CONTACT: Jill Rosen
Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering has created a doctoral engineering program to serve the needs of working engineering professionals and to meet the growing demand for engineers who have the advanced knowledge needed to solve challenging problems.
Like a traditional PhD, the new “Doctor of Engineering” program is grounded in a candidate’s advanced research and in mentorship by a member of the Whiting School’s engineering faculty. But while traditional PhD programs focus on engineering theory and scholarship to prepare candidates for careers in academic or industrial research and leadership, the “DEng” program centers on engineering practice and application to prepare graduates for technical leadership roles in industry or the public sector.
Unlike traditional PhD candidates who spend five or more years on a university campus conducting laboratory-based research, students in this program will only come to campus twice a year —in January and June — to meet with advisors, take oral examinations, and engage in networking and social events. The majority of the time, they will conduct research at their places of work, focusing on creating innovative solutions to industry challenges.
“The program takes the form of a research collaboration between the student’s employer and the Whiting School of Engineering. Students are actively mentored by a Johns Hopkins engineering faculty member, as well as a co-advisor at their places of employment,” said Ed Scheinerman, vice dean for graduate education. “DEng students’ projects are thus very ‘real world’ in nature and focus on solving problems for their employers. This allows them to have direct and immediate impact at their places of work.”
Instead of the program culminating with a traditional dissertation, DEng students will present their research in ways more appropriate for industry and the public sector — by creating things like prototypes, videos, simulations and patent applications.
This summer the program welcomed its first cohort of eight students — all from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. They are working with their Johns Hopkins mentors on projects ranging from data science and machine learning to human-machine teaming.
T.E. Schlesinger, dean of the Whiting School, said he is proud to introduce this new terminal degree track because it offers working engineers the opportunity to advance their knowledge.
“It’s not only the engineers who have much to gain — industry and the public sector also will benefit by having employees with high-level skills and innovative problem-solving abilities,” he said. “Our hope is that this new approach raises the level of expertise across the engineering profession and better prepares engineers to address the world’s increasingly complex and high-stakes challenges.”
Applications for the program opened September 17.
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