Student presenter at Student Research Poster Competition

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in engineering recognizes the highest academic achievement in a broad field of knowledge and distinguished performance within an area of specialization. In-depth coursework, participation in research or design synthesis, and a completion of a defended thesis are required for all PhD candidates.

Engineering PhD students work with one of our highly acclaimed faculty researchers and focus on one of the following concentrated areas of study: BiomedicalCivil, Computer Science, Industrial, Materials or Mechanical.

Program Type

Doctoral

Program Format

On Campus
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Ranked in the top 3% of universities

As an R1 research university ranked in the top 3% of universities worldwide by the Center for World University Rankings, UWM is a premier place with which to pursue your PhD.

Shown here are Reed Heintzkill and Filip Zemajtis, doctoral students in Konstantin Sobolev’s lab, who are working to turn a theory into a coating that consumers could spray on surfaces to both repel and deactivate virus-laden droplets.

What to Expect

An engineering PhD degree requires completion of 66 graduate credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. Some students pursue their PhD after completing a master’s degree, and others choose to earn a PhD instead of a master’s degree. Please see the academic catalog for specific requirements.

Many students earn Teaching Assistantships (TAs), Research Assistantships (RAs) or Fellowships during their graduate study which helps to fund their education while also building leadership skills. Assistantships decisions are made by the academic departments only after an applicant has been accepted to the program.

Earning an engineering PhD in can provide you with a wide range of professional or academic opportunities that may include leadership roles in academia, government service, or high-level industrial research.

More Information

Contact the College of Engineering & Applied Science Graduate Programs Office.

We’re a top tier R1 research university and our engineering PhD students have the opportunity to work with faculty engaged in cutting-edge research in areas such as:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Grid-connected Advanced Power Electronic Systems
  • Renewable energy, conservation and energy storage
  • Robotics, controls and mechatronics
  • Smart materials and novel materials
  • Transportation
  • Tribology and nanotribology
  • Water flow, sensing and filtration

Our college has a wide range of faculty-led labs that perform cutting edge research. For a full list, click here (add hotlink).

Advanced Analysis Facility

Advanced Analysis Facility (AAF) is a user-based research instrumentation facility within the College that provides an alternative to private analysis laboratories and fosters collaboration with students and faculty.

BioRobotics Lab

The BioRobotics Lab, led by Professor Mohammad “Habib” Rahman, focuses on the design, development, and control of wearable robots that can rehabilitate and assist physically disabled individuals whose upper and lower extremities are impaired. These wearable robots are designed for the individual to use them to rehabilitate, and ultimately, be able to leave the wearable robot behind.

Center for Sustainable Electrical Energy Systems

Center for Sustainable Electrical Energy Systems led by Professor Adel Nasiri is exploring methods to make electric power systems more sustainable, cost-effective, and secure through research on energy storage, microgrid systems, and renewable energy sources.

Research Focus:

  • Synchronous Generator Modeling Under Unbalanced Conditions
  • Hybrid Battery Life Testing
  • Cost Effective Uninterruptible Power Supply
  • Efficient Integrated Power System for Higher Power and Improved Survivability
  • Hybrid Energy Module Development for High Efficiency Buildings
Connected Systems Institute

Connected Systems Institute (CSI) is a center of excellence at UWM that develops manufacturing domain specialists through education, state-of-the-art lab facilities and collaborative research opportunities.

Research Focus:

  • Accelerating innovation by bringing together industry and academic researchers
  • Facilitating digital transformation for small and medium-sized manufacturers
  • Developing an educational curriculum to better prepare the workforce of the future
Energy Storage Research Lab

Energy Storage Research Lab, led by Professor Deyang Qu, is a collaboration between UWM, the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI) at UW-Madison and Johnson Controls. The lab links academic research with industrial product innovation to develop a new generation of energy products with longer and stronger storage abilities, increasing energy security and improving our environment by reducing carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere.

Research Focus:

  • Metal air (Li-air and Zn-air)
  • Li-Sulfur
  • Li-ion
  • Advanced Lead-Acid Batteries (AGM and EFB)
  • Supercapacitors
  • Fuel Cells
  • System diagnostics
  • Hydrogen Storage Materials
  • Alkaline Batteries
Grid Connected Advanced Power Electronic Systems

GRid-connected Advanced Power Electronic Systems (GRAPES) is a National Science Foundation- Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) with a mission to accelerate the adoption and insertion of power electronics into the grid in order to improve system stability, flexibility, robustness, and economy. Together with our partners we hope to make electric power systems more sustainable, cost-effective, and secure.

Research Focus

  • Energy storage systems: inverter topology and controls, integrated compact systems, hybrid storage systems, high frequency inverters, wide band gap (WBG) devices for storage inverters, high voltage and high-power inverters, grid support functions
  • Distributed generation (DG): inverters and interface for DG including wind and solar Photovoltaic (PV), controls for DG systems, integration of DG systems into grid
  • Microgrids: grid-tie and island microgrids, controls for microgrids, microgrid-tie inverters, energy management
  • Reliability for power electronics converters: low-frequency and high-frequency inverters, components, systems, and systems of systems
  • High-frequency and high-power converters: converters with WBG power semiconductor switches, electromagnetic interference, cooling, and packaging
  • Fault protection for AC and DC microgrids
Industrial Assessment Center

Industrial Assessment Center (UWM IAC) helps manufacturers and utilities to increase their productivity and competitiveness by reducing energy and water consumption, enhancing cybersecurity, and adopting smart manufacturing technology. The UWM IAC provides assessment services on electric power consumption, waste material removal, water treatment studies, reclamation of energy in the process of heating, power, and water processes with the implementation of biofuel production, renewable energy technology, recuperation, and reheating methods.

To date, over 600 companies and water treatment plants have utilized the UWM IAC’s multidisciplinary energy assessment services, with average recommended savings of about $150,000 per facility and an average implementation rate of 40%. 

Water Equipment and Policy Center

Water Equipment and Policy Center (WEP) is a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) which provides innovative water technologies and processes to promote advancement of the water industry, and conducts research to inform water policy makers. During the past 10 years, WEP has completed nearly 100 pre-competitive research projects in four thrust areas: water sensors, novel materials, innovative treatment systems and water policy research. Through research, WEP has addressed industrial partners’ unmet/underserved needs in point-of-use technologies, emerging contaminants, sustainability and energy conservation.

Faculty

Andy Dressel
  • Lecturer, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering
Rani Elhajjar
  • Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Department Chair, Civil and Environmental Enginering
Andrew Graettinger
  • Associate Dean for Research, Engineering & Applied Science Office of the Dean
Sam Helwany
  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Jin Li
  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Qian Liao
  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
faculty image xiao qin
  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Adeeb Rahman
  • Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Konstantin Sobolev
  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Habib Tabatabai
  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Director, Structural Engineering Lab
  • ht@uwm.edu
  • Engineering and Mathematical Sciences E332
Hani Titi
  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
faculty member yin wang
  • Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Jian Zhao
  • Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Jaejin Jang
  • Associate Professor, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Khan, Iftekharuddin
  • Instructor and Lab Manager, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Lab Manager
faculty image wilkistar otieno
  • Associate Professor, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Department Chair, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Co-Director (Co-PI), UWM Industrial Assessment Center
  • Director, NSF/S-STEM: Preparing Engineers Computer Scientists
Matthew Petering
  • Associate Professor, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Dean Brett Peters
  • Dean, Engineering & Applied Science Office of the Dean
Hamid Seifoddini
  • Associate Professor, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Nidal Abu Zahra
  • Associate Professor, Materials Science & Engineering
  • Department Chair, Materials Science & Engineering
Ben Church
  • Associate Professor, Materials Science & Engineering Department
  • Director, Advanced Analysis Facility
Hugo Lopez
  • Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
faculty member xiaoli ma
  • Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
Junjie Niu
  • Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
Pradeep Rohatgi
  • Distinguished Professor, Materials Science and Engineering Department
  • Distinguished Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • Distinguished Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Director, Center for Advanced Manufacture of Materials
Deverajan Venugopalan
  • Associate Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs
Ryo Amano
  • Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Director, Industrial Assessment Center (IAC)
Ilya Avdeev
  • Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Founder and Director, Advanced Manufacturing and Design Laboratory
  • Co-Founder and Executive Director, UWM Student Startup Challenge
  • Director (PI), Milwaukee Regional Energy Education Initiative
faculty image woo-jin-chang
  • Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Roshan D'Souza
  • Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Avie Judes
  • CEAS Lab Manager
  • Lab Manager, Makerspace
Michael Nosonovsky
  • Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Krishna Pillai
  • Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Deyang Qu
  • Johnson Controls Endowed Professor in Energy Storage Research
  • Department Chair, Mechanical Engineering
Mohammad Rahman
  • Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • Director, Biorobotics Lab
  • Affiliate Professor, Computer Science
John Reisel
  • Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Secretary of the University
Kevin Renkin
  • Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Pradeep Rohatgi
  • Distinguished Professor, Materials Science and Engineering Department
  • Distinguished Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • Distinguished Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Director, Center for Advanced Manufacture of Materials
Nathan Salawitz
  • Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Founder, Advanced Structures Laboratory
Nathaniel Stern
  • Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Professor, Art & Design
  • Director, Student Startup Challenge
faculty member yongjin sung
  • Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Mohamed Yahiaoui
  • Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering

Advising

Therese Crary
  • Advisor, Graduate Programs
Bob Packard
  • Advisor, Graduate Programs

UWM is proud to be one of only two R1 research universities in Wisconsin. We’re also a top externally funded institution with robust opportunities for teaching and research assistantships. Partners that support our important research include:

  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Institute for Health
  • National Academy of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine
  • National Science Foundation
  • United States Department of Defense
  • United States Department of Energy
  • Regional businesses: Johnson Controls, Rockwell Automation, Harley Davidson, We Energies