Objectives of the Process and Equipment Design programme

To enhance the level of technological competence in the Netherlands, the Ministries of Education and of Economic Affairs initiated a National Educational Programme for Technological Design. As part of the 4TU.School for Technological Design, the Dutch technical universities started a number of two-year post-MSc EngD (Engineering Doctorate) design programmes.

In 1990 the Delft University of Technology started the postgraduate (post-MSc) programme "Process and Equipment Design". As per September 2019, 252 EngD trainees have enrolled into this programme.

The advanced level EngD programme "Process and Equipment Design" trains and educates MSc graduates to become certified designers, capable of designing "fit for purpose" and "first of its kind" products, processes and equipment. It aims at developing the design skills of the participants to an advanced level. Emphasis lies on the interdisciplinary area of the design. It encourages to actively look beyond the perimeters of the own discipline and to recognise the challenges and restrictions imposed by product chain management, environment, time and money.

Broadening of the original knowledge of the trainees is covered by:

  • Studying elements from related technical areas
  • Emphasizing the multi-disciplinary context of the technological design (in a group, in level of knowledge)
  • Adding industrial sciences
  • Integration of knowledge and skills from other disciplines than the engineers and/or natural scientific disciplines

Deepening of knowledge is covered by the study of a number of specialized subjects, which are offered during the course.
Integration of the acquired knowledge is brought about by working on industrially relevant design cases during the course. The course enhances the interactions between engineering disciplines (chemical, mechanical, control) and improves the understanding of economic and management aspects of plant design and operation. Team work and project management are essential elements of the training.

The personal interactions and peer/staff reviews during the training accelerate development of essential professional capabilities. These include improvement of organization and planning approaches to solving engineering problems, development of group leadership potential, and enhancement of oral communication and technical writing skills. Because the trainees are required to adopt a position of advocacy on diverse issues, they achieve considerable gains in their professional maturity within a relatively short period of time.

The EngD graduates from the programme are well equipped to build careers related to the process industry (chemistry, petroleum, waste treatment, metallurgical, food industry, and others), contractors in the process and equipment construction and (governmental) technological institutes. The breadth of their training ensures that they can follow a different career from PhD students.

The training prepares the participants for their career as a professional engineer and the aims of the training are defined as follows:

  • The designer must have a working knowledge and understanding of mathematics, biotechnology, chemical and physical technology, materials science and economics.
  • Within a limited amount of time, he/she must be able to master any given subject in the field of process engineering and be able to make a design for (part of) a process with the appurtenant equipment and control.
  • The designer must be able to function in a team of professionals from diverse disciplines; he must realize that in order to arrive at a solution of a problem, contributions from more than one discipline are needed.
  • Not only, must the designer be able to make a design by using the different disciplines in an integrated way; he/she must also be able to determine the feasibility of the design with respect to the environment, safety, health and quality next to the technological and economic feasibility as well as reliability.
  • The designer must be able to make a contribution to the development and application of new processes and equipment.

PDEng programs of 4TU.School for Technological Design, Stan Ackermans Institute