Information for Partner Companies

"The Engineering Doctorate programme aligns the best academic thinking with the experience of industry to accelerate the development of innovative, commercial products." 

Company Perspective

Our Aims

5th Prize

The EngD Programme requires active participation from company sponsors and we have a number of long standing collaborations with companies and continue to see and attract more.

The Centre aims to provide doctoral research across the range of technologies in integrative photonics: including devices and systems and cognate technologies in signal and image processing, microsystems and product design and manufacture. We also aim to provide high quality postgraduate knowledge through taught coursework to students, also known as Research Engineers, who will have the ability to become managers of the future.


The EngD Programme

The EngD is a 4-year commercially-focused doctoral degree for students who aspire to become managers of the future in the field of optics and photonics. Students, or Research Engineers as they are also known, spend approximately 75% of their time based at the Sponsor Company, although this can vary depending on the company and the project requirements. The remaining time is spent completing taught coursework, covering both technical and business modules taken from MSc programmes at St Andrews (photonics-based) and Heriot-Watt (photonics, microsystems or digital technologies based), depending on their individual requirements, the requirements for the project and that of the company. The modules can be front-loaded at the start of the programme, or spread throughout the first three years. The timing of the taught work and module choice will differ for each Research Engineer.


Each Research Engineer has a dedicated Academic Supervisor (based at the host University of the project) and Industrial Supervisor (based within the Sponsor Company), who will in conjunction with the Research Engineer, make decisions on the modules choices for the taught element of the programme and the timing of when the taught element should be completed, as well as helping to shape the research project.

There are detailed guidelines for Supervisors as well as Research Engineers and there are Supervisor Briefing Sessions available for Industrial Supervisors to attend throughout the year in order to prepare and support them for supervising an off-campus doctoral student.

Benefits of joining the Programme for the Sponsor Company

  • The research projects will offer real benefits to the company in terms of increasing the research portfolio in a cost-effective way.
  • Provides opportunities for collaboration with Partner Institutions.
  • Access to University laboratories and facilities.
  • Opportunity to make contacts with other Sponsor Companies.
  • Aids retention of existing staff who wish to study for a doctorate degree but continue with their employment.