The EPD PhD programme provides a comprehensive and intensive approach in the study of products and their design, whose development cuts across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Through a combination of cutting edge research and a sound understanding of design principles, students will engage in the development of engineering products to meet society’s needs and also in the exploration of new scientific breakthroughs as the emerging technology for future applications. The objectives of our programme are:

Development of engineering products that is important for society needs, such as electronic, electromechanical, magnetic, photonic, robotic, automated systems, aerospace and automotive, microelectronics, optoelectronics, information technology, digital media, biomedical devices and systems, and many areas indicated in the research areas (see table below).

Exploration of new scientific breakthrough that is potential to become the emerging technology for future applications.

Thus our programme is suitable for students with different backgrounds, such as physics, chemistry, electrical / electronic engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, materials science and any other relevant fields. We believe that students will be attracted to the interdisciplinary nature of the EPD PhD programme supported by our faculty members with different research backgrounds.

We encourage you to contact phd@epd.sutd.edu.sg for inquiries about the programme.

Overview of the 5-Year PhD Programme

Course Work 5-graduate level course
2-term special research project
2-term research seminar
Before Year 1.5 To pass qualifying exam
Before Year 2.5 To pass the preliminary exam and thesis proposal
Year 2.5 – 4.5 PhD research
Optional Overseas Attachment & Internship
(up to 6 months each)
Before Year 5 Submit Thesis and pass PhD oral defence
Meet minimum residency of 3 years and teaching training
Complete other requirements
Not teaching or other duties in the last 6 months

Overall Requirements

In addition to the normal requirement of submitting a research thesis and passing an oral defence, a student working towards a PhD degree in EPD is required to:

  1. Fulfill 5 regular graduate levels courses,
  2. Complete 2 terms of research project courses,
  3. Participate in a 2 terms of research seminar courses,
  4. Complete professional development module,
  5. Teaching,
  6. A common designette workshop,
  7. Overseas attachment & industry internship (for up to 6 months each – optional).

Course Work

Courses are primarily for graduate students with an interest in the diverse nature of science, engineering and technology. Thus, there are 3 components in EPD course work: Graduate level course, Special Research project and Research seminar.

Graduate Level Course
A student working towards a PhD degree is required to take 5 graduate level courses in specific areas selected in consultation with the assigned advisor or mentor. 3 of the 5 courses must be selected from a list of EPD graduate courses. The minimum requirement is 5 graduate courses.

Special Research Project
In EPD PhD degree programme, we believe that students will benefit by doing research or projects even as early as first term. Thus each student must participate in two terms of research project courses under the supervision of at least one faculty member from EPD. Co-supervision is strongly recommended – unless there is a reason not to do so. At the end of the project, the student will deliver a 45-min presentation at the SUTD EPD research seminar in the following term.

Research Seminar
Each student is also required to participate in 2 terms of EPD research seminar courses throughout their career. Participation would be by attendance and by actually delivering a seminar. A minimum attendance of 75% of all scheduled seminars is required. A student may decide to attend research seminars in other pillars in lieu of an EPD seminar. Attendance at talks by external or internal speakers will be counted towards fulfilling the seminar requirement.

Download PhD Programme Brochure