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SEI - Systems Engineering Initiative

What Is the Systems Engineering Initiative?

The Systems Engineering Initiative (SEI) was formed to develop the intellectual capital required with the expansion of the nuclear industry workforce. SEI engages students in real world engineering team projects that are both interdisciplinary and multilevel-that is, teams include students from freshmen to seniors from multiple engineering disciplines. The goal is to motivate and retain students in engineering majors while also providing them with valuable skills that will better prepare them for engineering careers. The SEI program is of particular interest to industry since student participants gain a firm understanding of the importance of research to industry's future success as well as learning skills that will enhance their ability to succeed after graduation.


  • Emphasize participation by students from underrepresented groups
  • Improve student retention in engineering majors
  • Enhance undergraduate engineering education with real world experiences
  • Link undergraduate students with graduate student, faculty and industry mentors
  • Encourage undergraduates to 'reach back' to high school students
  • Emphasize development of skills needed by employers
  • Produce stronger connections between NPI, students, and industry

How Do We Meet These Goals?

  • Engage freshman in applied research projects to help them understand engineering disciplines early on
  • Create interdisciplinary team projects sponsored by the Nuclear Power Institute and industry where they have to solve real engineering problems.
  • Use experienced faculty and graduate students as technical guides to the undergraduate student team
  • Provide upperclassmen, graduates, faculty, and industry mentors
  • Provide engineering and professional development training
  • Engage SEI students in outreach activities to high schools, teacher summits, and career fairs

SEI Stakeholder Benefits

Click HERE to see the diagram.

What Are the Benefits to Students?

  • Valuable experience working on real world engineering problems.
  • Understanding of multidisciplinary research, working with other engineering majors.
  • Team building and communication skills.
  • Interaction with graduate students, faculty experts, and industry seasoned mentors
  • Opportunities to participate in research competitions, regional, national and international conferences
  • Financial compensation-a sliding scale based on successful participation

What Are the Benefits to Industry?

  • Development of new talent through interaction on real engineering work of interest to the industry sponsor.
  • Creating strong relationships with potential new hires in the course of mentoring the project.
  • Development of closer ties to the Nuclear Power Institute and Texas A&M University.

What Do SEI Students Say About the Program?

"The experiences and opportunities I have had with SEI have been amazing in contributing to my academic success and preparing me for a career. I have a significant amount of job opportunities in front of me, and can honestly say that SEI has been a major contributing factor in landing these. At interviews, I tend to speak more about my experiences at SEI than my two internships combined. The breadth and depth of knowledge the program has given me has been a wonderful supplement to my course work." - SEI Student


If you are interested in learning more about this program, or would like to join one of our teams please contact the Nuclear Power Institute at the following email address: SEI_NPI@ne.tamu.edu.