PhD Engineering and Physical Sciences

The course

Delivery type
3 years (full-time)
Intake date



The School of Engineering and Physical Sciences places a very high value on enabling people to obtain a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degree by research and is pleased to be able to extend this facility to students on the Dubai Campus.

Initially, those with an interest in undertaking a project in the broad area of energy are encouraged to apply. This may include renewable energy, energy utilisation and energy conservation as well as improved materials for energy production and conversion (for example, the development of nanocomposite carbide coatings).


Read more about the UAE Federal Accreditation.


PhD study on the Dubai Campus will enable students to work with staff and students in Dubai in collaboration with a research group in Edinburgh performing high value and fundamental research in engineering.

Students will be working under the supervision of an expert academic supervisor based at the Dubai Campus and supported by a second supervisor in Edinburgh. In addition to time spent doing research project work, students will engage with scientific literature and participate in research group discussions and meetings using electronic communications.

On completion of the research project, students spend some six months 'writing up' to produce a final PhD. Once the thesis has been submitted, internal and external academics will examine the student’s work and knowledge of the PhD subject.

Research topics for PhD supervision

  • Surface coatings for use in energy, biomedical and transportation engineering. Typical examples include surface engineered components for gas turbines, solar panels, human implants and rotating machines.
  • Micromechanics of engineering systems.
  • Contact mechanics and high-speed impacts.
  • Tribology of interacting surfaces including gears, bearings and oil drilling applications.
  • Investigation of thermal conductivities and heat transfer rate of direct absorption solar collector with the help of nanofluids technology.
  • Aerodynamic optimisation for drag reduction of heavy vehicles by means of passive devices such as boat-tails.
  • Building integrated renewable energy options and optimization of the overall systems of net zero building concept.
  • Mathematical modelling and control of elastic and fluid-structure dynamical systems.
  • Renewable Energy Technologies.
  • Sensorless control of AC drives; Investigations of signal injection nonlinearities on AC machines performance.
  • Distributed generation and its impact on the power grid/Smart grid (this requires strong background in power electronics and control).
  • Energy efficiency and demand side managements.
  • Applications of hybrid battery/supercapacitor energy storage system.
  • Hybrid concentrating Photovoltaic (PV) /Thermal Energy system for UAE buildings.

Research proposal

The research proposal (normally three to four pages) should contain as much as possible of the following:

  • Introduction or outline of the proposed topic
  • Statement of objective(s) and/or specific research questions
  • Summary of some of the relevant literature that supports the research objective(s)
  • An indication of the intended research methodology
  • An indication of the theoretical structure and/or conceptual outline
  • A provisional timetable of the major phases of the research process
  • Results expected from the research, e.g., practical value of the research or possible contributions to knowledge, policy or methodology. At this stage we are not looking for a definitive document but merely an indication that you have thought through most of the above issues. Please note that work submitted may be subject to screening using plagiarism software.

Entry requirements

  • Interested applicants should complete the online application form, making clear on the form that you are applying to study at the Dubai Campus.
  • If you have any questions about the application process, contact Jaya Sukhani (

Supporting documents

Applicants interested in our PhD opportunities need to submit the following:

  • Copies of full academic transcripts from all previous academic degree courses and copies of certificates for degrees already awarded.
  • Confirmation of funding source and/or confirmation of sponsorship/sufficient funds to pursue studies.
  • A detailed research proposal.

English language requirements

Where English was not the medium of instruction during previous education, applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.5. Other qualifications may also be considered.

Fees and funding

  • AED 95670 per year*

* All tuition fees inclusive of VAT

Scholarships and bursaries

See our range of degree entry, undergraduate, postgraduate taught and PhD scholarships and discounts.