Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences:
‘Prepare engineers for industry’
Last month, the foresight report ‘The PhD system works’ of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences was published. The Academy concluded that the Dutch PhD system works, is future-proof and highly qualified, delivering independent minds. However, it is important to better prepare candidates for careers outside academia, and there must be room for other forms of qualification after the master's degree, such as the PDEng.
The report recognises the need for what the PDEng programs of 3TU.SAI have been offering for many years: engineers preparing for work at a high level in industry. Whereas a PhD candidate delves deep into an investigation, a PDEng bends to the application of knowledge to design something new. Unlike PhD candidates, PDEngs are getting prepared for a career outside academia. In the first year of schooling, alongside substantive courses, the training of soft skills gets intensive attention. PDEngs are being prepared for the new and unexpected and learning to break through walls whilst keeping a bird’s eye view. Not only should there be a good technological design, it also should be able to solve the actual problem, be financially viable, have support among users and so on. The second year of the PDEng training consists (mainly) of an individual major design project which is carried out at a company. In addition, the report of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences confirmed that the degree of Professional Doctorate is in place at the PDEng courses, which are classified next to the promotions in the third cycle of the European Qualifications Framework.