Innovative Doctoral Program Debuts

Winter 2019

Innovative Doctoral ProgramIn July, the Whiting School welcomed its first cohort of students accepted to an innovative new Doctor of Engineering (DEng) program designed to meet the needs of midcareer engineering professionals.

Like a traditional PhD program, the DEng program is grounded in a candidate’s advanced research and mentorship by a member of the Whiting School’s engineering faculty.

But similarities end there. While traditional PhD programs focus on 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.

Students don’t have to spend the five or more years on a university campus conducting laboratory-based research—they continue to work full time, focusing on applying creative and innovative solutions to challenges that arise in their companies or agencies.

Another notable difference is that instead of work culminating in a dissertation, DEng students will present the fruits of their research through the creation of prototypes, videos, simulations, patent applications, and more.

Though the bulk of the DEng candidates’ work is done at their places of employment, they will come to campus for conferences twice a year—in January and July. The first of those conferences was held last July, bringing eight students—all from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory—to campus for sessions with their advisers and networking opportunities.

“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,” says Ed Schlesinger, the Benjamin T. Rome Dean of the Whiting School of Engineering.