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13 Best Gifts for Nuclear Engineers (in 2023)

8 min read

Nuclear engineers have very unique interests and can be tough to find the right gift for. They tend to want things that are practical, functional, and unique. Being an engineer myself with a few friends in the field, I wanted to assemble what I think are the best gift ideas for nuclear engineers.

Finding the perfect gift for a nuclear engineer can be time-consuming, but I hope this gift guide helps you finish your gift shopping faster than ever and brings a smile to an engineer’s face. Show them you understand their passion for engineering and support them when they geek out over your perfect gift.

This list is a compilation of my favorites from around the internet. Some are our own Genius Lab Gear inventions and some we’re just jealous we didn’t think of first! Some external links in this page are from affiliates, which means that any purchase of the items after clicking the link will result in a small monetary referral fee paid back to Genius Lab Gear at no cost to you. We appreciate your support which allows us to continue inventing and testing the best tools for engineers on the planet!

1. The Pocket Scientist pocket ruler and equation reference

Your favorite nuclear physicist will never forget this unique gift! They will carry this credit card-sized science and engineering ruler with them every day for a lifetime. We even laser-engraved the backside full of basic science equations and physical constants. See the product page for a full list of features we've packed in!

You can also add a custom logo to this for events, networking, or promotional giveaways! Custom orders start at 100 pieces - just email us for more info.

Available with free shipping from our website or from Amazon.


The Pocket Scientist at Genius Lab Gear

The Pocket Scientist from Amazon

How to use The Pocket Scientist – Full Feature Guide

P.S. We also have versions specifically for Chemists and Engineers if those are a better fit for the person you have in mind!

2. RADTriage Model50 Personal Radiation Detector for Wallet or Pocket

The human body's cells are damaged by radiation. Although low doses of radiation aren't harmful, moderate doses can cause illness, headaches, vomiting, and a fever. This military-grade Pocket Radiation Detector is the perfect gift for a nuclear engineer who’s working closely with harmful radiation. With an increase in radiation exposure, the sensor develops color almost instantaneously. Traditional radiation detectors use a battery, require calibration, and aren’t pocket-sized! A great option would be to pair this gift with The Pocket Scientist above. It’s a perfect pair of wallet tools to keep handy while they’re on the job!


Check the price on Amazon.

3. Physics and Engineering Word Magnets for the fridge or office

Science-themed gifts are rarely as entertaining and enduring as our science-themed word magnet sets! We recently launched these to encourage creativity and self-expression in labs, classrooms and offices. Each specialty pack comes with 144 tiles carefully designed by a PhD in that field for technical accuracy and tacit absurdity.

The Physics Word Magnet set was designed with help from professional physicists, who chose words to make it both science-y and humorous. We also made an Engineering set that would pair well for a customized set for nuclear engineers. These are just plain fun!

Also now available on Amazon.



4. Men’s Nuclear Physics Science Necktie

The nuclear physics necktie is the ideal finishing touch for a work outfit, and it gives your favorite nuclear engineer the unique blend of nuclear physics and fashion that they've been dying for. This one-of-a-kind gift for nuclear physics fans has nuclear physics diagrams and models and can be worn for nearly any occasion. Crafted in microfiber, you can be certain that this nuclear physics necktie will help them radiate good vibes no matter where they go.


Check the price on Amazon.

5. Stainless Steel Tritium Vial Housing

This is a slightly crazy but unique gift for a nuclear engineer that can store actual radioactive isotope vials called Tritium. But you’re probably wondering if this gift is safe? Well, yes! Tritium is a very low energy beta emitter and even large amounts of this isotope pose no external dose hazard to persons exposed. Tritium vials are available in a wide range of sizes and colors, and they will give off colorful glowing light for many years. This version of isotope fob can house Tritium vials that will make a great keychain or necklace accessory! Although Tritium vials aren’t available in the USA, they can be found from other stores worldwide.


Check the price on Amazon.

6. Thorium Breeder Nuclear Reactor 1965 Patent Print

Made with high-quality archival paper, this poster wall art print showcases the patent of the Thorium Breeder Nuclear Reactor. The artwork shows a piece of nuclear engineering history and is a great addition to any house, office, lounge, or other places where they wish to display their passion for their profession.


Check the price on Amazon.

7. Compact Digital Geiger Counter

One of the most crucial considerations for anyone who works near radiation is being aware of the levels of radiation present. This personal radiation dosimeter is small and lightweight, making it easy to carry with you at all times. It features accurate and instant detection of beta, gamma, and x-rays, and can last up to 100+ hours before changing the batteries. Help keep your nuclear engineer extra safe by giving them their own personal dosimeter that they can carry wherever they go!


Check the price on Amazon.

8. Best books for a nuclear engineer to read for pleasure (not textbooks!)

Engineers spend a ton of time reading textbooks and journal articles. It’s important to occasionally break that cycle and dive into a book for pleasure. Below are a few of our favorite engineering-related books that will be an enjoyable and inspiring read for a nuclear engineer or student.

Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster

The April 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine is an important part of history in nuclear engineering. Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster is a New York Times best book of the year that tells the story of the Chernobyl disaster and its grisly aftermath with thriller-like flair. It’s a wonderful and chilling book to read that features communist party leaders and unfortunate engineers, victims and villains, uncertainty and cover-up.


Check the price on Amazon.

Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout

Marie Curie was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity research, winning Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry in 1903 and 1911, respectively. Radioactive is a stunning visual biography of Marie Curie. It’s a story of her life, from passionate romance with Pierre Curie to her epic scientific discoveries that became a foundation in today’s nuclear energy, radiation therapy in medicine, nuclear weapons, and more.


Check the price on Amazon.

Atomic Awakening: A New Look at the History and Future of Nuclear Power

Atomic Awakening assesses nuclear technology's potential as a non-polluting, renewable energy source while discussing how nuclear energy's negative associations with weapons development like the Hiroshima bomb and the Cold War have hampered the advancement of its beneficial applications. A perfect read for a nuclear engineer that tells the history of nuclear technology from the 1800s to the 21st century and how it could provide plenty of cheap, renewable energy if only we can get past our irrational feel of it.


Check the price on Amazon.

9. Nuclear Submarine - 193 Piece Brick Building Set

This USS Fleming Army Ballistic Missile Nuclear Submarine is made up of 193 pieces to put together! Let’s be honest - it may seem like it’s designed for kids but are secretly a ton of fun for adults too! It’s a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, exercise your creativity, and spend some quality time with your kids. It’s also a perfect desk or shelf display fit for a nuclear engineer.


Check the price on Amazon.

10. Escape Room The Game Expansion Pack – Nuclear Countdown

This Escape Room The Game Expansion Pack version is a nuclear-themed game that makes an ideal gift for a nuclear engineer who loves challenging strategic board games. This game is meant for 3-5 players, ages 16 and older, and is ideal for friends and family. The key to solving the mind-boggling riddles and puzzles is teamwork, ingenuity, and attention to detail. As a bonus, there’s an Escape Room The Game App that can be downloaded to add a thrilling soundtrack to each escape room scenario.


Check the price on Amazon.

11. Marie Curie "Fear Less" - Canvas Wrap

Looking for a perfect gift for someone who would love a female role model in STEM? Or someone who would love reading Marie Curie’s biography in search of inspiration and motivation for their own work? This Marie Curie "Fear Less" Canvas Wrap might be the one that you’re looking for. Marie Curie was the pioneering woman in the science of radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel prize and used the prize money to fund her own work on the way to her second. As a chemist and physicist, she dedicated herself to the study of radioactivity not for the accolades, but for the possible benefits to humankind. 

This silhouette canvas wrap print will be their daily motivation in their search for knowledge. Perfect for their office, lab or living room, let it inspire their work for the benefit of humankind.


You can order this canvas wrap print directly through our site.

12. Professional Engineer Exam Study Guide

Tests for certified engineering licenses like the PE and FE can seem daunting but they are critical in many engineering careers. Luis Duque, a civil engineer who passed the PE on his first try and hosts a podcast called Engineering Our Future, is dedicated to teaching study skills and career skills for young engineers. Luis also launched a very affordable study skills email course to help engineers actively preparing for their FE or PE exam. If your engineer is close to graduation or approaching their PE exam, gifting them this course would be a huge help.

pe exam study guide course

13. Engineer’s Gift Bundle

If you can't decide by now, I can still help! Consider this decision made. I put together a Engineer Gift Bundle just to make it easy for you. It includes the Pocket tool and Word Magnets from above, plus a few fun science stickers. You'll save over 20% by bundling them together, so grab this and you can stop your search here!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What is the best gift for a nuclear engineer?

Anything that's practical, functional or can help them show their love for nuclear engineering. Here are our favorites:

More gift collections for specific types of scientists and engineers:

We've further curated several collections of our own inventions depending on the type of scientist or engineer you're looking for. See these more niche collections below for more ideas!

Gifts for Engineers

Gifts for Mechanical Engineers

Gifts for Civil Engineers

Gifts for Electrical Engineers

Gifts for Chemical Engineers

Gifts for Aerospace Engineers

Gifts for Engineer Retirement

Gifts for Professional Engineers

Gifts for Female Engineers

Gifts for Professors and Grad School PIs

Unique Gifts for Graduate and PhD Students

Gifts for Chemists and Chemistry Students

Gifts for Scientists

Gifts for Astrophysicists

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