Professional Doctorate in Engineering

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The Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) is a Dutch degree awarded to graduates of engineering programs that develop their students' capabilities to work within a professional context. These programs focus on applied techniques and design, in their respective engineering fields. The technological PDEng designer programs were initiated at the request of the Dutch high-tech industry. High-tech companies need professionals who can design and develop complex new products and processes and offer innovative solutions. All programs work closely together with high-tech industry, offering trainees the opportunity to participate in large-scale, interdisciplinary design projects. With this cooperation, PDEng programs provide trainees a valuable network of contacts in industry. Each program covers a different technological field, for example managing complex architectural construction projects, designing mechanisms for user interfaces for consumer products or developing high-tech software systems for software-intensive systems. Participation in a program that awards the abbreviation PDEng requires at least a Master's degree in a related field.[1]

PDEng degrees can be obtained at the three technical Universities in the Netherlands, Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, and University of Twente. Between these universities interscholastic cooperation programs exist like the 3TU Federation and its Stan Ackermans Institute.[2]


The two-year, full-time programs all lead to a Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) degree. The programs are certified by the Dutch Certification Committee for Technological Design Programs (CCTO or Dutch: Nederlandse Certificatiecommissie voor Opleidingen tot Technologisch Ontwerper), which represents the interests of the Dutch Employers' Collective (Dutch: Raad Centrale Ondernemingsorganisaties) and the Royal Institution of Engineers in the Netherlands (KIVI NIRIA or Dutch: Koninklijk Instituut Van Ingenieurs).[3] The CCTO's main goal is to ensure that such degrees hold to the high standards established by both academia and industry. The committee reviews these degree programs every five years to ensure continued standards compliance.[4] Discussions have recently started in order to extend the recognition of Engineering Doctorate diploma across Europe, for example in the United Kingdom and in Sweden.[5]


The Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) name owes its existence to the adoption of the Bachelor/Master (Ba/Ma) degree system after the Bologna Process. While most Dutch universities adopted the Ba/Ma system in 2001, the PDEng was known as the official Master of Technical Design (MTD) degree until 2004. It was then that the Dutch Certification Committee for Technological Design Programs finally ratified the new degree to separate it from the conventional Master's degree.[3]


Application is open to university graduates from the Netherlands and other countries. A trainee must hold at least a Master of Science degree or equivalent, preferably in the exact sciences. Besides, applicant must have an interest in designing solutions for complex technological problems. There can be an assessment and selection procedure before entering a program. The PDEng programs use strict selection criteria to ensure the required high quality. Excellent marks, motivation and a design-oriented attitude are vitally important. A trainee should also have an excellent command of the English language. The exact admission and selection procedures are different at the three locations. All applications are judged by the Selection Committee.[1]

PDEng programs at each location[edit]

PDEng programs at the Delft University of Technology

  • Process and Equipment Design (PED)
  • Chemical Product Design (CPD)
  • Designer in Bioprocess Engineering (DBE)
  • BioProduct Design (BPD)
  • Comprehensive Design in Civil Engineering (CDCE)

PDEng programs at the Eindhoven University of Technology

PDEng programs at the University of Twente