Mechanical engineering doctoral students:
After establishing a PhD committee and prior to the qualifying exam, the mechanical engineering doctoral student must convene a program meeting at which all committee members, including the GCR, are present. The purpose of this meeting is for the student to present their proposed program of study. At this meeting the student will also present a timeline for PhD requirement completion (qualifying exam, preliminary exam, and final oral exam). Students are required to bring along a Doctoral Program Meeting Checklist (found here) for their GCR to complete and sign at the meeting.
Industrial engineering doctoral students:
After establishing a PhD committee the industrial engineering doctoral student must convene a meeting which will serve as both their program meeting and their qualifying examination.
The objective of this two-hour meeting is to demonstrate that the student has the potential to pursue and complete a Ph.D. thesis, and to steer the student to an M.S. or M.Eng. degree in a timely manner if needed. This milestone event must occur within six months after completing Industrial Engineering core courses and will consist of two parts.
Doctoral Program Meeting – 30 minutes
The Doctoral Program Meeting is a gathering of the student’s entire committee, including their graduate council representative (GCR), for the purpose of approving the student’s Program of Study (POS) plan. When completing the POS plan, the student and the major professor should consider program coursework requirements, a proposed research topic, the timing of when needed courses are offered, and the timing of when the student intends to complete their thesis. Students are required to bring along a Doctoral Program Meeting Checklist (found here) for their GCR to complete and sign at the meeting.
The POS plan defines:
- The courses the graduate student will take
- If the student is completing a minor and/or an option
- Members of the student’s graduate committee
Qualifying Exam – Up to 1.5 hours
The student’s committee will listen to a 30 to 40 minute presentation from the student and have a chance to examine the student with regard to its content. There are multiple options for this presentation to accommodate different levels of progress on a Ph.D. thesis topic, differences in the nature of research conducted, and preferences of the student’s committee.
I. The student may present a paper from a QUALITY research journal in their area of interest. The paper must be pre-approved by the student’s committee. The presentation should present details of the paper with respect to motivation, literature review, research approach, methods, results, and research contribution. This will be followed by a critique/evaluation of the paper with respect to the details presented. The presentation should emphasize depth so that the student should be able to present and answer detailed technical questions related to the paper beyond what is expected in a literature review.
II. Students may select a topic of interest and select major seminal journal papers in the topic selected. The student’s committee will validate the selection and will add/modify the selection accordingly (it is suggested the student works on 4-6 papers; however, depending on the topic, the committee might adjust the number). The student presentation will highlight: 1) the relevance of the topic to the industrial engineering research area (e.g., engineering management research), 2) topic evolution, 3) the main research methods utilized in the topic (with technical descriptions), and 4) results and contributions of each paper to the industrial engineering research area.
III. The student may present their selected research topic. Findings or anticipated findings with respect to motivation, literature review, research approach, and research methods should be presented in addition to the particular challenges and anticipated research contributions.
If option I or II is selected, the student should provide a copy of the paper/papers to the committee at least two weeks before the exam. If option III is selected, the student should provide a summary document of the research topic (up to 5 pages) at least two weeks before the exam.
The industrial engineering doctoral qualifying exam can be repeated once (within two terms after the initial exam) if the student fails.