University of Waterloo and HKUST launch dual engineering PhD degree

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The University of Waterloo, Canada’s leading innovation university, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, one of the world’s top engineering schools, will introduce dual doctoral degrees in engineering that will allow select students to simultaneously earn a PhD from each institution.

Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo, and Tony Chan, president of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), signed a memorandum of understanding establishing the new program at Waterloo on October 7. The partnership, that will begin next year, forges a powerful academic alliance between leading universities in Asia and North America.

 Tony Chan, Pearl Sullivan and Feridun Hamdullahpur at the MOU signing.

“I am extremely proud to combine our innovation power to train the next generation of scholars and innovators,” said Hamdullahpur. “This PhD education partnership will allow doctoral candidates from top notch Engineering Faculties to build a foundation on which to establish further academic and research collaborations.”

Beginning in January 2016, students will have the opportunity to study under the guidance of engineering doctoral supervisors from both universities, spending approximately equal amounts of time at each campus.

“Waterloo Engineering is preparing PhD candidates for the future of research and development careers. Leading research intensive institutions and global industry labs want PhD graduates to have exposure to different cultures, the ability to adapt to global lab environments and practical experience on how research results could be implemented for the benefit of society,” said Pearl Sullivan, dean of the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Engineering. “This is one of Waterloo Engineering’s initiatives for evolving doctoral education to include translational skills that can expand career possibilities for graduates

Students are expected to meet all the requirements at both institutions, but are only required to prepare one doctoral thesis and perform one thesis defense.  Upon successful completion from the program, students will receive a degree from each institution indicating it was performed in cotutelle – a French term for PhD programs offered jointly by two institutions.

“HKUST is one of the fastest rising universities in the world and University of Waterloo has one of the top engineering schools in North America — in many areas it is the global leader," said Professor Chan.  This PhD partnership is great for future students who can benefit from both our highly ranked school of engineering and from their engineering faculty, and they will also benefit from the special culture and entrepreneurial environment at the two institutions.”

About Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Since its official opening in October 1991, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has established itself as an intellectual powerhouse, energizing the community’s transformation into a knowledge-based society, and securing a place on the academic world map in record-breaking time.  HKUST is counted among the best engineering schools in the world, ranking 14th in the 2015/16 QS global rankings for the Engineering and Technology discipline.  It is ranked first in Hong Kong and second in China.

About the University of Waterloo

In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. A globally focused institution, celebrated as Canada’s most innovative university for 23 consecutive years, Waterloo is home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit uwaterloo.ca.

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