This Course at MIT

This Course at MIT pages provide context for how the course materials published on OCW were used at MIT. They are part of the OCW Educator initiative, which seeks to enhance the value of OCW for educators.

Course Overview

This page focuses on the course 22.033/22.33 Nuclear Systems Design Project as it was taught by Dr. Michael Short in Fall 2011.

Nuclear Systems Design Project is an intense capstone project course designed primarily for MIT nuclear engineering undergraduates. In this course, students collectively tackle all facets of an open-ended, multi-disciplinary nuclear engineering design challenge.

Course Outcomes

Course Goals for Students

To learn to work on an open-ended, “no right answer” problem that requires choosing design parameters, optimizing them, and defending a proposed design. Learn more.

Possibilities for Further Study/Careers

  • Graduate study in nuclear engineering
  • Careers in nuclear engineering
 

Curriculum Information

Prerequisites

Requirements Satisfied

Offered

  • Every fall

The Classroom

  • This classroom photo shows five rows of student tables, each with six chairs. At the front there is a smaller table and two chairs, and two sets of sliding chalkboards.

    All class sessions were held in medium-sized classrooms like this one. Tables and chairs were sometimes moved to accommodate group work.

 

Student Information

On average, about 17 students take this course each year.

Breakdown by Year

A mix of juniors and seniors. Graduate students may enroll, but none did during the Fall 2011 semester.

Breakdown by Major

All Nuclear Science and Engineering majors.

Typical Student Background

Substantial coursework in Nuclear Science and Engineering.

Ideal Class Size

The ideal class size is between 5 and 20. There is no enrollment cap. As the required capstone class for undergraduate NSE majors, the class size is closely tied to the number of juniors and seniors majoring in NSE in any given year. If enrollment were unusually high in a year, the class would be split into two groups that would simultaneously engage in completely independent design projects. With too many students, communication and collaboration become unwieldy.

 
 

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

Lecture

3 hours per week
  • Three class sessions per week, each lasting one hour; 39 sessions total; mandatory attendance
  • 9 lecture sessions, 10 recitations, 11 group work sessions, and 9 project presentation sessions
 

Out of Class

9 hours per week

Activities such as

  • Background research
  • Design
  • Writing
  • Group meetings
  • Individual meetings with the instructor
  • Preparation for presentations
 

Semester Breakdown

WEEK M T W Th F
1 No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session.
2 Lecture session. No session scheduled. Recitation session. No session scheduled. Lecture session.
3 Reciation session; assignment due. No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. Lecture session.
4 Lecture session. No session scheduled. Recitation session. No session scheduled. Presentation session.
5 Presentation session; assignment due. No session scheduled. Recitation session. No session scheduled. Presentation session.
6 No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. Group work session. No session scheduled. Group work session.
7 Group work session. No session scheduled. Recitation session; assignment due. No session scheduled. Group work session.
8 Group work session. No session scheduled. Recitation session. No session scheduled. Lecture session.
9 Lecture session. No session scheduled. Recitation session. No session scheduled. Presentation session.
10 Presentation session. No session scheduled. Recitation session. No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT.
11 Presentation session. No session scheduled. Presentation session; assignment due. No session scheduled. Recitation session.
12 Lecture session. No session scheduled. Group work session. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
13 Group work session. No session scheduled. Group work session. No session scheduled. Recitation session.
14 Group work session. No session scheduled. Group work session. No session scheduled. Group work session.
15 Presentation session; assignment due. No session scheduled. Presentation session; assignment due. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
16 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
Displays the color and pattern used on the preceding table to indicate dates when classes are not held at MIT. No classes throughout MIT
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when lecture sessions are held. Lecture
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when presentation sessions are held. Presentation
Displays the symbol used on the preceding table to indicate dates when assignments are due. Assignment due date
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when no class session is scheduled. No class session scheduled
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when reciation sessions are held. Recitation
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicates dates when group work sessions are held. Group work
 

Instructor Insights


Dr. Short addresses 22.033 students during class.

In the following pages, Dr. Short discusses specific aspects of his experience as the course instructor.

 

Course Team Roles

Lead Instructor (Dr. Michael Short)

To design the course project, structure and run the course, work with students, and provide feedback. Read more about Dr. Short’s role in guiding students through each phase of the course.

Teaching Assistant

  • To serve as a second instructor, particularly during group work sessions, and to provide and work through examples with students.
  • To bring the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program into the course by teaching students about engineering leadership, including how to lead and organize a project, how to work with all different types of people, how to budget time, and how to develop a backup plan.