Dr Paul Golby (chairman of the EPSRC and of Engineering UK) gave the keynote.
The Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, spoke.
Prof James Powell talked about being "the midwife of the EngD" 20 years earlier.
Prof Nick Weston of Renishaw plc's Edinburgh office talked about the EngD from an industry sponsor's perspective.
An EngD alumni view was given by Dr Gareth Rice, now head of environmental at O2 Telefonica.
Rolls-Royce plce research engineer Charlotte Dunford talked about her EngD research.
Prof Kees van Hee (Stan Ackermans Institute) gave a European view of EngD-equivalent research.