University of Nevada, Reno
Graduate Certificate in Transportation Security and Safeguards


In August 2020, the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) Mechanical Engineering (ME) Department began offering a 9-unit Graduate Certificate in Transportation Security and Safeguards (GCTSS).  Security and safeguards of nuclear and other radioactive materials must be maintained at all times during their life cycle, especially during transportation. Packaging is central to this effort. The GCTSS takes advantage of courses developed by the US Department of Energy's Packaging Certification Program (DOE PCP) and UNR when they created the Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Packaging (GCNP).  All courses, graduate certificates, and degrees offered by UNR are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Redmond, WA.External Link

The purpose of the GCTSS is to provide a curriculum in transportation security and safeguards that complements graduate programs in mechanical, nuclear, materials and related engineering fields, and is more applied-knowledge based than research based.  The goals of the certificate program are to (a) to encourage students to complete a comprehensive curriculum in transportation security and safeguards that has both depth and breadth, (b) provide a graduate-level curriculum designed to give students an advantage when seeking employment or advancement in transportation security and safeguards, or related fields, and (c) help the transportation security and safeguards industry train and advance current and potential employees.

The certificate program admission requirements are either (a) an earned baccalaureate degree in mechanical, materials, nuclear or a closely-related engineering field, or (b) a baccalaureate degree and background in project management related to transportation security and safeguards of nuclear materials.  

The required courses, and most of the elective choices, are offered by the DOE PCP. They are taught by experienced subject matter experts from Argonne (ANL), Lawrence Livermore (LLNL), Oak Ridge (ORNL), Sandia (SNL), Savannah River (SRNL), and other DOE National Laboratories.  UNR teaches additional elective courses, and administers internships that are conducted at national laboratory, government or nuclear industry sites.

The GCTSS requires the following four 1-unit Nuclear Packaging (NP) courses, which present essential information and skills:

  1. NP 600  American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Pressure Vessel Code for Nuclear Transport and Storage, 1 unit, offered by ANL.
  2. NP 610  Nuclear and Other Radioactive Materials Transport Security - Domestic or NP 611 Nuclear and Other Radioactive Materials Transport Security - International, 1 unit, offered by ANL.
  3. NP 620 Fundamentals of Nuclear Security, 1 unit, offered by SNL.
  4. NP 630 Fundamentals of Nuclear Safeguards, 1 unit, offered by ORNL.

The GCTSS curriculum requires 5 elective units, chosen based on student interests and needs, from the following list.  In addition to NP courses, the listed Mechanical Engineering (ME) and Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) courses, offered by UNR faculty, are acceptable electives.  No more than 4 units used toward the GCNP may be used for the GCTSS.

  1. NP 601 Quality Assurance (QA) for Radioactive Material Packaging and Storage Casks, 1 unit, offered by ANL.
  2. NP 602 SARP Review and Confirmatory Analysis, 2 units, offered by LLNL.
  3. NP 603 Management of Safety Analysis Report for Packaging (SARP) Preparation, 1 unit, offered by SRNL.
  4. NP 605  Thermal Modeling and Testing of RAM Packages, 1 unit, offered by SNL.
  5. NP 607  Radiation and Nuclear Criticality Analysis of RAM, 1 unit, offered by ORNL.
  6. NP 608  Radioactive Material Package Operations and Leak Testing, 1 unit, offered by SRNL.
  7. NP 610  Nuclear and Other Radioactive Materials Transport Security - Domestic or NP 611 Nuclear and Other Radioactive Materials Transport Security - International , 1 unit, offered by ANL.  Required coursework used above cannot be reused here.
  8. NP 640 Nuclear Packaging Internships, 3 units (Students may take internship course at national laboratory, nuclear industry or government sites.  Internships are administered by UNR)
  9. ME 675 Introduction to Combustion 3 units, offered by UNR.
  10. MSE 601 Corrosion of Metals 3 units, offered by UNR.
  11. MSE 665 Nuclear Power Fundamentals 3 units, offered by UNR.
  12. MSE 666 Nuclear Fuel Cycle 3 units, offered by UNR.
  13. MSE 667 Radiation Detection and Measurement 3 units, offered by UNR.
  14. MSE 668 Nuclear Materials 3 units, offered by UNR.

All course work must be completed within 6 years.

Please direct admissions and enrollment questions to: Kara Cleveland, Director of Graduate School Operations, (775) 784-6869, Karac@unr.edu.  For more information regarding the UNR GCTSS program, refer to the UNR Catalog (click here External Link), call the UNR Mechanical Engineering Department at (775) 784-6931, or contact Foundation Professor Miles Greiner, Ph.D., at greiner@unr.edu, or (775) 784-4873.         




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