Three MIT Seniors to Train as Nuclear Engineers for US Navy

By Midshipman James Reach, Harvard ‘11

Three MIT students in the Naval ROTCprogram have been accepted into the Naval Nuclear Propulsion program.

Thomas Schaefer, Vanessa Esch, and Juliana Rotter, MIT ‘09, will enter the Naval Nuclear Propulsion program with just a handful of other college graduates nationwide. All three will commission as officers in the United States Navy in June. Upon completing the program, Mr. Schaefer will become a submarine officer while Ms. Esch and Ms. Rotter will both serve as active duty surface warfare officers in the US Navy.

Navy Nuclear Power School is widely regarded as the most academically challenging program in the military. To qualify, candidates must demonstrate high levels of academic proficiency, and pass a rigorous two-step interview process in Washington, DC. The first step is an oral qualifying examination. The second step is a challenging interview by Admiral Kirkland Donald, the third highest ranking officer in the Navy.

While attending Navy Nuclear Power School in the fall Mr. Schaefer, Ms. Esch, and Ms. Rotter will be taking graduate level courses in nuclear and mechanical engineering. Upon graduation, they will be prepared to manage the operation of reactors aboard U.S. Navy nuclear submarine and surface ships.