PhD. Mechanical Engineering

The department of Mechanical Engineering offers PhD in Mechanical Engineering. This is purely a research based program (no course work). The program is undertaken for a period ranging between 24 and 48 months for a full time student. This is designed to further horn research skills and expose the student in their area of interest to make them competent professionals.

All facilities are available for use by PhD students. There is great exchange of ideas between the student and supervisors and other members of staff for mutual benefit.

Therefore this programme of Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mechanical Engineering, will be offered in any of the following specialized areas of mechanical engineering:

1. Applied Mechanics

Machines have been the backbone of industrialization of countries in the world. Mechanical machines aid in manufacturing of products, transportation in land, water and air, construction, farming, health care among others, and hence they make the world move around. This area of specialization is concerned with the analysis and conception of machine and structural components. For better analysis and design of machine & structures which are encountered in nature and society, especially in civil, mechanical and aerospace engineering, knowledge of the advanced analytical dynamics, linear and nonlinear dynamical systems, machine and structural dynamics, dynamic control and stress analysis is required.

2. Materials and Metallurgical Engineering

Kenya continues to experience a rapid population and economic growth which requires numerous engineering structures and products. Due to this, Kenya has witnessed and will continue to witness an increased demand of materials for construction and manufacturing industries. The continued discoveries of new minerals requires Kenya to take control of the minerals and refine/process them into materials before export. This area of specialization focuses on providing advanced knowledge on analysis of composition and structure of materials, as well as processing of materials to their uses.

3. Thermal Power & Fluid Engineering

Modern economic development, which is a product of the industrialization process is fueled primarily by energy. Energy aids in manufacturing, mining, mineral & material processing, and transportation which are directly linked to the industrial revolution of any country. Africa needs to invest heavily on energy generation for industrialization. Hence this area of specialization seeks to provide advanced knowledge on heat and fluid flow processes, and their role in modern methods of power generation.

4. Sustainable Energy Engineering

Global warming and fossil fuel depletion increasingly place the development of sustainable energy systems at the top of political agendas around the world. The future will most likely be powered mainly by renewable energy sources like hydropower, bioenergy, solar energy and wind power.

Therefore, Kenya needs to invest heavily in new energy technologies, and in such a bridge between the technologies of today and the ones of the future is necessary. This area of specialization focuses on providing knowledge on modern sustainable, renewable and conventional technologies for a wide range of applications.

5. Industrial & Production Engineering

Manufacturing is of fundamental importance to any society and is closely related to the capability of fulfilling the societal demands for economic, ecologic and social sustainability. There are numerous manufacturing industries across Kenya which offer employment opportunities. In fact, Kenya has a potential for more manufacturing and production based industries. To successfully compete in the market place, manufacturing firms must maximize their production, productivity, profit, reliability, efficiency and safety while minimizing costs and wastes. This area of specialization focuses on providing knowledge on production planning, inventory control, quality control, scheduling, and industrial economics & management.

Target Groups

This programme is intended for engineering graduates and professionals with a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering or other suitably qualified candidates with a Masters degree in a closely related field who wish to undertake cross-cutting research or expand their expertise in specified fields of Mechanical Engineering. In particular, the programme targets the following groups:

  1. Researchers from academic and research institutions, power generation, building services and the manufacturing industry intending to carry out research in mechanical engineering.
  2. Individuals from industry or government departments who wish to expand their range of expertise in mechanical engineering for continuous professional development.
  3. Individual techno-preneurs who wish to further their studies and improve their technical, research and innovative skills.

Aims and objectives

The aim of this programme is to produce qualified researchers, innovators, educators and consultants in the specialized fields of Mechanical Engineering, namely, design of structures and pressure vessels, materials research, renewable energy, refrigeration and air conditioning, gaseous emissions control, power generation, maintenance, production management, dynamic control, casting, internal combustion engines, advanced manufacturing, among others. This is achieved through the accomplishment of independent and original research work, the reporting of the research results in a thesis and a subsequent oral defence.

The specific objectives are:

  1. Develop skills for conducting a rigorous scientific research leading to a PhD thesis.
  2. Develop managerial and transformational leadership skills in and beyond the specific area of specialization.
  3. Enhance the knowledge and design skills in Mechanical Engineering through highly specialized advanced training.
  4. Provide innovative and entrepreneurial skills for development of home-grown solutions to engineering problems.

Learning Outcomes

The Graduates from this programme should be able to:

Duration and Structure

  1. Carry out original research and present their findings in scientific conferences and publish in scholarly journals.
  2. Analyse and come up with solutions to advanced and complex engineering problems.
  3. Effectively contribute to and disseminate knowledge in the specified field.
  4. Show a high level of scientific competence and understanding of the subject, and display originality of thought.
  5. Independently evaluate and assess other researchers’ activities and any other works requiring a high degree of academic expertise and scientific competence. 
  • A candidate registered for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering shall undertake the programme for a minimum period of thirty six (36)months and shall submit a thesis for examination based on the research done.
  • No candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy shall be registered as a student for more than forty-eight (48) calendar months without submitting his/her thesis, except by permission of the Board of Postgraduate Studies (BPS).
  • The PhD Programme in Mechanical Engineering shall be done through rigorous scientific research guided by supervisors approved by BPS and submission of a thesis. In the course of their research, candidates shall be required to participate in seminars and present their research progress reports.

Admission Requirements

The following shall be eligible for admission into the Ph.D. programme in Mechanical Engineering:

  1. A holder of a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
  2. A holder of a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering or any other related field from any other institution, which is recognized by the university senate as being of equivalent academic status.
  3. In addition, a candidate must submit a research proposal approved by the School postgraduate board to be eligible for admission.

Supervision and Thesis Examination

Conduct of Research Studies and Supervision

  1. A candidate registered for the Ph.D. programme in Mechanical Engineering shall be required to pursue his/her research work under the supervision of at least two (2) academic members of staff, who must be senior lecturers or professors.
  2. The candidates shall be required to consult their supervisors at least once every month and to submit a written progress report every four months. Each candidate shall be required to participate and present in seminars, which will be used to assess their progress.
  3.  Candidates are required to participate and present research findings in at least two (2) seminars during the second year of study, and at least two (2) seminars during the third year of study.
  4. The candidates shall also be required to present their research findings in scientific conferences and publish at least two (2) journal papers in peer-reviewed scholarly journals of international standing.

Thesis Submission and Examination

  • A candidate shall be required to submit a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy that makes a distinct contribution to the knowledge and shows understanding of the subject and display originality of thought.
  • At least three months before a thesis is submitted, a candidate shall give notice in writing and provide an abstract outlining the general scope of the research work. Other common regulations specified by the University regarding the thesis submission shall apply.
  • Research work shall be examined by seminar presentation and by assessing research reports in addition to the thesis.
  • Candidates will be examined according to the University regulations.