Engineering Doctorate benefits for UK plc identified

AEngD/EPSRC research shows Engineering Doctorates lead to new engineering knowledge, innovations, and future industry leaders.

(London, 11 September 2015) – Research funded by the Association of Engineering Doctorates (AEngD) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), has identified four key impacts of Engineering Doctorate (EngD) research programmes.

The pilot research study was undertaken by a team led by Dr Fumi Kitagawa at Manchester Business School, and aimed to assess the impact of the EngD in relation to:

  1. impact on industry partners, and
  2. EngD graduate’s career pathways

The EngD scheme is a form of academia-industry collaboration, which not only generates new knowledge but also enhances knowledge exchange between industry/ business and academia. EngD programmes enhance human capital development by producing people with leadership and management skills, as well as technical skills.

The four routes to impact from EngD programmes identified were:

EngD impacts were found at individual, organisational and sector levels, and Dr Kitagawa’s team identified that the extent of these impacts was influenced by a range of factors including:

The pilot study has already proved useful in, for example, informing the design of EPSRC’s next mid-term review of Centres for Doctoral Training and has been published to aid both the AEngD and EPSRC in their future work. Most importantly, the study highlights the benefits of EngDs for a wider business and government audience and confirms the EngDs’ importance to UK innovation and growth.

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Notes for editors

1          AEngD

The Association of Engineering Doctorates was established in 2010 and quickly encompassed almost all of the EPSRC-designated centres awarding EngD degrees at UK universities, with industry sponsors, existing EngD research engineers and alumni as associate members. A community engaged in research in engineering and related disciplines, it aims to:

2          EngD

The Engineering Doctorate (EngD) scheme was established by the EPSRC in 1992 (following recommendations of the 1990 Engineering Doctorate Report, produced by a working group chaired by Professor Parnaby). The first EngD programmes began in 1992.

Research interests embrace all major areas of engineering, manufacturing and related disciplines including:

3    Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate.

By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Our portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture.

4    The research study

Download the AEngD/EPSRC-funded research study (PDF - 4.3MB)


Understanding the EngD Impact (PDF - 4.3MB)

(PDF - 4.3MB)