Working together to grow nuclear expertise - better, faster and more engaging
- Published: Monday, 18 May 2015 14:54
- Written by National Centre for Universities and Business
Case study by EDF Energy
Collaborating with leading universities, EDF Energy Campus is working towards the launch of its Nuclear Theory Fundamentals programme designed for post graduate entrants and existing employees embarking on the PWR Operator Programme.
EDF Energy Campus and its partners believe they have developed a ground-breaking training programme. While it continues to meet stringent industry standards, this new course offers challenging content that’s better attuned with an individual’s learning style, and delivered using the latest technology. By employing innovative learning techniques such as ‘Flipping’ Experiential learning, Simulations and Gamification - they say knowledge retention will be improved and the time taken to study will reduce. As well as helping individuals to learn, develop and become quickly productive, the programme should also help to minimise some of the costs of training.
Blending cognitive theory with latest technology
Learning and Technology Manager for Campus Mike Hogben said “We believe our approach of sharing industry expertise with our partners and drawing upon their fundamental knowledge to design this programme will elevate best practice in the teaching of nuclear in the UK. We would like to thank our partners including Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham for their enlightened collaboration with us. We wanted this programme to deliver more than a smooth transition from academic learning to industry practice to address skills gaps, so we worked with students to develop modules that blended the latest cognitive learning theories with technology to deliver content in an appealing and memorable way. The students have benefited from being part of a team working on a live industry project; on a programme we believe could become a benchmark for quality to deliver a more focussed pathway for future young nuclear professionals.”
The Nuclear Theory Fundamentals programme will cover the core fundamentals topics of Components, Reactor theory and Thermodynamic theory. It will last for approximately six weeks and will be delivered at EDF Energy’s new Campus at Cannington, close to the Hinkley Point C New Nuclear development.
Supporting nuclear culture, behaviours and standards
On completion students will be able to successfully complete an assessment based on the US NRC Generic Fundamentals assessment paper. The new course materials will better suit individuals - who will enter the programme at different technical levels - to advance through modules at a pace appropriate to their experience.
And, in addition to the rigorous academic aspects, students will be inculcated with the culture, behaviour and standards desired by future UK PWR operators.
Vital work to meet future needs of the industry
In a recent interview, Tom Scott Director of the Interface Analysis Centre at Bristol University summed up why such collaboration is vital to the industry. “We will very quickly want to get the best UK graduates and train them up to become nuclear experts. Bristol University and EDF Energy have a long standing relationship, but what we are doing now is really exciting and that is to combine and work together for the purpose of teaching nuclear expertise.”