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Faculty Regulations

Engineering Doctoral (PhD) Graduate Program Regulations

Engineering Doctoral (PhD) Graduation Program Regulations

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies PhD regulations, the following regulations apply to the PhD program.

(a) Course Requirements

Students course selection must be approved by the graduate supervisor and the Graduate Program Coordinator.

The following are required courses for the program (all Fields of Engineering):

Engineering 6701 PhD Comprehensive

Engineering 6710 PhD Seminar

Engineering 6901 (9900) PhD Dissertation 

A minimum of three half-credit graduate courses beyond the Master's level are normally completed within the first year of registration. To satisfy the program requirements, the three half-credit courses must comply with the following regulations:

  • They must be three half-credit graduate-level courses that have not been taken previously at the Master’s level.
  • No more than one course can be a reading course (Engineering 5739) or a relevant graduate-level course selected from outside the list of graduate courses identified by specific engineering field in the lists below.
  • No more than one advanced topics course (Engineering 5011, Engineering 5691, Engineering 5631, Engineering 5671, Engineering 5655) with the student's supervisor shall be counted towards the degree requirements.

It is expected that the student will maintain a minimum cumulative average of 70% in the course work and a minimal final mark of 70% in each individual course.

Non-Engineering Courses:

Examples of non-Engineering courses include courses from the sciences or mathematics. Non-Engineering courses may be selected with the approval of the student’s supervisor and the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Elective Courses for all Fields of Engineering

Engineering 5739: Reading Course

Elective Courses for Chemical Engineering

Engineering 5551: Biological Treatment Processes
Engineering 5251: Environmental Chemistry
Engineering 5351: Design and Analysis of Experiments
Engineering 5357-: Hazardous and Industrial Waste Management
Engineering 5352: Bioenergy and Biorefining Processes
Engineering 5358: Mineral Process Engineering
Engineering 5453: Air Pollution Control Methods
Engineering 5353-: Colloid and Particle Interaction
Engineering 5354-: Advanced Green Materials and Processes
Engineering 5355: Bioprocess Engineering
Engineering 5359: Polymer Process Engineering
Engineering 5452: Process Optimization
Engineering 5356: Fundamentals of Petroleum Recovery
Engineering 5655: Advanced Topics in Chemical Engineering

Elective Courses for Civil Engineering:

Engineering 5151 - Geoenviromental Engineering
Engineering 5190 - Modeling Techniques in Water Resources
Engineering 5191 - Stochastic and Statistical Methods in Water Resources
Engineering 5390 - Computer Applications in Traffic Engineering
Engineering 5391 - Highway Safety
Engineering 5451 - Physicochemical Treatment Processes
Engineering 5590 - Advanced Foundation Engineering
Engineering 5591 - Soil Properties and Behaviour
Engineering 5592 - Finite Element Analysis for Civil Engineering Applications
Engineering 5593 - Structural Design for Fire Resistance
Engineering 5594 - Advanced Structural Steel Design
Engineering 5595 - Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Engineering 5596 - Condition Assessment of Structures
Engineering 5597 - Advanced Rock Mechanics
Engineering 5598 - Computer-integrated Construction Engineering
Engineering 5691 - Advanced Topics in Civil Engineering

Elective Courses for Electrical and Computer Engineering

Engineering 5111 - Control Engineering Concepts
Engineering 5131 - Microelectronics
Engineering 5132 - Digital Communication Systems
Engineering 5211 - Robust Control
Engineering 5231 - Computer Architecture
Engineering 5232 - Software Construction and Evolution
Engineering 5273 – Mechatronics
Engineering 5331 - Digital ASIC Design
Engineering 5332 – Parallel Programming
Engineering 5333 - Computer Networks
Engineering 5334 - Web Engineering
Engineering 5411 - Intelligent Control
Engineering 5431 - Advanced Power Electronics
Engineering 5432 - Semiconductor Devices
Engineering 5433 - Design of RF ICs
Engineering 5434 - Advanced Wireless Communication Systems
Engineering 5435 - Signal Processing in Biomedical Applications
Engineering 5631 - Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Engineering 5732 - Nonlinear Control
Engineering 5733 - Robotics
Engineering 5735 - Advances in Semiconductor Materials
Engineering 5736 - Nanostructured Materials

Elective Courses for Mechanical Engineering

Engineering 5171:    Computational Mechanics
Engineering 5172:    Advanced Thermal-Fluids
Engineering 5173:    Intelligent Tools for Engineering Applications
Engineering 5174:    Modeling and Control of Mechanical Systems
Engineering 5175:    Applied Elasticity
Engineering 5271:    Alternative Energy Engineering
Engineering 5272:    Combustion and Emissions in IC Engines
Engineering 5273:    Mechatronics
Engineering 5274:    Advanced Manufacturing
Engineering 5275:    Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Engineering 5371:    Vibration Theory and Applications
Engineering 5671:    Advanced Topics in Mechanical Engineering

Elective Courses for Software Engineering

Engineering 5132 - Digital Communication Systems
Engineering 5231 - Computer Architecture
Engineering 5232 - Software Construction and Evolution
Engineering 5273 – Mechatronics
Engineering 5331 - Digital ASIC Design
Engineering 5332 – Parallel Programming
Engineering 5333 - Computer Networks
Engineering 5334 - Web Engineering
Engineering 5432 - Semiconductor Devices
Engineering 5434 - Advanced Wireless Communication Systems
Engineering 5435 - Signal Processing in Biomedical Applications
Engineering 5011 - Topics in Software Engineering
Engineering 5131 - Microelectronics

(b) Research Supervision: Each student will be assigned a supervisor (and optionally a co-supervisor) at the point of admission by the Engineering Graduate Studies and Research Committee. Supervision of all graduate students will be provided by their supervisor. Students are required to report their progress to their supervisor on a mutually agreed upon basis.

After completion of the course work and before taking the comprehensive examination, the student, in consultation with the supervisor, will form a Supervisory Committee consisting of at least three, and normally no more than six, faculty members as follows:

  • The supervisor, along with the co-supervisor if there is one.
  • Two faculty members from Lakehead University knowledgeable in the student’s research area, no more than one of whom can be external to the Engineering PhD program.
  • In addition, at a later time but before the doctoral defence, one external member from outside Lakehead University will be added to the committee. This external member should have expertise in the area of research of the dissertation and meet all other criteria from the Faculty of Graduate Studies regarding the selection of external reviewers. Selection of the external examiner will be made by the Supervisor, in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator.

(c) Engineering 6701 - Comprehensive Examination The comprehensive examination experience serves two main purposes. First, it allows the Supervisory Committee to examine and approve the student's dissertation proposal. Second, it allows the Supervisory Committee to verify that the student has a broad knowledge of the general foundations of the chosen field.

The comprehensive examination should take place after the completion of course work, within 8 to 12 months, and no later than 16 months, after the beginning of the doctoral program. The Comprehensive Examination will be an oral examination conducted by the Supervisory Committee.

To accomplish the first purpose of the Comprehensive Examination, the student must produce a dissertation proposal that will be submitted to each member of the Supervisory Committee at least one month prior to the examination. This proposal will present the proposed research project, a background review, and all research work done to date. At the beginning of the comprehensive examination, the student will make a 30-minute presentation of the proposal and this will be followed by a question period related to the proposal before the Supervisory Committee.

To accomplish the second purpose of the Comprehensive Examination, each Supervisory Committee member will ask questions related to the student's research area. The questions will be asked orally during the examination.

At the end of the Comprehensive Examination, the Supervisory Committee must decide whether the student passes the examination, fails the examination, or must be re-examined.

If the student fails the comprehensive examination, the student will be withdrawn from the Doctoral program. Students admitted to the Doctoral program without completion of a Master's program who fail the Comprehensive Examination, will be permitted, at the discretion of the academic unit, to change their program to a Master's-level program within the Faculty of Engineering if the specific program deems the student admissible.

(d) Engineering 6710 - PhD Seminar The PhD seminar experience serves two main purposes. First, it allows the candidate to describe their research progress. Second, it allows the candidate to become familiar with research done in other areas of engineering.

The Seminar should be taken after the successful completion of the comprehensive exam, within 20 to 24 months, and no later than 28 months, after initial registration in the doctoral program. The seminar is chaired by the Supervisor and must be completed in the semester registered. While it is recommended that the entire Supervisory Committee attend, it is not required. The Seminar is open to the public, and all students and faculty members are invited to attend.

To accomplish the first purpose of the PhD Seminar, the candidate will prepare and make a 30-minute presentation on his/her research work, which will include a comprehensive background of the research area, the objectives of the research project, the latest progress since the comprehensive exam, and the planned work leading to the defence.

To accomplish the second purpose of the PhD Seminar, the candidate will attend the seminar presentations of other students in the Engineering PhD program. Prior to registering for the seminar, the candidate must have attended at least 6 seminars or acceptable alternatives.

(e) Dissertation and Oral Defence The doctoral defence is the final evaluation of a doctoral candidate's work. The defence must take place at most three years after the comprehensive examination. Please see the Faculty of Graduate Studies PhD regulations regarding the preparation of the dissertation and oral defence for general information.

The dissertation must be received and reviewed by the Supervisory Committee before the oral defence can take place. Based on their review of the dissertation, the Supervisory Committee will decide among the four possible outcomes:

  • Dissertation Accepted.
  • Dissertation Accepted with Minor Revisions.
  • Dissertation Accepted with Major Revisions.
  • Dissertation Rejected.

The dissertation must be either "accepted", "accepted with minor revisions" or "accepted with major revisions" before the student is allowed to proceed to the oral defence. In cases where major revisions are required, the revisions must be completed and reviewed by the Supervisory Committee before the candidate advances to the oral defence.

After the oral defence, the Supervisory Committee will decide among the four possible outcomes:

  • Oral Defence Accepted.
  • Oral Defence Accepted with Minor Revisions.
  • Oral Defence Accepted with Major Revisions.
  • Oral Defence Rejected.

(f) Period of Studies The typical full-time student is expected to complete the doctoral program in 4 years (twelve terms). As shown in the following timeline, the first year (three terms) would be spent doing coursework and preparing for the comprehensive exam. The next two years (six terms) would be spent doing research and satisfying the other requirements. The final year (three terms) would be used to write the dissertation and prepare the defence.

Year 1 Fall: Initial registration, course work and background review
Year 1 Winter: Course work, background review, and selection of the committee
Year 1 Spring/Summer: Preliminary research work and dissertation proposal redaction
Year 2 Fall: Comprehensive examination and research work
Year 2 Winter: Research work
Year 2 Spring/Summer: Research work and PhD seminar
Year 3 Fall: Research work
Year 3 Winter: Research work
Year 3 Spring/Summer: Research work
Year 4 Fall: Dissertation writing
Year 4 Winter: Dissertation writing and defence
Year 4 Spring/Summer: Corrections to dissertation and final submission

(g) Residency Requirements Doctoral candidates in this program are expected to be on campus at Lakehead University for the duration of their doctoral program. Exceptions are allowed if:

  • The candidate needs to take a course that is offered at another university but not at Lakehead University and that cannot be taken through distance education. (Given the geographic distance between Lakehead University and other Ontario universities, it is accepted that the candidate will not reside at our campus during the term in which that course is taking place.)
  • The research project requires using equipment or facilities not available at Lakehead University. (The candidate thus needs to work on-site at an off-campus location to do their research.