Become a leading researcher and designer of innovative engineering solutions, with a PhD in Engineering from VU.
PhD in Engineering program at VU
Continue your graduate study with one of Australia’s leading engineering-research universities. We offer world-class engineering labs, top research institutes, and invaluable industry collaborations.
In the latest Excellence in Research for Australia results we were rated:
- 'well above world standard' in electrical and electronic engineering
- 'above world standard' in engineering overall.
We offer doctoral degrees in:
- chemical engineering
- civil engineering
- electrical engineering
- mechanical engineering.
During your study, you’ll work on cutting-edge engineering projects, presenting your research as a PhD thesis, and in journals and conferences.
Our interdisciplinary research areas include opportunities for research in:
- advanced food systems
- water management
- fire safety
- electrical power (including smart and alternative energy)
- structural mechanics.
You’ll graduate ready for an important career in engineering research, design and policy, or a university position.
When you study for a PhD in Engineering with VU, you’ll be part of a world-class research environment. Our research is ranked above world standard by Excellence in Research for Australia.
You’ll have access to state-of-the art labs with modern equipment. Our support services, programs and infrastructure give you the best road to success in your graduate study.
Our research groups cover many engineering areas:
- Advanced food systems (including biotechnology; chemical, analytical and polymer science)
- Applied ecology
- Alternative energy
- Engineered packaging and distribution (including thermodynamics; fluid mechanics; vibrations and dynamics; chemical, analytical and polymer science)
- Structural mechanics and materials (including sustainable buildings)
- Smart energy
- Telecommunications, electronics, photonics and sensors
- Water resources.
We offer fantastic opportunities to work with other universities and industry partners, as part of your research.
University partnerships include:
- Deakin University
- University of NSW
- University of California Los Angeles
- Sunchon National University (Korea)
- University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP)
- Nanjing University of Technology
- Fudan University (China)
Industry and government partners include:
- Barwon Water
- Central Highlands Water
- City West Water
- Crusader Hose Pty Ltd
- Dairy Innovation Australia Ltd
- Departments of Health, Primary Industries, Sustainability and Environment
- Fonterra cooperative
- Melbourne Water
- Regional Victoria Food Clusters
- Veolia Water Australia Pty Ltd
- Victoria Chemical Company
- Water Research Australia
- Western Water.
VU Research gives you opportunities to:
- connect with other researchers
- participate in research festivals and competitions
- develop your research skills
- get funding for your research
- publish and promote your findings.
We offer support for graduate researchers including:
- an orientation program
- a specialised Office for Researcher Training, Quality & Integrity
- study spaces
- units to help you conceptualise and contextualise your research
- research ambassadors and student association.
Find out more about graduate opportunities at VU.
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Our first-rate facilities, including a fire-testing lab, allow for advanced practical engineering research
Engineering PhD research student Sajad Amjadi in our Victoria Zone Substation Simulator Centre
Careers in engineering
A PhD will help you find important work in the following areas:
- government policy
- university research
- industry research, design or management.
Engineering careers include:
- power generation, transmission, distribution, management and control (particularly Smart or alternative energy)
- managing, designing and developing telecommunication network systems
- microelectronic and electronic design
- water-related work for government organisations and private firms
- processing design for the food industry
- mechanical design for construction and safety.
Average Australian salaries:
- policy and planning managers, A$122,500 (JobOutlook)
- university lecturers, over A$100,000 (JobOutlook)
- electrical engineers, A$100,200 (Job Outlook)
- electronics engineers, A$116,400 (Job Outlook)
- civil engineers, A$87,500 (Job Outlook).
The PhD is a research based degree with a maximum duration of 4 years (full time) and 8 years (part time).
As well as enrolling in Research Thesis units Doctor of Philosophy (Science) students will be required to complete two coursework units, ROP8001 and ROP8002.
An average result of 70% is required in the compulsory coursework units in order to proceed to candidature confirmation. Ongoing progression is subject to policy and procedures for candidature management as per the VU HDR Policy.
On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
|1.||expert understanding of a substantial body of theory and its practical application at the frontier of a field of work or learning, including substantial expert knowledge of ethical research principles and methods applicable to the field.|
|2.||intellectual independence and cognitive skills to undertake a systematic investigation, reflect critically on theory and practice and evaluate existing knowledge and ideas, including identifying, evaluating and critically analysing the validity of research studies and their applicability to a research problem.|
|3.||expert cognitive, technical and creative skills to: design, develop and implement a research project/s to systematically investigate a research problem; develop, adapt and implement research methodologies to extend and redefine existing knowledge; manage, analyse, evaluate and interpret data, synthesising key ideas and theorising within the context of key literature.|
|4.||expert communication skills to explain and critique theoretical propositions, methodologies and conclusions; to disseminate and promote new insights; and to cogently present a complex investigation of originality, or original research, both for external examination and to specialist (eg researcher peers) and non-specialist (industry and/or community) audiences through informal interaction, scholarly publications, reports and formal presentations.|
|5.||capacity to reflect on, develop and evaluate strategies for achieving their own learning and career goals.|
|6.||intellectual independence, initiative and creativity in new situations and/or for further learning.|
|7.||ethical practice and full responsibility and accountability for personal outputs.|
|8.||autonomy, authoritative judgement, adaptability and responsibility as an expert and independent scholar.|
What's a unit?
A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.
Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take and optional elective units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.
Each unit is worth a set amount of study credits based on the amount of time you study. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 1 hour of study per week.
Admission & pathways
Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course. Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.
Achieved an IELTS, (Academic Module) result with an overall score of 6.5 (no band less than 6) or equivalent and completed a Masters degree or a relevant four year undergraduate degree with Honours or its equivalent at a high standard.
Find out if you meet the entry requirements, including English language and academic requirements.
If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.
Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course coordinator or academic adviser.