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Washington State University Factsheets

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Science

Faculty working with Students: 82
Students: 32
Students receiving assistantships or scholarships: 90.63%
Priority deadline:
  • Fall January 10
  • Spring July 1
Campus:
  • Pullman: Yes
Tests required:
  • 550 TOEFL Minimum score
  • 80 TOEFLI Minimum score

Degree Description:

This is an interdisciplinary program administered through the College of Engineering and Architecture’s Office of the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Programs, with students typically advised and funded through one of several departments in the College. The interdisciplinary nature of this degree provides considerable flexibility in designing programs of study tailored to the specialized needs of each student. Areas of specialization include (but are not limited to): biological systems engineering, atmospheric research, materials science and engineering, and bioengineering. These students often work in one of our interdisciplinary centers such as: Bioengineering Research Center (BRC), Center for Environmental Education and Outreach (CEREO), Center for Materials Research (CMR), Laboratory for Atmospheric Research (LAR), Composite Materials and Engineering Center (CMEC).

Admission Requirements:

Normally, students entering the program will have an undergraduate degree from a recognized program in engineering. Students with a non-engineering undergraduate degree, such as mathematics or the physical and life sciences, may need to complete a central core of undergraduate engineering study focused on their area of interest. The interdisciplinary nature of these degrees provides considerable flexibility in designing programs of study tailored to the specialized needs of each student. Examples of areas of specialization include, but are not limited to, atmospheric research, bioengineering, materials science and engineering.

The Graduate School minimum admission requirements are listed on their website. Specific departments may have requirements beyond these. In order to determine what the department requirements are, it is the applicant’s responsibility to contact the department that the potential advisor is housed in. Students must satisfy the minimum requirements of the Graduate School and the department that the potential advisor is housed in.

Student Learning Outcome:

All graduates will be able to:

  1.  Enabling interdisciplinary research that underpins nearly all technological development in the modern engineering:
    • Allow for a broad subject area of research that is supported by many departments in VCEA including mechanical engineering, civil engineering, biological systems engineering, chemical engineering, and electrical engineering.
    • Apply theory and methodologies within these areas to conduct relevant and timely research which addresses a broad spectrum of engineering and technology problems from around the world.
    • Communicate the results of their research in peer reviewed journal articles and in oral presentations to faculty and students in the College of Engineering.
  2. Training graduate students to become innovators in solving the relevant, real-world problems of our time in many interdisciplinary research areas:
    • Our students are encouraged to be independent thinkers and well trained researchers to provide answers to pressing real-world problems using an interdisciplinary approach that forces them to think outside the box.
    • Course work is set up to meet the needs of individual students in order to help them train in an area that is relevant to their strengths. This allows them to have a broad field of research that is tailored to the needs of the scientific and engineering community and the world at large to an interdisciplinary course of study.
    • Initiate and defend a thesis that allows them to study a real-world problem and tailor a solution to fit it via rigorous hands-on research and study. This research is completed using scientifically accepted methods and analysis of the problem being presented.
    • The thesis must then be presented in front of a group of peers and faculty before being approved by a committee of experts.

Student Opportunities:

National lab and private industry internships.

Career Opportunities:

Oppurtunities include careers in the sciences, engineering, and technology, both in governments labs, academia, and industry.

Career Placements:

Not available at this time.

Faculty Members:

Abu-Lail, Nehal, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Nanoscale Cellular Interactions and Mechanics

Adam, Jennifer, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

•Hydrologic impacts of global change
•Earth systems modeling
•Land/atmosphere interactions

Ahring, Birgitte, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Microbiology, biofuels, biochemicals

Ameli, Aboutaleb, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Polymer nanocomposites, green composites, multifunctional materials, foams, advanced manufacturing.

Bandyopadhyay, Amit, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Laser processing, additive manufacturing, orthopedic biomaterials, hard coatings and aero/space materials.

Banerjee, Soumik, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Next-generation lithium and sodium batteries, thin-film photovoltaic solar cells, modeling nanoscale transport and molecular self-assembly, multiscale modeling of materials and interfaces.

Beckman, Scott, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Computational materials science & engineering, electronic structure of engineering materials, defects in crystalline materials, boron based materials.

Bender, Donald, PhD

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

– Laboratory testing and analysis of engineering wood components, composite;
– Nondestructive evaluation of wood materials; wood durability;
– Engineering analysis and design of timber structures;
– Materials, connections, and assemblies;
– Post-frame construction;
– Building materials;
– Deck safety.

Beyenal, Haluk, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Biofilm and Fuel Cells

Boll, Jan, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Watershed hydrology, water quality, hydrologic modeling, integrated water resources management, and vadose zone hydrology

Bose, Susmita, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Resorbable ceramics and composite in bone tissue engineering, nanoparticle and scaffolds in drug delivery, nanoscale coating of implants, advanced synthesis, processing.

Chen, Shulin, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Bioprocessing and Bioproducts Engineering
Land, Air, Water, and Environmental Engineering

Chowdhury, Indranil, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Environmental applications and implications of nanotechnology in the context of water infrastructure, food-energy-water nexus, and climate change, Fate, transport and removal of emerging contaminants in water, soil and sediment, water quality and treatment, nanoscale surface interactions, stormwater management.

Claiborn, Candis, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Atmospheric aerosols – sampling methods and chemical characterization
Receptor modeling
Atmosphere-biosphere interactions – field, laboratory and modeling experiments
Airborne particulate matter – emission measurements and windblown dust

Demissie, Yonas, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Characterizing surface and subsurface hydrology
Inverse modeling and stochastic hydrology
Hydrological and water quality modeling
Data mining and assimilation
Optimizing hydraulic and hydrologic designs
Renewable energy and climate change impacts on hydrology

Ding, Jow-Lian, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Dynamic response of materials and structures (experimental characterization, modeling, and simulation), shock dynamics, thermo-mechanics, electrodynamics, and stress-induced phase transformation.

Dolan, James D, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

•Dynamic Loads on Low-Rise Buildings (Seismic and Wind)
•Dynamic Response of Light-Frame Buildings (Seismic, Wind, and Vibration)
•Full-Scale Static, Cyclic, and Dynamic Testing of Structural Assemblies (Walls, Floors, and Roofs)
•Response of Dowel Connections
•Numerical Modeling of Structural and Material Response to Static and Dynamic Loading (Finite Element Analysis and Closed-Form Numerical Modeling)

Dong, Wenji, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Cardiac Muscle Biology and Mechanics, Protein Chemistry and Engineering, Fluorescence Techniques, Computer Modeling, Nanoscale Biosensor Design and Engineering

Dutta, Indranath, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Multi-physics phenomena in materials, materials reliability for microelectronics and photovoltaics, electrically-activated meso-to-nanoscale manufacturing.

Dutta, Prashanta, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Micro/nanofluidics, electrokinetic flow and separation, particulate flow, radio frequency heating, numerical modeling of chemical and biological flow, micro fuel cell and energy conversion.

Engdahl, Nicholas, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

•Mixing and reactive transport in heterogeneous porous media
•Applications of groundwater age and residence time
•Integrated modeling of coupled hydrologic systems
•Geostatistics and subsurface characterization

Field, David P, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, metal deformation and recrystallization, grain boundary and interface structure, metallic thin films, structure/properties relationships.

Garcia-Perez, Manuel, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Bioprocessing and Bioproducts Engineering
Thermo-chemical conversion of biomass (Pyrolysis, Gasification and Combustion)
Bio-fuels and biomass derived products
Production of hydrogen
Development and implementation of new bio-refinery concepts
Environmental impact of biomass thermochemical products

Ginn, Tim, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Biogeochemical reactive transport, Exposure time in mass balance modeling and hydrologic age, Colloid filtration theory and microbial transport, Ureolytic calcite precipitation in granular media, Inverse problems in hydrology, Horizontal gene transfer, Alternative fuels environmental risk assessment, and Nonlocal transport processes and modeling

Gozen, Arda, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Manufacturing processes and equipment, micro-nano manufacturing, manufacturing with soft-matter (elastomers, functional liquids, etc.), flexible-stretchable electronic devices.

Ha, Su, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Energy generations from alternative fuels.

Hajbabaie, Ali, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Smart Cities
Network Signal Control
Smart Traffic Congestion Management
Connected/Autonomous Vehicles and Intelligent Transportation Systems
Traffic Operations, Reliability, and Safety
Data Mining, Artificial Intelligence, and Statistical Analysis Applications in Transportation Systems

Haselbach, Liv, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Hossain, Md. Akram

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Jerath, Kshitij, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Self-organizing systems, autonomous and connected vehicles, reliability and prognostics, and human-robot ensembles.

Jobson, B Thomas, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Measurement of Trace Organic Gases in the Atmosphere
Trace Gas Instrumentation
Tropospheric Photochemistry
Biogeochemical Cycling
Global Climate Change

Kessler, Michael

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Lamb, Brian K, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

– Regional grid modeling of photochemical air quality and windblown dust
– Application of atmospheric tracer techniques
– Biosphere/atmospheric interactions
– Three-dimensional turbulence modeling
– Greenhouse gas emissions

Lei, Hanwu, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Research and Teaching Interests:

Bioprocessing and Bioproducts Engineering
Biomass Thermochemical Conversions (Torrefaction, Pyrolysis, Microwave Pyrolysis, Hydrothermal Liquefaction, and Organosolv Liquefaction),
Catalytic Processes, Bio-Oil Upgrading & Biochar Utilization,
Bio-Fuels & Bio-Products,
Biomass Hydrothermal Pretreatment,
Biomass Clean Fractionation,
Renewable Energy Technologies.

Center Affiliations:
Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory (BSEL)

Li, Lei, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Precision engineering, optical manufacturing, micro/nano manufacturing, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).

Lin, David, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Integrated mechanical properties of skeletal muscle and spinal reflexes. Multiscale modeling of muscle contractile properties.

Lin, Yuehe, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials, materials and devices for sensing, bioimaging, and drug delivery; materials and systems for water monitoring and treatment; materials for fuel cells, batteries and supercapacitors.

Liu, Chen-Ching, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Liu, Heping, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Micrometeorology; Microclimatology; Boundary-Layer Meteorology
Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions and Ecosystem-Climate Feedbacks

Liu, Jin, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Fluid mechanics, computational fluid dynamics, multiscale modeling, micro/nano fluidics, electrokinetic transport, modeling of molecule adhesion and targeted drug delivery.

Lynn, Kelvin G, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Radiation detectors, positron studies including variable energy beams, crystal growth, defects in semiconductors and metals; photovoltaic materials; thermal stimulated spectroscopies.

Manoranjan, V.S., Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Mathematical and computer modeling of nonlinear phenomena that arise in engineering and life sciences. Problems of particular interest are: Contaminant transport in ground water; Transdermal drug delivery; Models in developmental biology; Nonlinear waves – Solitons; Iterative methods with large convergence regions.

Matveev, Konstantin, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Aero-hydrodynamics and dynamics of advanced marine vehicles, ground-effect aerodynamics, surface flows, supercavitation, heat-sound interactions, nonlinear and physical acoustics.

McEwen, Jean-Sabin, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Atomistic modeling of catalytic processes for energy applications within the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering.

McGann, Christopher

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

McLarty, Dustin, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Clean energy technologies including high temperature fuel cells, distributed generation, smart commercial buildings, micro-grid optimization with energy storage.

Mehrizi-Sani, Ali, Ph.D.

Serves as: member only on graduate committee

Research Interests

Integration of renewable energy resources in the power system, Power electronics interfaces for distributed generation, Control and management of microgrids and smart grid, Power system applications of power electronics.

Mesarovic, Sinisa, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Multiscale modeling, phase field models, dislocation plasticity, phase transformations and metal-ceramic bonding, capillary flows, granular materials, carbon nanotubes.

Mitchell, Dan

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Mo, Changki, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Energy harvesting, micro actuators and sensors, adaptive structure technology, smart structures for sustainable buildings, vibration control.

Muhunthan, Balasingam, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

•Thermomechanics and Constitutive Modeling
•Bifurcations and instabilities in geomechanics
•Microstructure characterization and simulation of geomaterials
•Pore-scale modeling of fluid flow
•Micropiles
•Fundamentals of soil behavior: critical state soil mechanics, micromechanics of soils, and physico-chemical behavior of clays

Nassiri, Somayeh, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Concrete pavement design, construction, repair and maintenance
Concrete material characterization
Pavement performance monitoring using instrumentation and non-destructive testing

Ndegwa, Pius M, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Panat, Rahul, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Stretchable electronics, printed electronics, sensors, flexible Li-ion batteries, 3-D antennas and passives.

Petersen, James N, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

* Bioremediation of contaminated aqueous systems
* Modeling of biological processing operations
* On-line optimization of biological processes

Petrie, John

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Pezeshki, Charles, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Nanotechnology, environmental politics and protection issues, sustainability.

Qiao, Pizhong, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Resat, Haluk, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Central theme of my research is the systems approaches to biology problems with particular interest in intercellular processes and signaling, cellular signaling pathways and their regulation, cell-cell and cell-environment interactions, microbial communities, microbe-environment interactions in soil systems, ecology, metabolic engineering and its design principles. My research focuses at the interface of computational and experimental biology, and my expertise covers both the biological model construction, simulation method and numerical algorithm development, and the model-based data analysis and experimental design. Our group is one of the few groups who pursue a truly integrated approach where modeling-to-experiment-to-models iterative cycle is established.

Richards, Robert

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Sablani, Shyam S, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Saunders, Steven, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Nanotechnology for novel catalytic systems, sustainable solvent technologies.

Schneider, John

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Shi, Xianming, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Value-added utilization of industrial or agro-based byproducts or waste in mortars/concrete, Environmentally sustainable materials and practices for transportation maintenance & operations

Song, Min Kyu, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Batteries and fuel cells, electrochemistry of materials, energy storage and conversion, nanomaterials, functional ceramics.

Stockle, Claudio Osvaldo, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Development and application of analytical tools to study, understand and manage the interaction between soil, weather, and crops.
Modeling the environmental impact of agricultural production at the field and water shed levels and in further enhancement and support of the Agricultural Crop Systems Modeling Software (CROPSYST)

Swensen, John, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Medical robotics, steerable needles, modular robotics, and tunably compliant mechanisms and actuators.

Tang, Juming, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Food Engineering
Microwave and radio frequency heating and drying.
Heat and Mass Transfer in food processing.
Engineering properties of food materials.
Dehydration of fruits and vegetables.

Vanreken, Timothy, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Vasavada, Anita, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Biomechanics and neural control of the musculoskeletal system, focusing on the human head and neck system.

Voulgarakis, Nikolaos, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Nanoscale modeling and simulation of soft biological systems and complex fluids. Applications areas: a) gene and drug delivery, b) cell membrane dynamics, and c) energy transfer in biomolecules.

Walden, Von, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere
Infrared Spectroscopy
Polar Meteorology
Regional Climate Change

Wang, Yong, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Development of novel catalytic materials and reaction engineering for the conversion of fossil and biomass feedstocks to fuels and chemicals.

Watts, Richard J, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Wie, Bernard J. Van, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Biosensors, Biomedical Processes, Mammalian Cell & Tissue Culture, Engineering Education

Wolcott, Michael P, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Wu, Joan Qiong, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Yadama, Vikram, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Yang, Bin, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Research and Teaching Interests:

Bioprocessing and Bioproducts Engineering
Green Biorefinery
Bioprocessing Engineering
Process Design
Biomass Conversion Technology

Center Affiliations:
Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory (BSEL)

Zhang, Jinwen, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Synthesizing and exploring new polymer materials from renewable feedstock, toughening, reinforcing and application development of biobased polymer materials.

Zhang, Xiao, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Biomass chemistry, biomass conversion to bioproducts & bioenergy.

Zhong, Weihong, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

Polymers, nanocomposites, multifunctional materials, biomaterials, renewable materials, battery materials.

Contact Information:

Christopher Gass
Pullman, WA 99163
509-335-8730