Imperial College London

Dr Andrew Buchan

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Honorary Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 7325andrew.buchan




4.91Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus




Modelling for nuclear engineers - MSE 9NMNE


The aim of the course is to introduce students to modelling and simulation methods that are directly relevant to nuclear engineering. A number of techniques are introduced spanning a wide range of length scales; from the atomic scale to the continuum. The following methods will be covered during the course (relevant simulation codes are given in brackets):

·         Atomistic simulation, effective pair potentials:

o   Molecular dynamics (DL_POLY)

·         Binary collision models:


·         Continuum modelling using finite element methods:

o   Stress analysis and heat transfer (Abaqus)

o   Thermal hydraulics (openFoam)

·         Neutron Transport:

o   Deterministic methods

o   Probabilistic Monte-Carlo methods (MONK)

Each module within the course comprises two parts: a lecture and a practical workshop session. The lectures provide the theoretical basis underlying each simulation technique, these lead into the computer based workshop sessions that allow students to apply industry standard simulation packages to solve practical problems in nuclear engineering.


Students will expected to produce a technical report following each workshop which will allow them to demonstrate their understanding of how each simulation method can be applied and its strengths and limitations.


An initial research skills session will be conducted to provide students with the basic expertise required to support the rest of the course. This will be conducted as a practical computing session in which students will be introduced to the Linux/UNIX computing environment.