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Dr. Rodolfo Vaghetto
Dr. Rodolfo Vaghetto’s dedication to nuclear engineering began many years ago. This dedication recently earned him the 2021 Instructional Faculty Teacher Award. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Dr. Rodolfo Vaghetto fondly reflects on the feeling of being in the classroom. He thrives when a student answers a difficult question correctly or excitement flashes across their face while he introduces a new topic. Moments like this have defined his career.

A professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M University, Vaghetto is a 2021 Instructional Faculty Teacher Award recipient.

“Every hour I spend in class with the students is special for me,” said Vaghetto. “My favorite teaching moments are the ones when I see full involvement in class. In particular, I am happy to see how students from other engineering disciplines appreciate learning about nuclear engineering concepts.”

Nuclear engineering has intrigued him for many years, and his dedication to the subject began long before his time at Texas A&M. A few of his research interests include experimental and computational aspects involving high-temperature gas-cooled reactors and computational thermal hydraulics applied to existing light water reactors and generation IV reactors.

 Vaghetto is especially captivated by nuclear engineering’s dynamic relationship to alternative energy solutions.

“I am a proud sustainer of all clean energy resources,” said Vaghetto. “Nuclear power plays one of the most important roles in reducing carbon emissions, but I am devoted to learning about how other technologies are advancing to support this common goal.”

After the struggles of 2020, Vaghetto is looking forward to the fall where he hopes to rejoin his students on campus.

“Thinking about the ability to interact personally with the students during the lectures or outside the classroom energizes me and helps me forget the difficult moments of last year,” he said.