5 March 2012
“The Engineering Doctorate”: The CLAIU-EU Conference was held on the 9th and 10th February 2012 in Madrid
The 2012 CLAIU EU Conference focused on the engineering doctorate in its traditional format together with new developments in relation to its structure.
The fundamental characteristic of any doctorate is that it is based on original research and must have resulted in the discovery of new knowledge. Recent developments in a number of jurisdictions include the establishment of the so-called “professional doctorate”.
paper was presented by Patrick Godfrey.
The development of the Engineering Doctorate (EngD) in the UK is traced. A differentiating purpose is the creation of future leaders with industry as compared with PhD‟s which although valued in industry, have the originating purpose of creating future leaders for academia. How EngD‟s purpose is met is summarised. Value is added in 4 ways such that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. The value for industry is in the research and development it generates. Government has an expanded resource of industrial leaders with professional competence for innovative interdisciplinary research and development. The University gains publishable contributions to knowledge that are the hall mark of a Doctorate and a world class Engineering Research Centre. The value for the individual is in career development potential and an opportunity to make a difference. The success of the EngD development programme over the past 20 years is a consequence of the EPSRC funding of Industrial Doctorate Centres (IDCs) which are true collaborations with industry. By focussing on need and purpose rather than prescription, the IDCs provide a flexibility that supports innovation and creativity. Because it is founded on industrial experience, the whole process is well aligned to the development of professional engineering competency. The need to develop and protect the brand of an EngD as well as the network of Research Engineers and Alumni has led to the establishment of an Association of EngDs (AEngD). It is also noted that there is a proposal to create a European Engineering Doctorate that should reflect the same kind of purpose, quality standards, flexibility and diversity. It is intended that it will respond to the particular needs of the local industries and educational contexts across Europe.