Recommendations for promoting desirable characteristics in engineering Ph.D.s: Perspectives from industry and academia

Monica Farmer Cox, Jiabin Zhu, Jeremi S. London, Benjamin Ahn, Ana T. Torres-Ayala, Kavitha D. Ramane

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


Engineering doctoral graduates often are criticized for being narrowly trained in their disciplines, for being ill-prepared for the professional workplace, for lacking leadership abilities, and for not being flexible in a changing global environment. Considering the challenges facing engineering Ph.D.s, it is necessary to recommend ways for engineering doctoral students to "hit the ground running" in their academic or industrial positions. This research presents information about the potential measures that can be undertaken in graduate education to facilitate the academic preparation of current engineering doctoral students. One-on-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with forty engineering professionals from academic and industrial sectors. The primary research question within this paper asks, "What can be done at the graduate level to ensure that engineering Ph.D. students are acquiring the desired characteristics to be successful in academic and industrial careers?" Our findings suggest that engineering Ph.D.s working in a variety of sectors identify different skills that students can acquire during their graduate school experiences. Both industry and academic professionals confirm a need for more frequent interactions between industrial professionals and doctoral engineering students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
ISBN (Print)9780878232413
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2012Jun 13 2012

Publication series

NameASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Electronic)2153-5965


Other119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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