Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Chemical Engineering - Nanotechnology

The program information below is valid for the fall 2019 term (September 1, 2019 - December 31, 2019).

The Graduate Studies Academic Calendar is updated 3 times per year, at the start of each academic term (January 1, May 1, September 1). Graduate Studies Academic Calendars from previous terms can be found in the archives.

  • Admit term(s) 
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Spring
  • Delivery mode 
    • On-campus
  • Length of program 
    • The minimum period of registration for the PhD degree is four terms. Degree requirements must be satisfied within four calendar years following the date of admission into the PhD program, unless extensions are approved by the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, Engineering. Requests for extension must be supported by a written departmental recommendation along with a realistic timetable for the completion of the degree and evidence of adequate progress in research. Extensions are not granted automatically and will be refused in the case of inadequate progress. University of Waterloo regulations stipulate that approval of an extension past three extended terms is at the discretion of the Associate Provost, Graduate Studies.
  • Program type 
    • Collaborative
    • Doctoral
    • Research
  • Registration option(s) 
    • Full-time
  • Study option(s) 
  • Minimum requirements 
    • At the time of admission, each student must have an approved PhD supervisor, who has agreed in writing to supervise their academic program, or co-supervisors, at least one of whom is an approved PhD supervisor. The Faculty of Engineering maintains a list of individually approved research supervisors called Approved Doctoral Dissertation Supervisors (ADDS) and additions to and deletions from this list are made by the Engineering Graduate Studies Sub-Committee upon the recommendation of the Chemical Engineering Department’s Associate Chair for Graduate Studies.
    • Applicants must demonstrate excellence of background preparation and academic achievement in prior degrees and, usually, possess a relevant, thesis-based Master's degree. In the Faculty of Engineering, a minimum 80% standing in an applicant's appropriate Master's program is the usual requirement. A Master's degree obtained without a full research thesis is normally an inadequate qualification for admission to the PhD program.
    • Within the three required references for admission to Graduate Studies, the opinions on academic preparation and research ability must refer to the applicant’s demonstrated ability to formulate research problems and execute the research required to solve problems, as indicated by a Master’s of Applied Science (MASc) research thesis or published scientific/technical papers. The references should also refer to the applicant having adequate English language skills to pursue a doctoral program, with all of its requirements, at the University of Waterloo.
    • Engineering Graduate Studies Sub-Committee requires objective evidence of English language skills. Technical publications that have been written principally by a student and published in refereed English language journals, and/or a thesis written in English, or a personal interview with the Chemical Engineering Department’s Associate Chair for Graduate Studies are also considered as evidence.
    • Transfer to the PhD program without completion of the MASc program: A student enrolled in a MASc program at the University of Waterloo may apply for transfer to the PhD program without completing a Master's degree. Transfer from a MASc program to a PhD program will normally be initiated at the Department level. The supervisor shall prepare for the Department Graduate Review Committee a memorandum that summarizes the student’s qualifications for transfer. At least one additional written recommendation from a Faculty member of the same Department will facilitate a decision on the transfer request.
    • Admission to the PhD program from a BASc program: In exceptional cases, applicants who have spent at least three years pursuing an appropriate bachelor’s degree may be considered for admission to a PhD program upon request from the Chemical Engineering Department.
  • Application materials 
    • Résumé
    • Supplementary information form
    • Transcript(s)
  • References 
    • Number of references:  3
    • Type of references: 

      at least 2 academic. Note: The Department reserves the right to request an additional reference.

  • English language proficiency (ELP) (if applicable)

    Thesis option:

  • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
  • Courses 
    • Students with a MASc degree must complete CHE 600 Engineering and Research Methods, Ethics, Practice, and Law (0.25 credit weight) and 3 graduate courses (0.50 unit weight per course) as follows:
      • NANO 701 Fundamentals of Nanotechnology (two 0.25 unit sections)
      • NANO 702 Nanotechnology Tools (two 0.25 unit sections)
      • 1 graduate level CHE elective course from the list of Nanotechnology Electives
      • If CHE 601 Theory and Application of Transport Phenomena and CHE 602 Chemical Reactor Analysis or course equivalents were not taken during MASc studies, the CHE elective is replaced by CHE 601 and CHE 602
    • 3 must be 600 or 700 level graduate courses.
    • No more than 1 may be taught by supervisor(s).
    • No more than 1 may be a reading course.
    • Note: Students who have a Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) in Nanotechnology Engineering or MASc in Nanotechnology from the University of Waterloo are not allowed to take NANO 701 or NANO 702. Instead, they may choose any 2 courses from the list of Nanotechnology Electives.
       
    • Students without a MASc degree must complete CHE 600 Engineering and Research Methods, Ethics, Practice, and Law (0.25 credit weight) and 7 graduate courses (0.50 unit weight per course) as follows:
      • CHE 601 Theory and Application of Transport Phenomena
      • CHE 602 Chemical Reactor Analysis
      • NANO 701 Fundamentals of Nanotechnology (two 0.25 unit sections)
      • NANO 702 Nanotechnology Tools (two 0.25 unit sections)
      • 3 graduate-level elective courses from the list of Nanotechnology Electives of which 2 must be CHE courses
    • No more than 2 may be taught by supervisor(s).
    • No more than 1 may be a reading course.
    • Note: Students who have a BASc in Nanotechnology Engineering from the University of Waterloo are not allowed to take NANO 701 or NANO 702. Instead, they may choose any 2 courses from the list of Nanotechnology Electives.
       
    • Nanotechnology elective courses:
      • (a) Micro/nano Instruments and Devices
        • BIOL 642 Current topics in Biotechnology
        • CHEM 720 Topic 13 Selected Topics in Analytical Chemistry: Biosensors and Nanotechnology
        • CHEM 750 Topic 17 Selected Topics in Physical Chemistry: Surface Science and Nanotechnology
        • CHEM 750 Topic 23 Selected Topics in Physical Chemistry: Processes at Micro-Nano Scales
        • CHEM 750 Topic 27 Selected Topics in Physical Chemistry: Nanotechniques
        • ME 738 Special Topics in Materials: Materials for NEMS and MEMS
        • ME 760 Special Topics in Thermal Engineering
        • ME 780 Special Topics in Mechatronics
        • SYDE 682 Advanced MicroElectroMechanical Systems: Principles, Design & Fabrication
        • SYDE 750 Topic 24 Topics in Systems Modelling: Modelling, Simulation and Design of MEMS
      • (b) Nanoelectronics Design and Fabrication
        • CHE 620 Applied Engineering Mathematics
        • CHEM 750 Topic 11 Selected Topics in Physical Chemistry: Bioelectronics
        • CHEM 750 Topic 19 Selected Topics in Physical Chemistry: Carbon Nanotube Electronics
        • ECE 630 Physics and Models of Semiconductor Devices
        • ECE 631 Microelectronic Processing Technology
        • ECE 632 Photovoltaic Energy Conversion
        • ECE 633 Nanoelectronics
        • ECE 634 Organic Electronics
        • ECE 635 Fabrication in the Nanoscale: Principles, Technology, & Applications
        • ECE 636 Advanced Analog Integrated Circuits
        • ECE 637 Digital Integrated Circuits
        • ECE 639 Characteristics & Applications of Amorphous Silicon
        • ECE 672 Optoelectronic Devices
        • ECE 676 Quantum Information Processing Devices
        • ECE 677 Quantum Electronics and Photonics
        • ECE 730 Topic 10 Special Topics in Solid State Devices: Advanced Technology for Semiconductor Processing
        • ECE 730 Topic 11 Special Topics in Solid State Devices: Physics and Modeling of Semiconductor Devices
        • ECE 730 Topic 19 Special Topics in Solid State Devices: Magnetism and Spintronics
        • ECE 730 Topic 26 Special Topics in Solid State Devices: MBE and Quantum Nano Devices
        • ECE 730 Topic 28 Special Topics in Solid State Devices: Physics of Nanoscale Devices
        • ECE 730 Topic 29 Special Topics in Solid State Devices: Computational Nanoelectronics
        • ECE 770 Topic 18 Special Topics in Antenna and Microwave Theory: Nanoelectronics for QIP
        • ECE 770 Topic 21 Special Topics in Antenna and Microwave Theory: Quantum Optics & Nanophotonics
        • PHYS 713 Molecular Physics
        • PHYS 731 Solid State Physics 1
        • PHYS 747 Optical Electronics
      • (c) Nano-biosystems
        • BIOL 608 Advanced Molecular Genetics
        • BIOL 614 Bioinformatics Tools and Techniques
        • BIOL 629 Cell Growth and Differentiation
        • BIOL 642 Current Topics in Biotechnology
        • BIOL 670 Photobiology
        • BIOL 678 Current topics in Neurophysiology
        • CHE 622 Statistics in Engineering
        • CHE 660 Principles of Biochemical Engineering
        • CHE 760 Special Topics in Biochemical Engineering
        • CHE 765 Research Topics in Biochemical Engineering
        • CHEM 737 Enzymes
        • ECE 730 Topic 25 Special Topics in Solid State Devices: Microfluidic & Nanobiotech Systems
        • PHYS 751 Clinical Applications of Physics in Medicine
        • PHYS 752 Molecular Biophysics
      • (d) Nanomaterials
        • CHE 610 Theory and Application of Transport Phenomena
        • CHE 612 Interfacial Phenomena
        • CHE 622 Statistics in Engineering
        • CHE 630 Chemical Reactor Analysis
        • CHE 640 Principles of Polymer Science
        • CHE 641 Physical Properties of Polymers (cross-listed with CHEM 771)
        • CHE 740 Special Topics in Polymer Science and Engineering
        • CHE 745 Research Topics in Polymer Science and Engineering
        • CHE 750 Special Topics in Materials Science: Thin Film Fabrications & Mechanical Properties
        • CHE 755 Research Topics in Electrochemical Engineering, Interfacial Engineering & Material Science
        • CHEM 710 Topic 17 Selected Topics in Inorganic Chemistry: Nanostructured Materials and Integrative Chemistry
        • CHEM 713 Chemistry of Inorganic Solid State Materials
        • CHEM 720 Topic 14 Selected Topics in Analytical Chemistry: Nanomaterials for Energy Conversion and Clean Environment
        • CHEM 750 Topic 17 Selected Topics in Physical Chemistry: Surface Science and Nanotechnology
        • CHEM 770 Principles of Polymer Science
        • CHEM 773 Topic 11 Selected Topics in Polymer Chemistry: Synthesis, Self-assembly and Materials Application of Inorganic Polymers

        • CHEM 773 Topic 14 Selected Topics in Polymer Chemistry: Living Polymerization Techniques

        • CHEM 773 Topic XX Selected Topics in Polymer Chemistry: Noncovalent Interactions & Supramolecular Chemistry

        • ME 632 Experimental Methods in Materials Engineering
        • ME 738 Special Topics in Materials: Materials for NEMS and MEMS
        • ME 738 Topic 8 Special Topics in Materials: Introductory and Advanced Nanomechanics
        • PHYS 701 Quantum Mechanics 1
        • PHYS 704 Statistical Physics 1
        • PHYS 706 Electromagnetic Theory
        • PHYS 773 Special Topics
    • The Chemical Engineering Department may require students to take more than 3 courses. In every case, a graduate course program is established by the supervisor(s) in consultation with the student and, if deemed necessary, with the Associate Chair Graduate Studies of the Department. Students may also be required to take additional courses as a result of a comprehensive examination.

    • Graduate courses offered by the Faculty of Engineering are numbered as 600 or 700 series courses and are assigned a unit weight of 0.50, which means that they are one-term courses as defined in the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar.

    • Only courses taken within five years prior to the completion of the PhD degree may be counted for credit towards a degree, unless a request for revalidation is granted.

    • Students must achieve a:

      • Minimum cumulative average of 70%.
      • Minimum grade of 65% in each individual course.
    • Each student is responsible for monitoring their own academic records and must immediately notify the Graduate Coordinator of any inadequate grade or average.
  • Link(s) to courses
  • Seminar Attendance
    • Over the course of their degree program, all students must attend 24 seminars:
      • 8 seminars from the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN)
      • 16 seminars from departments and research institutions where Chemical Engineering faculty members have a membership. The Chemical Engineering seminars are documented in the Events section of the Chemical Engineering Department website.  
    • Note: At Chemical Engineering seminars, attendance is documented. At other approved seminars, students complete an attendance form and get it signed by the seminar organizer. Full instructions are available on the Department website.
  • PhD Comprehensive Examination
    • The PhD Comprehensive Examination (due in 4th term) consists of an oral examination conducted at the University of Waterloo with the candidate and members of the Comprehensive Examining Committee present. The examination consists of the following two parts:
      • An examination of the research proposal that the student intends to develop into a successful PhD research thesis.
      • An examination of the breadth of the candidate's knowledge of the academic field of the thesis and the adequacy of the candidate's background preparation to pursue the proposed research.
  • PhD Thesis
    • Students are expected to maintain continuous registration until their thesis is submitted to Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs. Under exceptional circumstances, students may request Departmental approval for inactive terms.
    • The role of a supervisor is to help a student establish a research problem with an appropriate scope, suggest alternative general approaches to the solution of a problem, and provide general advice on the structure and content of a thesis. The professional engineering code of ethics must be strictly observed in the supervisor-student relationship.