Chemical Engineering you could study Process Optimisation and Control, while if your degree is in another subject you might want to gain an understanding of energy management.
Every student undertakes a research project that runs throughout the year. You’ll focus on a topic of your choice that fits within one of the School’s research areas and produce an independent study, reflecting the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired. This will enable you to gain experience of planning, executing and reporting a research work of the type you will undertake in an industrial/academic environment.
Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at the Chemical Engineering module descriptions for more detail on what you will study.
We use a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, practicals, tutorials and seminars. Independent study is also an important element of the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.
You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including problem sheets, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments and exams. Optional modules may also use alternative assessments.
The research project is one of the most satisfying elements of this course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.
Recent projects by students in MSc Chemical Engineering have included:
A proportion of projects are formally linked to industry, and may include spending time at the collaborator’s site over the summer
Career prospects are excellent. There is a wide range of career opportunities in the chemical and allied industries in process engineering, process design and research and development as well as in finance and management.
Graduates have gone on to work in a variety of roles at companies like National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement, the National Centre of Science and Technology Evaluation, Invensys Operations Management, Worley Parsons, Hollister-Stier Laboratories, BOC, ASM Technologies and more.