Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Areas of specialization

The Doctor of Engineering Sciences has six areas of specialization.

The complexity of current technological challenges requires experts able to create, adapt, and integrate solutions globally. The Doctor of Engineering Sciences program contributes to this perspective, allowing students to become involved in new research and development for the industry, regulatory agencies, and academia. Furthermore, this doctorate program is a platform for launching specialized consultancies, creating innovative companies, and acting as integral agents for technological change in businesses.

Our students can conduct research stays at world-class international institutions, as financed by the School or the University. Likewise, doctoral students must present their research results at international congresses and publish articles in recognized academic journals. Students can also opt to earn a dual degree through established agreements with prestigious international universities.

Program objective

The Doctor of Engineering Sciences Program trains world-class specialists who have solid scientific-technological knowledge and who are able to independently conduct original, cutting-edge research.

Graduate profile

To be granted the degree of Doctor of Engineering Sciences, candidates must demonstrate mastery in their area of study and the ability to independently conduct research, making novel contributions to existing knowledge.

During the doctorate program, students will acquire the skills needed to creatively and efficiently face scientific and technological challenges. This necessarily requires complementing solid theoretical and conceptual foundations with the application of relevant analytical methodologies and techniques in one of the research lines included within a specialized area of the doctorate program.

  • Civil Engineering

    Graduates from the Doctor of Engineering Sciences Program in this area specialize in the design, construction, and management of the infrastructure needed by our society while adapting to economic and social restraints and aiming for environmental sustainability. This program emphasizes being able to create new knowledge and address multidisciplinary challenges that incorporate themes related to environmental and geoscience engineering. Students should be able to concretely contribute to solving complex civil engineering problems of relevance nationally and worldwide, particularly when innovation is a relevant component.

    Area head: Luis Fernando Alarcón Cárdenas

    Research lines

    • Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure

    The aim of this research line is to generate fundamental knowledge and technological developments related to infrastructure sustainability and resilience during the distinct lifecycle stages of building and civil engineering projects, such as related to design, construction, operation, and provisions. Infrastructure that comprehensively contributes to community development, minimizes environmental impacts, is economically beneficial, and is resilient to extreme situations (e.g., climate change and natural disasters) is made possible by applying complex engineering processes. Achieving these points requires knowledge on subjects such as the evaluation and mitigation of risks from natural disasters, optimized and sustainable use of water resources, and the development of innovative technologies in buildings that minimize energy consumption and consequent environmental impacts. This research line includes topics such as Structural Engineering, Construction Management, Hydraulic Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Seismic Engineering, and Materials Engineering.

    • Geosciences, the Environment, and Resources

    The aim of this research line is to generate fundamental knowledge and technological developments on natural earth system processes, as well as the interactions thereof and impacts to continued development and the sustainability of society. These complex natural processes, which occur on varying spatial and temporal scales, require a multi-systemic and integrated viewpoint of the geosciences, the environment, and civil engineering. The goal of this integration is to understand and control the impacts of civil engineering on natural systems, ultimately using natural resources and energy in the most efficient and environmentally responsible ways possible. This widened perspective will also allow understanding the impacts of physical, chemical, biological, and geological processes on mankind’s quality-of-life and on engineered infrastructure and services. This research line includes topics such as Rivers and Coasts, Fluid Dynamics, Water Resources, Environmental Engineering, and Geosciences.

    See program details here.

    Doctor of Engineering Sciences – Civil Engineering accredited for eight years, until april 2026, , by CNA-Chile.

     

  • Chemical Engineering and Bioprocesses

    The objective of our Doctorate in Engineering Sciences, belonging to the Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering Department, is to form researchers with a robust scientific-technological orientation that can perform original and independent research in the boundaries of knowledge. Therefore, they can contribute to the scientific-technological development of biotechnology, food engineering, and chemical and environmental processes.

    During their research, the students must contribute to knowledge with creativity, leadership, and originality as part of their training, thus preparing their future performance as researchers. The primary basis for obtaining the doctoral degree is the students’ capacity to dominate their research subject and perform independent research.

    Graduation Profile

    For obtaining the Doctor in Engineering Sciences degree, the students must demonstrate domain over their study areas and their capacity to perform independent research, contributing with original knowledge to the Chemical and Bioprocesses Engineering subjects.

    During their doctoral training, the students acquire skills to confront scientific and technological problems creatively and efficiently. Students must then show strong theoretical and conceptual bases, applying methodologies or analysis techniques in one or more of the program’s three research lines.

    The graduates from our program will be able to:

    1. Be proficient in the state-of-the-art and practice of a specific research line
    2. Establish and discuss a scientific hypothesis
    3. Design and perform a scientific-technological study for obtaining the validation of the hypothesis by developing methodologic, conceptual, and/or theoretical tool that allows them to approach and understand the subject
    4. Design and implement an experimental model that allows them to validate the working hypothesis and explain the research problem by using analytical, numerical, and experimental techniques that are proper for generating, acquire and interpret the information obtained in the experimental stage
    5. Extract and discuss conclusions from the performed work

    Therefore, the graduates from this program will be able to work in any of the areas related with their doctorate, for instance, as academics in a university, as researchers for technological development in the industry, R&D centers, and/or as consultants in engineering, innovation, and entrepreneurship companies.

    Research lines

    The activities performed at DIQB are oriented to research applied to three main topics: biotechnology, food engineering, and dynamics and modeling of chemical and environmental processes.

    • Biotechnology: This line consists of two main areas. The first area is related to metabolic engineering, including the optimization of metabolic networks, genetic engineering, biosynthesis of high-value compounds, and bioseparations. The second line is cellular biotechnology, including genomics, microbiome, tissue engineering, and synthetic biology.
    •  Food Engineering: This line consists of the study of food from the engineering and technology perspective. It covers opportunities and innovation developments in the rational design of food and its microstructure, effects on the chemical and microbiological innocuity, the use of autochthonous raw materials, and the analysis and modeling of emerging technologies.
    • Dynamics and modeling of chemical and environmental processes: This line focuses its study on industrial chemical processes. Mainly, heterogeneous catalysis, physicochemical characterization of materials, thermodynamic equilibrium, modeling and characterization of new solvents for separation processes, kinetics for bioremediation, biodegradability analysis and transport phenomena related to atmospheric pollution, advanced techniques for the extraction of nutraceuticals, and the computational modeling of process control.

    Doctor of Engineering Sciences – Chemical Engineering and Bioprocesses; accredited for five years, until 2020, by CNA-Chile.

  • Electrical Engineering

    Graduates from the Doctor of Engineering Sciences Program in this area will be able to conduct original, independent research in one of the research lines led by faculty within the Electrical Engineering Program.

    Area head: Daniel Olivares Quero

    Research lines

    • Energy
    • Biomedical engineering
    • Astroengineering
    • Automatization and robotics
    • Electronics and communications

    See program details here.

    Doctor of Engineering Sciences – Electrical Engineering; accredited for five years, until 2020, by CNA-Chile.

  • Computer Science

    Graduates from the Doctor of Engineering Sciences Program in this area will receive state-of-the-art knowledge in the area of Computer Science through a systematic course program and by conducting doctoral thesis research.

    Doctoral research should contribute new knowledge in the area of Computer Science. This goal will ensure that graduates have the skills needed for any continued academic work and to carry out research with elements of creativity, leadership, and originality. The final requirement for receiving a doctorate in this area of specialization is to master a wide area of study and evidence the ability to conduct independent research in one of the defined research lines.

    Area head: Juan Reutter de la Mazza

    Research lines

    • Data laboratory
    • Social computing and visualization
    • Machine intelligence, robotics, and computer vision
    • Information technologies and communications for education and learning
    • Information technologies
    • Software engineering

    See program details here.

    Doctor of Engineering Sciences – Computer Science; accredited for five years, until 2021, by CNA-Chile.

  • Mechanical engineering

    Graduates from the Doctor of Engineering Sciences Program in this area will be able to conduct original, independent research in one of the existing research lines within the Mechanical Engineering Program.

    Area head: Jorge Ramos Grez

    Research Lines

    • Materials and Manufacturing Processes
      • Laser interferometry
      • Biomaterials
      • Nanotechnology applied to biology
      • Surface technologies
    • Mechanical and automatized design
    • Thermal energy and systems

    See program details here.

    Doctor of Engineering Sciences – Mechanical Engineering; accredited for three years, until June 2019, by CNED.

  • Industrial and Transport Engineering

    Graduates from the Doctor of Engineering Sciences Program in this area will be world-class specialists who have solid scientific-technological knowledge and who are able to independently conduct original, cutting-edge research, thereby contributing techno-scientific advancements in complex systems in engineering, transportation, management, and logistics.

    Area head: Sebastián Raveau Feliú

    Research lines

    • Advanced models for planning and management: optimization models; large-scale system simulations; finance and innovation engineering; and economic aspects.
    • Design, planning, and regulation of complex systems: design of public transport networks; optimization of port operations; design of air transport routes; and other highly complex issues, such as designing schedules, work shifts, and assigning resources; aligning institutional goals with individual incentives; and developing quasi-market mechanisms, among others.
    • Logistics, cargo, network management, and intelligent transport systems: resource distribution; development of models and heuristics to maintain adequate planning and management; research of the operational-computational interface.
    • Design of public policies in the context of complex public systems: large-scale, complex public systems; personal and behavioral incentives coherent with technical designs; required tools and techniques, including appropriate methods for collecting useful information for decision making; and creation of estimation models that elucidate the behavior of different involved actors.

    See program details here.

    Doctor of Engineering Sciences – Industrial and Transport Engineering; accredited for four years, until 2020, by CNA-Chile.