Professional Doctorate in Engineering

Professional Doctorate in Engineering

The Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) is a name awarded to graduates of engineering programs that develop their students' capabilities to work within a professional context. Although it is not an official doctorate, these programs focus on applied techniques in their respective engineering fields, as opposed to an official degree Doctor of Philosophy. Participation in a program that awards the abbreviation PDEng, which requires at least a Master's degree in a related field [Stan Ackermans Institute, "Software Technology"] .

The main schools currently awarding this name are the Eindhoven University of Technology, Delft University of Technology, and University of Twente. Among these schools are interscholastic cooperation programs like the 3TU Federation and its Stan Ackermans Institute [3TU Federation Website |] .


This name is certified by the Dutch Certification Committee for Technological Design Programmes (CCTO or Dutch: "Nederlandse Certificatiecommissie voor Opleidingen tot Technologisch Ontwerper"), which represents the interests of the Dutch Employers' Collective (Dutch: "Raad Centrale Ondernemingsorganisaties") and the Royal Institution of Engineers in the Netherlands (KIVI NIRIA or Dutch: "Koninklijk Instituut Van Ingenieurs") [KIVI NIRIA, "Ned. Certificatiecom. voor Opleidingen tot Technologisch Ontwerper" |] . The CCTO's main goal is to ensure that such degrees hold to the high standards establishes by both academia and industry. The committee reviews these degree programs every five (5) years to ensure continuted standards compliance [Stan Ackermans Institute, "Software Technology"] .

However, the Dutch law and government does not recognize this study to be a doctoral study. Therefore the name is not a doctorate degree and a graduate is not allowed to use the title Doctor in the Netherlands and internationally.


What sets the PDEng apart from the degree PhD the most is the emphasis on professional skills and business savvy. Generally, a PDEng laureate (design engineer) is well equipped to design technical solutions for products, processes, and/or systems, based not only on practical/functional requirements, but also business/market requirements. PDEng trainees are furthermore trained in accomplishing such goals within the context of a general societal character, placing emphasis on sustainability, societal and cultural impact, and other aspects of social responsibility.

PDEng training is problem-based, team-oriented, and practically applied [Stan Ackermans Institute, "Software Technology"] .


The Professional Doctorare in Engineering (PDEng) name owes its existence to the adoption of the Bachelor/Master (Ba/Ma) degree system after the Bologna Process. While most Dutch universities adopted the Ba/Ma system in 2001, the PDEng was known as the official Master of Technical Design (MTD) degree until 2004. It was then that the Dutch Certification Committee for Technological Design Programmes finally ratified the new degree to separate it from the new Master's degree [KIVI NIRIA, "Ned. Certificatiecom. voor Opleidingen tot Technologisch Ontwerper" |] .


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