PLANNING INDUSTRIAL PHD PROJECTS IN PRACTICE: SPEAKING BOTH 'ACADEMIA' AND 'PRACTITIONESE'
DS 68-8: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 8: Design Education, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Ion, B.
Author: Kihlander, Ingrid; Nilsson, Susanne; Lund, Katarina; Ritzén, Sofia; Norell Bergendahl, Margareta
Section: Design Education
This paper discuss the planning and organising of research conducted by Industrial PhD students, i.e. PhD students conducting research studies aiming for a PhD while employed in industrial companies. Industrial PhD projects within engineering design research in Sweden can be considered a phenomenon, i.e. existing but sparsely documented. This paper provides empirical illustrations by presenting three Industrial PhD projects conducted in three companies with product developing operations in Sweden. The specific research design of Industrial PhD projects provides benefits such as an effective bridging between academia and industry. Additionally, this type of research projects face challenges, such as having two-folded aims of the project: both academic and industrial goals. Based on experiences from these projects, implications for planning and organising of future Industrial PhD projects are discussed. Finally, we suggest that Industrial PhD projects are effective means, if used properly, for assimilation of research findings to industry, and for academia to understand the industrial practice.