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Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Management

College of Engineering
Industrial Engineering & Engineering Management
Study System
Thesis and Courses
Total Credit Hours
54 Cr.Hrs
3-5 Years
Fall & Spring
Sharjah Main Campus
Study Mode
Full Time

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Management

In Summer Semester 2013-14, the University of Sharjah (UoS) launched a graduate program leading to a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Management (PhDEM). This program is designed to suit students who are interested in being researchers in engineering management as well as those who hold or seek managerial and leadership positions in public and private organizations that are characterized by innovation and technological advances.
The program seeks to equip students with the ability to define, evaluate, design, improve, and  manage complex human technological systems for the purpose of optimizing certain objectives taking into account several interrelated factors in the areas of but not limited to economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, sustainability disciplines and others.

Students admitted to the PhD program implicitly agree to comply with all rules and regulations of the program as published on the program website. 

Program Goals & Objectives
The main goals and objectives of the doctoral program in Engineering Management are: 

  1. To prepare graduate engineers from various specializations for successful research careers that combine depth in engineering research methodologies with broad knowledge of the socio-economic implications associated with major engineering decisions and technology innovations.
  2. To prepare graduate engineers to assume leading roles in researching the current and new approaches to effectively manage change and leverage technological innovations.
  3. To enhance the creative abilities and confidence of its students in finding original solutions to pressing and complex problems;
  4. To raise the level of awareness of its students with respect to long-term sustainability factors associated with the adoption of new engineering process or technology.
  5. To prepare its students to be leaders in disseminating new knowledge and in imparting new concepts and ideas to members of the public. 
Student Learning Outcome
By the end of this program, students are expected to:

  1.  Apply advanced knowledge, creative expert skills, good management practices, and research processes to conceptualize, formulate, analyze, and solve complex problems in the field of engineering management. 
  2. Analyze and critique the state of learning in the engineering management field and contribute to its advancement and consistently and sensitively manage highly complex ethical issues leading to informed, fair, and valid judgments.
  3. Communicate and report effectively to academic communities and stakeholders the results of original research. 
  4. Practice leadership skills and take initiative to bring positive change in academic and professional contexts.
  5. Recognize and analyze ethical concerns specific to their field of research, and the socio‐economic impact of engineering management decisions.

Program Structure

The program requires a satisfactory completion of 45 credits of course and research components.  The course component includes 9 credits of compulsory courses, 9 elective credits, and a zero -credit seminar. The research component consists of 6 credits for research proposal and 21 credits for a PhD thesis. The research of the thesis could be either industrial-oriented or theoretical, or a combination of both.

The student has to publish two publications in refereed journals (of class B at least) from the thesis topic. The research papers must be published in the form of refereed journal articles. Two referee review reports are required for each article. Conference articles are not accepted. 

​Course Coding System

Consistent with the University policies, the PhD in Engineering Management (PhDEM) courses are assigned numbers of the form (0475-ABC), where:
04: College of Engineering
75: PhDEM program
A: 7 for Ph.D. level courses
B: Areas (as follows)

0: General 5: Information Systems
1: Operations Research 6: Engineering Management
2: Statistics 7: Infrastructure and construction
3: Production Systems 8: Special Topics
4: Human factors 9: Seminars, projects and thesis
C: Sequence number within the area

Academic Courses
The PhD-EM consists of the following credit hours with a total of 54 credits:
Mandatory coursesElective coursesPhD thesis proposalPhD research thesis
9 Cr Hr.9 Cr Hr.6 Cr Hr.21 Cr Hr.
​​​Total 45

The program's compulsory courses are as follows:
Course CodeCourse Title Credit Hours
0405760Leadership and Innovation Management 3
0405762Total Quality Management 3
0405723Decision Making and Analysis 3
0405791PhD Seminar 0
0475709Qualification Exam 0
0405792PhD Research Proposal 6
0405799PhD Thesis 21

The student should select 3 elective courses from this list (9 credits):
Course CodeCourse Title Credit Hours
0405-725Data Analytics3
0405-731Logistics and Supply Chain Management3
0405-763Advanced Engineering Project Management3
0405-765Management of Technology3
0405-781Special Topics in Engineering Management3
0405-782Independent Studies in Engineering Management3

Subject to the approval of the supervisor and program coordinator, no more than one course maybe taken from the following courses:

  • Graduate Courses offered by other departments in the College of Engineering
  • Graduate Courses offered by the College of Business Administration

Study Duration and Limits

The minimum period of study for the PhD-EM degree is six semesters, whereas the maximum period is 10 semesters. Three postponements before the final semester are allowed in addition to the regular 10 semesters. The time limit may be extended, through bylaws, by two additional semesters for publication and defense purposes. Readmission to the program is also possible for special cases.


PhD Program Steering Committee: Selected members from the IEEM department who are in charge of administering and coordinating the PhD program including the admissions, coordination of courses offering, approving course grades, qualification exams, proposals, defenses, curricular changes and other program level activities and duties. The PhD program steering committee shall be the authority that is in charge of any program level final decisions, appeals and approvals.

PhD Examination Committee: A special committee for each PhD student that consists of the student supervisor/supervisors and 2 other examiners, who are assigned to the student since the registration of the qualification exam until the PhD defense. The committee is responsible of preparing and grading the qualification exam part II, examining the PhD proposal, providing comments, evaluating and approving the proposal. The examination committee will continue to serve in the defense committee through examining the student in the defense stage, providing comments and dissertation evaluation and approval.

PhD Defense Committee: A committee which consists of at least three examiners, two of which are the members of the examination committee and one is an external examiner. The committee will examine the PhD student in the defense phase, provide comments, and finally form a decision on the student research thesis and defense.

External Reviewer: An anonymous external faculty member, selected by graduate studies, who will take the role of blind evaluation of the student work prior to defense. The student must secure the external reviewer approval to proceed to the defense phase.

External Examiner: A faculty member who may be nominated by the supervisor to serve in the defense committee. The PhD program steering committee can overrule the nomination of the supervisor according to the examiner qualifications/credentials/affiliations and the student area of research.

Program Procedures

  • Qualification exam – General Information
  1. The qualification exam consists of two written parts and may include an oral part. Each written part is prepared on a separate document(s) and should be given on a separate day. Each written part shall be 3 hours long.
  2. The second part of the written exam should be held no later than a month after the first part.
  3. The first written part covers the general background and basic knowledge of the student in the field of Engineering Management. Only the titles of the subjects from which the test questions for this part are derived may be supplied to the student. The student will not be given any study materials for part I.
  4. The second written part includes specialized topics in the field of the student future thesis work, and may include chapters from specialized books and/or research papers. The student examination committee may choose to hand in a study material to the students (A Typical study material would consist of 9 to 12 sets in the form of articles, book chapters, reports, etc.)
  5. The coordinator informs the students about the selected topics for the first part and each supervisor informs his/her student(s) about the topics of the second part. Upon the consent of the student examination committee, study material shall be delivered to students only for part II.
  6. Each part counts as 50% of the final grade. The pass grade is 70% for each part and the student must pass both parts to proceed in his study.

  • Registration in the PhD Qualification Exam (0405-709)
  1. The student can register for the qualification exam if he/she has completed the program mandatory courses (9​​ credit hours) with a minimum CGPA of 3 out of 4 and has an approved supervisor through a signed and approved Supervisor Selection Form.
  2. A student who cannot secure a PhD supervisor is not eligible to take the qualification exam.
  3. The student has to fill out and submit the Qualification Exam Registration Form to the PhD program coordinator, after obtaining the endorsement from the student's supervisor. The form is available on the website of the PhD program in engineering Management.
  4. After the approval of the PhD program coordinator, the PhD academic officer in IEEM requests to register the student in the Qualification Exam (0405-709) course (zero credit hours) through the form G-50A. Once the request is approved by the dean of graduate studies, the registrar in the graduate studies will register the course for the student.  
  5. Step 3 should be accomplished before the beginning the semester in which the student plans to take the qualification exam.

  • Preparation of the Qualification Exam
  1. The PhD program steering committee assigns three faculty members from the IEEM department every semester to prepare the qualification exam part I.
  2. The qualification exam part II should be prepared by the examination committee (which consists of the supervisors and two other members). The PhD program coordinator should liaise with the examination committee to facilitate this task.
  3. The PhD program steering committee sets the exam dates and the PhD program coordinator informs all registered students about their exam dates. The student should be given at least one month in order to prepare for the two parts of the exam.
  4. The faculty members in charge of both parts of the qualification exam are responsible for the preparation and grading of the student qualification exam questions and answers. All selected members should be engaged in preparing the questions and hence the grading process.
  5. The PhD program coordinator and the PhD student supervisor(s) are in charge of the logistics and organization of the two parts of the written exam, in coordination with the program administrative assistant (room booking, timing, printing the exam questions, collecting the answer sheets, organizing the grading session(s)…).
  6. The exam grades should be reported to the PhD program coordinator and then approved by the PhD program steering committee. The PhD program steering committee may decide the cases for which an oral exam needs to be considered in consultation with the examination committee.
  7. The outcomes of the oral exam will be taken into account in the final grade of the student's qualification exam.
  8. The PhD program coordinator submits the final “pass/fail" grade to the college of graduate studies using the online form G-50B.
  9. The student may only sit for the qualification exam twice. If he\she fails the second time, he\she will be expelled from the program.


  • PhD Thesis Proposal

1-      In the semester that follows the PhD Qualification Exam (0405-709), the student can register in the Ph.D. Research Proposal (0405-792) course (6 credit hours) if the student has passed the qualification exam. 

2-      The student prepares the Ph.D. Research Proposal under the supervision of his/her supervisor(s).

3-      During the semester in which the student registers the Ph.D. Research Proposal, the student submits his/her Ph.D. Research Proposal to the PhD program coordinator along with the Proposal Check List Form signed by the supervisor.

4-      The PhD program coordinator sets a date of a public presentation for the discussion of the proposal no later than 2 weeks following the submission date. The PhD program coordinator and the examination committee must attend the presentation session. Members from the PhD program steering committee who attend the presentation are also entitled to ask questions.

5-      The proposal presentation should be at least 2 weeks before the deadlines fixed by the graduate studies for receiving the proposals and theses supervisor approvals.

6-      After the proposal presentation and discussion, each member in the PhD examination committee submits a report to the PhD program coordinator (Proposal Evaluation Form) within 3 days. The form details the examiner evaluation and recommendations.

7-      The forms are collected by the PhD program coordinator and the grades are compiled and a decision is formed as follows:

Average gradeResultSubmission time linesGrade
Above 75%-100%Approved with Minor RevisionOne week after the presentation.Pass upon approval of the modified proposal.
50% to 74%Approved with Major RevisionAfter 2 month of the presentation.“U" in the proposal presentation semester, which will be replaced by a “Pass" upon approval of the modified proposal.
Below 50%DisapprovedSubmit a new proposal and present again.“Fail"


8-      The student should modify his/her PhD Research Proposal while taking care of the  PhD examination committee recommendations, then submits it to the PhD program coordinator.

9-      The modified PhD Research Proposal should be approved by the PhD examination committee, if the examination committee requests additional modifications, the PhD program coordinator should inform the student to undertake the necessary modifications then submits the proposal to the committee until the student secures an approval.

10-  The decision of the examination committee and the final modified proposal must be sent to the PhD program steering committee for approval.

11-  The PhD program coordinator submits the accepted PhD Research Proposal and the name of the supervisor(s) through Approval of Thesis Proposal and Supervisor Form (G12-A) to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies for final approval.

12-  If the PhD Research Proposal is not submitted/not approved during the semester of the first registration (6 Credit Hours) in the course Ph.D. Research Proposal (0405-792), then the student registers “0" Credit Hours for the proposal in the subsequent semester.

13-  The PhD research proposal must be completed in at most two semesters. 

PhD Thesis and Defense

  1. The student and assigned supervisor shall collaborate together until the student finalizes his PhD dissertation.
  2. The supervisor reviews the PhD student research work at least once a semester to assess the student's progress and to provide advice on future work. The supervisor reports the review to the graduate studies.
  3. A student who completes his thesis and upon the approval of the supervisor should submit the dissertation file to the PhD program coordinator for external review.
  4. The supervisor can nominate two potential external reviewers for the PhD program coordinator who in turn will report the names and the dissertation file to the graduate studies. The graduate study may select other external reviewers from their own pools outside the nominated list.
  5. The student must repeatedly incorporate the external reviewer comments until he secures an approval or at least a minor revision.
  6. An approval to form a defense committee will be issued by the graduate studies once the external reviewer approves the thesis. The supervisor nominates one external examiner for the defense committee in addition to the internal appointed examination committee.
  7. In addition to the criteria stated in the executive regulations of graduate studies, the external examiner must have a good research profile and should be active in research in the related area of the PhD student.
  8. The PhD program steering committee may appoint an external examiner other than the one nominated by the supervisor following the same criteria mentioned above and after consulting with the main supervisor.
  9. The student must fulfill the publication requirements of the graduate studies before the defense.
  10. A public defense is organized in coordination with the program coordinator, supervisors, examiners and the student.
  11. The defense examination committee forms a final decision about the student thesis which can be Minor Revision, Major Revision, Fail.
  12. In minor revision, the student is given 3 months to amend his work and to obtain the defense committee approval.
  13. In major revision, the student cannot submit his work before 6 months and no later than 12 months of the first defense. Another defense session is required in this case.
  14. In case of a fail decision, the student will not be awarded the PhD degree and can only get a record of his transcripts from the registration department.

General Admission Requirements and Regulations

Information on the general admission requirements and regulations can be found here​

Special Admission Requirements

  • The student must hold a bachelor's degree in any engineering fields and master's degree with a minimum grade of "Very Good" (3.0 out of 4.0) and a bachelor's degree with a minimum grade of 2.5 out of 4.0 or equivalent from a university, college, or an institute recognized by the Ministry of Education of the UAE.
  • Students in programs taught in English must obtain 550 on the TOEFL (PBT) (should be taken inside the university), 79 on the TOEFL (IBT) (outside the university) or 6 on IELTS (Academic).
  • Passing the personal interview.
  • Attachment of 'no objection certificate' from the authorities responsible for national service for male Emirati students.
  • Attachment of a letter of study approval from Kuwait Embassy Cultural Office for Kuwaiti students only.
  • Attachment of People of Determination card (if applicable).
  • In case the student works in a certain place, please attach a letter from the employer stating that the student is working for this agency.

Course Description

0405-701 Advanced Engineering Management Research Methodologies

This is an intensive course on how to conduct in-depth high level academic research devoted to engineering management. The course is designed to prepare students to develop their own research studies, and to understand and incorporate the elements of effective research designs. The course is a blend of research design, data management and methods, and skills development. Topics of the course include: identifying research problem, developing purpose statement and research objectives and questions/hypotheses, conducting deep literature reviews and identifying research gap, setting theoretical foundations of research, mastering types of academic research, setting research design and understanding the main advantages and drawbacks of different research designs, collecting primary and secondary data, data coding and cleaning, experiments, data analysis methods, creating data visuals, managing the research  stakeholders, and communicating research outcomes.​

0405-723 Decision Making and Analysis 3:3

Topics include basic theory of decision making under uncertainty; rationales of decision makers; the concept of the value of information; the Bayesian approach to decision making; decision trees, elicitation methods for model building, multi-attribute utility models; multi-criteria decision making; use of decision making software. 


0405-760 Leadership and Innovation Management 3:3

This course focuses on the classical and modern aspects of organizations and the role of managers as leaders. The main focus of the course is to provide students with knowledge and skills on different approaches to leadership. The course deals with different forms of leaderships in a corporate setting, and their importance in achieving the organization's strategies. The course also focuses on main issues in innovation management. It equips students with tools and techniques for managing innovation. It includes basic terms related to innovation; development of innovation strategy; factors influencing innovation; sources of innovations, managing intellectual property, development of new product and services within a firm; strategic alliances and networks; contemporary issues in innovation management; case studies.


0405-762 Total Quality Management 3:3

This course introduces definitions, history, dimensions, and principles of Total Quality Management (TQM); quality management philosophies and pioneers (Deming, Juran, Crosby, Ishikawa, Taguchi, Feigenbaum); customer satisfaction and customer relationship management; quality awards (Deming, EFQM, Malcolm Baldrige); SPC tools, benchmarking, QFD, and use of software.


0405-712 Engineering Modeling and Optimization 3:3


This course introduces the concepts of optimization by presenting different classes of problems and engineering applications. Topics include the art and science of modeling and solving engineering decision making problems using a variety of frameworks ranging from linear programming, goal programming, integer programming, nonlinear programming, network programming, and heuristic methods. Applications include product and process design, production planning, logistics, sustainable logistics, transportation, and scheduling in both industrial and service systems. Notions of stochastic optimization and sensitivity analysis are also covered to deal with uncertainties and data fluctuations.


0405-724 Engineering Design of  Experiments 3:3

Review of basic statistical methods; Introduction to designed experiments; Analysis of variance (ANOVA), model adequacy test, determining sample size, regression approach to ANOVA; Single-factor design, two factor designs; 2k factorial designs; Fractional factorial designs; Introduction to factorial survey experiments; Response surface methodology; Taguchi's methods; Demonstration of the implementation of the methods explained in the course using computer software packages.


0405-763 Advanced Engineering Project Management 3:3

This course includes a review of project management concepts including planning and scheduling; strategic planning for project management; human resources management, managing multiple projects, contemporary issues in project management; case studies.


0405-765 Management of Technology 3:3

This course examines a wide range of topics and issues involved in the management of technology including planning tools and techniques in strategic planning for different technologies, technology capability assessment, technology forecasting; the development environment and infrastructure, R&D management, product development process; technology transfer; licensing, joint venture and other forms of alliances; technology protection; case studies and project.


0405-725 Data Analytics

The course covers the fundamentals and key concepts of artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques. The course presents several supervised and unsupervised machine learning techniques, in addition to techniques used to select and process input features. Students will also learn how to understand the data and visualize it.


0405-731 Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Logistics and supply chains constitute the backbone of production systems and of international trade. They are essential elements in order to understand and analyze production systems in both

manufacturing and service firms. They study the flows of materials, information, and funds from the suppliers, to the manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and customers, and vice versa. This course

covers classical topics of logistics and supply chain management including understanding the supply chain and logistics systems, designing networks, and studying the operations that are necessary to manage supply chains and logistics. Contemporary topics such as digitalization, sustainability, and circular economy in the context of logistics and supply chain management are also covered.



0405-781 Special Topics in Engineering Management 3:3

This course examines advanced and emerging topics in engineering management. The course may be offered to suit the academic need of the student based on the supervisor recommendation and the program coordinator approval.


0405-782 Independent Studies in Engineering Management 3:3

This course helps the student in exploring specific areas of interest or enables him/her to develop in-depth research in a field of interest. The topic should be related to the area of interest in which the student is planning to prepare his/her thesis. The course intends to complete the knowledge of the student while allowing him/her to develop his/her critical thinking and analysis. The registration in this course and its topic should be approved in advance by the student's potential thesis supervisor and the PhD program coordinator.


0405-791 PhD Seminar 1:0

Students are required to attend seminars given by faculty members, visitors, and graduate students. Students must submit reports of the seminars they attended. They are also required to present one seminar on a timely research topic.


0405-709 Qualification (Comprehensive) Examination 0:0

The examination aims to measure the student's ability to understand and demonstrate a general understanding of his/her discipline, show the ability of critical, analytical, and creative thinking and employ them in solving problems and proposing appropriate solutions. It is not another test in the courses studied by the students. This exam consists of both written and oral parts.
Pre-requisites:  Completion of all mandatory courses and approval of the program coordinator and dean of graduate studies.


0405-792 PhD Research Proposal 0:6

Students must submit a research proposal topic under the supervision of a faculty member. The proposal should layout the literature survey of related work to the proposed research topic to be undertaken.  Methodology and expected results should be presented in the proposal. The proposal should be approved by the supervisor and defended before an examination committee. Recommendation of the committee should be considered in the implementation phase of the thesis. Pre-requisites: 0405-709 Qualification (comprehensive) Examination.


0405-799 PhD Thesis 0:21

Students must undertake and complete and independent industrial-oriented and/or theoretical research under the supervision of a faculty member. Students are required to submit a thesis documenting their research and defend it in an oral examination before a committee. The thesis work must make a significant contribution to knowledge in the field of engineering management and innovation.  Students are required to produce at least two refereed journal publications (at least class B) of their work before defending the thesis.

 Pre-requisites: 0405-792 Ph.D. Research Proposal and 0475-791 PhD Seminar.


Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management

College of Engineering

University of Sharjah

e-mail :

Phone:  00 971 6 505 3921