Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

Dartmouth Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences Provides Both Depth and Breadth

By Anna Fiorentino
September 2012 • Thayer By Degrees: PhD

Professor Alexander Hartov
Engineering professor Alexander Hartov, director of Thayer School's M.S. and Ph.D. programs

Dartmouth engineering professor Alexander Hartov was one of just nine to receive his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree from Thayer School in 1991.

"The Ph.D. program has since been emphasized over the Master of Science program, once the largest and now the smallest of our graduate programs," says Hartov.

Today, Hartov oversees 90 engineering Ph.D. students who plan to finalize theses on a range of topics, from non-invasive prostate imaging with electrical impedance tomography to acoustics and signal processing to actively cancel noise in specially designed headsets thus preventing hearing loss. Of the current students, approximately 25 percent are expected to take an academic position, which is higher than the national average. Others go on to research and development, while the majority will enter industry with companies such as Philips, Siemens Global, and Medtronic. Through the admission process, each student is matched to a specific project supported through a professor's sponsored research or a Thayer School fellowship.

"Ph.D. students will often work with many aspects of a given project. Without specific disciplines, like mechanical or electrical engineering, students graduate with a degree in engineering sciences and a necessary breadth of skills," says Hartov.

The moving target of course offerings for both undergraduate and graduate students has grown to include Materials in Sports Equipment, The Science and Engineering of Music, Intermediate Biomedical Engineering, Digital Image Processing, and Medical Imaging—to name a few. A number of faculty members have also been added to the roster, among them Margie Ackerman, Solomon Diamond, Jifeng Liu, Kofi Odame, Jason Stauth, Ulrike Wegst, and Brenden Epps.

"It's a very collegial place to work, and no accident that a lot of us professors here are also graduates of Thayer," says Hartov.

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