Brown University School of Engineering

Advising

Our graduate programs are designed to bring students to the forefront of knowledge in their respective fields, and to advance that knowledge for the benefit of society. To accomplish this, a close working relationship is typically needed between a graduate student and his or her primary faculty advisor. In the Ph.D. program in particular, the student/advisor relationship is key to a successful and enjoyable graduate experience. The main function of the Committee for Graduate Studies is to assist students in finding appropriate advisors, to monitor academic progress, and to offer advice on problems that may arise.

Current Graduate Studies Committee
Program Advisor
Biomedical Engineering Anubhav Tripathi
Chemical, Biochemical and Environmental C. Franklin Goldsmith
Electrical Sciences and Computer Engineering Ben Kimia
Fluids and Thermal Sciences Kenny Breuer
Materials Science and Engineering Axel van del Walle
Mechanics of Solids David Henann
Program in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship (PRIME) Angus Kingon
Eric Suuberg

Office of Academic Programs and Student Affairs

If students have any issues, questions, or concerns about student advising, they should contact a member of the Office of Academic Programs and Student Affairs.

Name Title Email Office Phone
Nirva LaFortune Manager, Academic Programs and Student Affairs Nirva_LaFortune@brown.edu B&H 314 863-2678
Tori Riccitelli Academic Program Coordinator (Undergraduate) Victoria_Riccitelli@brown.edu B&H 307 863-1471
Debbie Brown PRIME Coordinator Deborah_Brown@brown.edu Prince Lab Mezzanine 863-6843
Kathy DiOrio Administrative Assistant, Student Affairs (Graduate) Kathleen_Diorio@brown.edu B&H 307 863-1296

Annual Review

The progress of Ph.D. students is reviewed early in the program of study and on a regular annual basis thereafter. Each year near the beginning of Semester II, the Graduate Committee of Brown Engineering meets and reviews the academic progress of each of the Division's graduate students. Prior to this Annual Review, the group graduate representatives will solicit input from individual advisors on the status of each continuing student. The result of the Graduate Committee's review will be communicated to each student in writing. The individual research groups may supplement the Annual Review with their own internal procedures (progress seminars, reports, etc.) and students should consult the graduate representative in their group for details. For students with poor performance in coursework or research, the advisor or group graduate representative can at any time request a decision from the graduate committee on whether the student will be allowed to continue. The graduate committee will make a recommendation based on the students transcripts and advisor's report on research progress, if any.

Evaluation Procedures

Each year during the first weeks of Semester II, the Graduate Committee of Brown Engineering will meet and review the academic progress of each of the School's graduate students. Particular attention will be paid to Sc.M. candidates for May graduation and to students at all levels experiencing academic difficulties. Prior to the Annual Review, the group graduate representatives will solicit input from individual advisors on the status of each continuing student. The result of the Graduate Committee's review will be communicated to each student in writing. For students with poor performance in coursework, teaching assignments, or research, the advisor or group graduate representative can request a decision from the graduate committee on whether the student will be allowed to continue. The graduate committee will reach a decision based on the students transcripts and advisor's report on research progress, if any. For students who have completed the Preliminary Examination, dismissal will require evidence of chronic poor performance as an R.A., or a prolonged period of insufficient progress toward the thesis. Poor R.A. performance or lack of progress toward the thesis should be documented by a memo written by the advisor and given to the student and Graduate Committee as soon as the situation arises. If the student continues to make poor progress for one semester, a decision on continuation may then be requested from the Graduate Committee. The individual research groups may supplement the Annual Review with their own internal procedures (progress seminars, reports, etc.) and students should consult the graduate representative in their group for details.

Safety Training

Any engineering graduate student who works or plans to work in an engineering laboratory must attend an Office of Risk Management Safety Training Seminar. The Engineering Safety Officer informs all graduate students of the dates and times that these (three hour) seminars are held. Failure to attend one of these seminars can negate a TA or a RA appointment.

Depending upon the nature of the particular research that a student becomes involved with, the student might need to attend other safety training (e.g., hazardous waste, laser safety, biosafety, radiation safety, etc.).

Grievance Procedures

The graduate student grievance policies and procedures of the School of Engineering conform to the general Graduate Student Grievance Procedures of Brown University as outlined in the Faculty Rules and Regulations, a copy of which is available in the Office of Student Affairs. The first step, however, is to inform immediately either the Dean of Engineering or the Director of Graduate Programs of any potential graduate student problem that cannot be resolved without external intervention.

Transfer Credit

Students may be able to obtain transfer credit for courses taken away from Brown. The maximum number of tuition units that may be transferred for the Ph.D. degree is eight, and the maximum residence equivalence that can be granted is one year. The maximum number of courses that may be transferred for the Sc.M. degree is one except in the five-year integrated Sc.B./Sc.M. program, where two courses can be transferred provided they are Brown courses that are not used to fulfill the Sc.B. requirements. Students entering from abroad with advanced degrees should establish Sc.M. equivalency by the end of their first year in residence. Forms for this purpose are available from the Registrar's Office.