Villanova’s College of Engineering offers a PhD program leading to a Doctorate of Philosophy.

The PhD concentration in Sustainable Engineering provides students with the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with professors from other disciplines who fully understand the impacts of decisions across all dimensions of engineering.

Embracing a “whole systems thinking” approach, the program challenges and exposes students to complex problems and presents multiple technological solutions using the STEEP model – Social, Technical, Economic, Environmental and Political.

This practical approach is applied to current and future real-life scenarios in which students work together to solve problems faced by companies and organizations worldwide. In addition to traditional research, students will have the opportunity to work hands-on with industrial or organizational sponsors, providing sustainable solutions and watching their ideas come to life, in areas including:

  • Alternate and Renewable Energy
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Sustainable Infrastructure & Built Environment
  • Sustainable International Development
  • Sustainable Materials
  • Water Resources Sustainability

Research and Facilities

The College of Engineering has an active research environment with projects sponsored by industry partners, governmental agencies and foundations.


Professional Development

The College is unique in its professional development program for doctoral students, which reflects Villanova’s commitment to high quality teaching and close attention to the student, as well as development of the whole person. Based on your area of professional interest, two tracks are available: Academic Scholars and Industry Scholars. Each offers the option to pursue a corresponding certificate.

In addition, Villanova’s Career Center recognizes and supports the unique career needs of graduate students as you pursue new academic and career goals. Tailored advising and guidance are available as well as online resources that use the latest technology to network, polish your resume, job search, prepare for an interview and more.

Dr. Ross Lee
Sustainable Engineering PhD Coordinator


Mary McRae, Research Technician and Adjunct Professor, Villanova University

“The Sustainable PhD is unique in that it encourages and embraces a true cross discipline approach, enabling me to successfully blend technical concepts with practical application advancement in my area of research. The support and validation from key potential users refined and guided my research and served as a source of motivation.”

Mary McRae
Research Technician and Adjunct Professor, Villanova University


“The Sustainable Engineering doctoral program widens a student's horizons through systems thinking and a holistic assessment of various projects, products and processes.”

Mohamed Abaas
Current PhD Student