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The doctorate program in engineering prepares the next generation of engineering leaders to tackle some of the most daunting and complex problems facing our society. The Ph.D. in Engineering program at RIT is designed to educate world-class researchers who can capitalize on the most promising discoveries and innovations, regardless of their origin within the engineering field, to develop interdisciplinary solutions for real-world challenges. Graduates from the program are expected to build upon a foundation of strength in a traditional engineering discipline (biomedical, chemical, computer, electrical, industrial, mechanical or microsystems) and embrace the inter-disciplinary elements of the program of study to become application domain experts and engineering innovators in an open-architecture environment. The Ph.D. in Engineering students will address both fundamental and applied research problems of national and global importance for the 21st Century, centered on four key industries - Transportation, Energy, Communications and Healthcare (T/E/C/H). Today, we face global challenges in T/E/C/H that demand highly trained engineers with deep disciplinary skills and a thorough contextual understanding for their research efforts. These industries impact every individual on the planet and are the focus areas doctoral candidates and faculty will contribute to through study and research.



Curriculum: The curriculum provides disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses, research mentorship, and engineering focus area seminars. Students are expected to have a disciplinary-rooted technical strength to conduct and complete independent, original, and novel collaborative interdisciplinary research contributing to one of the four industrial and/or societal focus areas. The program is comprised of 66 credit hours: 36 course credits and 30 research credits. Core courses (12 credits): Interdisciplinary Research Methods, Engineering Analytics Foundation, and Engineering Analytics Elective. All students will enroll in a Focus Area Seminar each term during their program of study. Discipline foundation courses (12 Credits)Foundation courses build depth within a disciplinary field of engineering, such as mechanical engineering, electrical and microelectronics engineering, computer engineering, industrial and systems engineering, chemical engineering, or biomedical engineering. T/E/C/H focus area courses (12 Credits): Beginning with the course Translating Discovery into Practice, this rigorous set of four engineering courses provides students with comprehensive coverage of engineering challenges and solution approaches in the four key industry areas associated with the program: transportation, energy, communications, and healthcare (T/E/C/H). Students choose a focus area and complete at least three T/E/C/H elective courses. The T/E/C/H focus area elective courses, selected from courses within current RIT degree programs, provide specialized knowledge and skill-sets relevant to the student’s dissertation research. These focus area electives are typically chosen to build upon and broaden the student's depth of knowledge in a traditional engineering discipline. Comprehensive exam: Taken at the end of their first year of study, the exam evaluates the student’s aptitude, potential, and competency in conducting Ph.D. level research. Dissertation proposal: Students must present a dissertation proposal to their dissertation committee no sooner than six months after the comprehensive exam and at least six months prior to the candidacy exam. This provides the opportunity for the student to elaborate on their research plans and to obtain feedback on the direction and approach to their research from his/her dissertation committee. Candidacy exam: The candidacy exam provides comprehensive feedback to the student regarding their dissertation research progress and expected outcomes prior to defense of their full dissertation. Dissertation presentation and defense: Each doctoral candidate prepares an original, technically sound, and well-written dissertation. They present and defend their dissertation and its accompanying research to their dissertation committee. Residency: All students in the program must spend at least three years as resident full-time student before completing the degree. Dissemination: All students in the program must disseminate the results of their research in peer reviewed publications. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in professional society technical conferences, present their work at the RIT Graduate Research Symposium. We hope that our doctoral students will engage in community outreach through the Imagine RIT Innovation and Creativity Festival, summer events for middle and high school students or creating a public interest article for "The Rochester Engineer" magazine. Program overview, curriculum review and admission requirement information is available here. Applying to the Program: We encourage you to submit your application on-line with supporting documents and official GRE and TOEFL scores prior to January 15th, 2015 for a timely Fall 2015 admission decision.




The goal of the Transportation industry focus area is to produce graduates who will become recognized leaders in the field through the solution of problems including transportation infrastructure, manufacturing competitiveness, service economies, and global supply chain logistics. This goal will be achieved through relevant industry -inspired applied research and basic research in energy related fields. Transportation systems include ground-based vehicle systems; underwater vehicles; flight and space vehicles; robotic systems; micro vehicles; intelligent manned and unmanned vehicles; remotely operated vehicle systems; freight transport systems; transportation data gathering and fusion; sensor systems for estimation of vehicle state information; transportation infrastructure; and systems of vehicles acting cooperatively. Two cross-cutting societal issues that will be addressed within this area are next-generation personal transportation systems and optimal strategies for vehicle routing and logistics. The challenges of designing, manufacturing, and supporting modern vehicle systems and all of the associated infra-structure requires teams of professionals and expertise from multiple disciplines. Modern hybrid vehicles, for example, require a full understanding of multiple fields of engineering and technology including chemical, mechanical, electrical, and industrial engineering. These systems require a closer coupling of electrical (energy conversion), mechanical (power-train) and chemical (energy storage) engineering than traditional vehicles. Global supply chain logistics and international trade issues associated with the global supply of rare earth elements used in magnets create hugely complex research problems.

Engineering skills from a variety of disciplines are required to address transportation issues and their accompanying societal challenges as the world becomes more flat, and people as well as goods, become more mobile.

Dr. Agamemnon Crassidis is the faculty lead for this application domain.

See the Transportation Research page for other faculty active in this field.




Doctoral candidates in the energy focus area who will be recognized leaders in the field through the solution of our global energy challenges. This goal will be achieved through relevant industry -inspired applied research and basic research in energy related fields.

This focus area will expand the ability of faculty and students to conduct basic and applied research including pilot scale demonstrations in the six functional areas necessary for sustainable solutions to the nation's energy needs: energy collection, conversion, storage, distribution, control, and consumption. There can be little doubt of the importance of both fundamental and applied research in renewable energy systems. Research efforts will range from the fundamental understanding of heat, mass, energy and momentum transport processes to pilot-scale testing and computer modeling of industrially- relevant sustainable energy systems.

As one example, coursework from across the KGCOE provides students with the background to improve reciprocating compressor technology under the direction of Dr. Jason Kolodziej, in cooperation with our industry partner Dresser Rand. Mechanical, Industrial and Electrical Engineering skills are complemented by expertise in statistics to solve this interdisciplinary problem associated with clean fuels and greenhouse gas management - one of several global energy problems being investigated in the energy focus area by faculty in the KGCOE.Engineering skills from a variety of disciplines are required to address the global issues of a sustainable energy system within the context of societal norms and expectations that vary widely around the globe. Leaders in this field need to be technically strong and also understand the socio-political context of their research in order for research endeavors to be effectively translated into real-world solutions.

Dr. Edward Hensel is the faculty lead for this application domain

See the Energy Research page for other faculty active in this field.




The Communications Industry will continue to transform society in the 21st century. The proliferation of cyber and physical sensors in cell phones, smart homes, work environment, traffic monitoring, and other areas highlight the growing importance of efficiently transferring, processing and interpreting vast amounts and diverse types of data. Emerging initiatives in the Communications industry include cyber physical systems, Internet of things, and machine-to-machine communications.

This research focus area includes wireless communication, sensor systems and networks, embedded systems and electronics, satellite communications, signal processing and control, high performance and reliable architecture, resilient and secure systems and global networks, and emerging multimedia systems. Two cross-cutting and global societal issues that will be addressed within this focus area are "Intelligent Home and Personal Networks" and "Heterogeneous Mission-critical Surveillance Infra-structure."

Communications research involves interdisciplinary training in sensing, communications, networking, computing, and signal processing of data in a secure and reliable manner to support diverse applications as illustrated in the Figure below. National and international security systems solutions require contributions from disciplines including computer, electrical, industrial and mechanical engineering. Pursuant to The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, NSF launched the Cyber-Physical Systems program jointly by the Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering and Engineering.

Dr. Andrés Kwasinski is the faculty lead in this application domain.

See the Communications Research page for other faculty active in this field.




Healthcare is one of the largest expenses in the entire U.S. Economy, measured as a fraction of gross domestic product, second only to food. Concerns about access to high quality affordable health are a global issue, prevalent in every society around the world.

Faculty and students working in the Healthcare track apply the fundamental knowledge of their respective engineering disciplines to health-related areas; with research projects focused on the technological challenges inherent in developing enhanced imaging systems, assistive devices systems, methodologies to diagnose and treat diseases, physiological modeling, design of separation and bioanalytical systems for clinical applications, and optimization of the delivery and quality of healthcare processes and services. It is easy to envision such projects engaging a interdisciplinary team of students as healthcare encompasses research activities in all of the KGCOE departments as well as other colleges at RIT.

The Healthcare focus area aligns with the Institute’s campus wide initiatives and supports the recent strategic alignment with Rochester General Hospital. Collaborative relationships have also been established with several faculty members from outside the KGCOE; in particular the College of Applied Science and Technology and the College of Science, NTID, University of Rochester, and multiple industry sponsors. These partnerships have already resulted in joint proposal submissions, funded projects, and publications.

One example of the interdisciplinary healthcare research being conducted in the KGCOE is the development of the Left Ventricle Assist Device (LVAD) being developed by Dr. Steven Day's team with support from the NIH and in collaboration with the Utah Artificial Heart Institute. Future PhD students who work on projects like this would be provided with a strong context for their research through the Healthcare Seminar, Focus Area Electives and disciplinary studies as described in the Curriculum.

Dr. Michaei Kuhl is the faculty lead in this applicaiton domain.

See the Healthcare Research page for other faculty active in this field.





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