Doctoral Program in Mechanical Engineering 2023–2024


The PhD program in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Zaragoza brings together several research lines consolidated over the years at the University of Zaragoza. These research lines are complementary topics with a common link: mechanical engineering. It is a doctoral program characterized by a clear vocation for quality research, reflected in publications and patents; by the transfer of results to industry, both in its national and international environment; and by academic internationalisation through collaboration with foreign institutions, and exchanges and stays of students and researchers.

The doctoral program completes the teaching offer of the University of Zaragoza in the field of Mechanical Engineering.

In the Doctoral Program in Mechanical Engineering you can carry out your doctorate in the following research lines:

  1. Thermal Engineering and Energy Systems

  2. Advanced Materials in Mechanical Engineering 

  3. Fluid Mechanics

  4. Advanced Simulation Methods 

  5. Modelling of the Mechanical Behaviour of Materials 

  6. Transport Systems and Vehicles 

  7. Machinery and Mechanical Systems 

Program Objectives

The doctoral program completes the teaching offer of the University of Zaragoza in the field of Mechanical Engineering. The need for the program in the geographical and economic environment of the University of Zaragoza is guaranteed by the close collaboration of the proposing groups with the regional and national industrial environment. The result of this collaboration is the existence of numerous research agreements and contracts.

Outgoing Student Profile

There is a continuous flow of graduates and PhD researchers to the R+D+i departments of companies in the geographical and economic environment of the University of Zaragoza.


Administrative inquiries:
Secretaría del Departamento de Ingeniería Mecánica
Escuela de Ingeniería y Arquitectura
Campus Río Ebro, C/María de Luna, 3. 
50018 Zaragoza

Academic inquiries:
Coordinator's email:

Basic Skills

The students of the program acquire the basic competences indicated in article 5 of Royal Decree 99/2011 on doctorate. They are the following:

  1. Systematic understanding of their field of study and mastery of research skills and methods related to that field.
  2. Ability to conceive, design or create, implement and adopt a substantial process of research or creation.
  3. Ability to contribute to the expansion of the frontiers of knowledge through original research.
  4. Ability to perform a critical analysis and evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas.
  5. Ability to communicate with the academic and scientific community and with society in general about their fields of knowledge in the modes and languages commonly used in their international scientific community.
  6. Ability to promote, in academic and professional contexts, scientific, technological, social, artistic or cultural advancement within a society based on knowledge.

Personal Abilities and Skills

The RD 99/2011 highlights the high professional training of doctors in various fields, especially those that require creativity and innovation. Therefore, the doctors of the program will have acquired, at least, personal skills and abilities to:

  1. Develop in contexts in which there is little specific information.
  2. Find the key questions that must be answered to solve a complex problem.
  3. Design, create, develop and undertake innovative and innovative projects in their field of knowledge.
  4. Work both as a team and independently in an international or multidisciplinary context.
  5. Integrate knowledge, face complexity and formulate judgements with limited information.
  6. The criticism and intellectual defence of solutions.

Other Specific Program Competences

CMECES1 - Having acquired advanced knowledge at the frontier of knowledge and demonstrated, in the context of internationally recognised scientific research, a deep, detailed and well-founded understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects and scientific methodology in one or more research areas

CMECES2 - Having made an original and significant contribution to scientific research in its field of knowledge and that this contribution had been recognised as such by the international scientific community

CMECES3 - Having demonstrated that they are capable of designing a research project to execute a critical analysis and an evaluation of imprecise situations in which to apply their contributions, knowledge and work methodology to make a synthesis of new and complex ideas that produce a deeper knowledge of the research context in which you work

CMECES4 - Having developed sufficient autonomy to initiate, manage and lead teams and innovative research projects and scientific collaborations, national or international, within its thematic scope, in multidisciplinary contexts and, where appropriate, with a high component of knowledge transfer

CMECES5 - Having shown that they are capable of developing their research activity with social responsibility and scientific integrity

CMECES6 - Having justified that they are capable of participating in scientific discussions taking place internationally in their field of knowledge and of disclosing the results of their research activity to all types of public

CMECES7 - Having demonstrated within their specific scientific context that they are capable of making advances in cultural, social or technological aspects, as well as fostering innovation in all areas in a knowledge-based society.

General Information

The requirements for access to doctorate studies are set in RD 99/2011 and can be consulted in the corresponding Instruction of the Doctorate School (pdf). In general, an official Spanish Bachelor's and Master's degrees or equivalent are required, with a minimum global extension of 300 ECTS credits.

Candidates with university degrees issued by a country of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) may request admission directly (info). If the degree is issued by a country outside the EHEA, the application for access with a non-homologated foreign degree must be submitted (info).

Those interested can expand their information in the administrative section of the Doctoral School (web) or the administration of the program (see contact data in the program general information section).

Program Specific Information

Oferta de plazas: 25

Positions available: 25


Admission profiles for accessing the Doctoral Program in Mechanical Engineering: 

Candidates for the PhD program in Mechanical Engineering must have a solid basic knowledge of the fundamentals, techniques and tools of Mechanical Engineering; the ability to obtain and manage documentation and bibliography specific to the field, and to analyse critically and synthesise it; the ability to work autonomously in a field of research; and the ability to communicate orally and in writing in scientific-technical environments.



Entrance qualifications are higher degrees or masters in Mechanical, Industrial, Energy, Civil or Chemical Engineering (five-year engineering, masters in Engineering adapted to the EHEA); and masters in Biotechnology. Students with these degrees who meet the requirements specified by the current legislation (indicated above) will have access to the doctorate without additional training.


Other entrance qualifications, with training complements, are those in the field of bachelor's or master's degrees in Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, or Materials.

The Academic Committee will also consider the admission of students coming from other master programs with contents comparable to the previous ones given by any institution of the European Higher Education Area, or from foreign countries if they authorise access to doctoral studies in the country of issue.


Documentation to be provided for the application for admission:

1. Application form, indicating specific qualification for accessing and, if any, a tutor suggestion.

2. Curriculum vitae.

3. Transcript of all the university degrees that the candidate possesses.

4. Optionally, certificates of the relevant technical-scientific merits (such as, for example, computer skills or languages);

5. A letter, approximately 250 words long, in which you state your motivation and interests, indicating the line or topic in which you want to do the doctorate, and indicating if you have a preference for a director or tutor.

6. Optionally, a justified application for part-time admission (see below).

7. Optionally, a request for adaptation of the admission requirements or of the curricular trajectory if there are special needs deriving from a disability.

When the documentation to be provided is not in Spanish or English, the candidate will attach simple translations.



Selection Criteria for admission and weighting:

The Academic Committee will evaluate the candidate with the following weighting:

- Academic Record: 60%.

- Other merits (stays abroad, extraordinary prizes, other degrees): 20%.

- Adequacy of the previous studies to the research line: 20%.

To be admitted to the program it is necessary to obtain a total of 60% of the points in the weighted average.

Specific Training Activities

Profile: When the entry degree requires it, the Academic Committee may, at the time of admission, request that the student to take different training activities. This may be the case of candidates with Bachelor's or Master's degrees in Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, or Materials; or with degrees obtained in other countries.

Training Activities: The Studies Commission will establish the training activities to be studied by each student, depending on the subjects studied in their master's degree and the line of research chosen for the thesis. The program's Studies Commission will monitor the training activities and establish the appropriate criteria to limit their duration. 

In these cases, the student must take 18 credits in subjects related to the selected doctoral line, chosen from among the subjects offered at the time of registration by the University of Zaragoza in their Master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Master's in Industrial Engineering or related.

The contents, results, training activities and evaluation systems of these subjects can be consulted on syllabus available at the website of the University of Zaragoza (bachelor's, master's). These subjects are subject to additional fees set by the University of Zaragoza.

Enrolment Dates, Deadlines and Procedure

Doctoral students, as researchers in training and students of the University of Zaragoza, have to formalize every year the enrollment with the corresponding rights to the academic tutorship while continuing their doctoral training. The enrollment period will be set  in the academiccalendar approved each year by the Doctoral School. 

As a general rule, enrollment will be done online through the Secretaría Virtual ofthe University of Zaragoza. Previously a personal identification number (NIP) and password will have been obtained in the identity management service. Face-to-face registration will be allowed to those who cannot do it online, by going to the doctoral school during public service hours. PhD students must submit every year in which they enroll, documentation about their previous studies, depending on whether they have been taken in countries of the European Education Area or outside that space.

Full and up-to-date information on the enrollment procedure, including key points, is provided on the website of the Doctoral School, as well as prices, discounts and insurance, legalization and translation of documents and some others practical details.

Thesis Supervision

The procedures for the supervision of doctoral students are set in article 11 of Royal Decree 99/2011, which regulates doctoral studies and the rules about Thesis (Reglamento sobre Tesis Doctorales de la Universidad de Zaragoza)The doctoral student admitted to the program has to enrol each academic year in academic tutelage at the University of Zaragoza. The Academic Committee of the program will assign a Thesis Director and a tutor, who may or may not be the same. The Thesis Director will be the person in charge of the overall management of the doctoral student's research tasks, of the coherence and adequacy of the training activities, of the impact and novelty in his/her field of the subject of the doctoral thesis and of the guide in other projects and activities where the doctoral student is involved. The tutor is responsible for the adaptation of the training and the research activity to the principles of the program and the Doctoral School and will ensure the interaction of the doctoral student with the Academic Committee of the program, the body responsible for supervising the progress of the research and training and the authorization of the thesis presentation of each doctoral student of the program.

The supervisory functions of the doctoral students will be documented in the Doctorate Letter which, once the registration is made, will be signed by the doctoral student, its tutor and its director, the program coordinator and the director of the Doctoral School. Those interested can expand the information on the thesis supervision in the administrative headquarters of the program (see contact information in the general information of the program) or by consulting the program coordinator.

Student's Follow-up and Evaluation

The follow-up of the training process leading to the presentation of the doctoral thesis is carried out through the research plan and the doctoral student's document of activities. The research plan is presented before the end of the first year of enrolment and includes, at least, the methodology to be used and the objectives to be achieved, as well as the means and the temporal planning to achieve it. The plan may be improved and detailed later and must be endorsed by the Director and the tutor. The document of activities is the register of all the activities -research stays, courses, attendance to congresses, or others- that the doctorate carries out from his enrolment until the presentation of the doctoral thesis. Annually, the Academic Committee of the program will evaluate the follow-up of the research plan together with the document of activities. The positive evaluation will be an essential requirement to continue in the program. In the case of a negative evaluation, the doctoral student must be evaluated again within a maximum period of six months. Those interested can expand this information in the administrative headquarters of the program (see contact information in the general information of the program) or by consulting the program coordinator.

Once the thesis is concluded, the doctoral student must proceed to deposit and defend it according to the dispositions included in the thesis regulation of the University of Zaragoza and its procedure (info).

Other Specific Program Procedures

The program has a quality assurance procedure for Doctoral Theses in Mechanical Engineering. 


The candidate will submit the thesis to the Academic Commission (CA) under the conditions indicated in the regulations in force by the Doctorate School (EDUZ). According to the verification report of the Doctorate Program in Mechanical Engineering (PDIM), the CA is the body in charge of ensuring the quality of the doctorate, and therefore of its thesis. In order to process the thesis, the CA will check that it meets the quality criteria established in the PDIM, and published on the PDIM website, and in particular:

- That the thesis had resulted in relevant technical-scientific advances, typically evidenced by the publication of at least two articles in prestigious journals ('indexed') and/or the production of two patents;

- That during the doctorate high quality scientific-technical relations had been established with other research centres or companies, both national and (preferably) international, typically through (at least) a research stay;

- That the communication of the knowledge generated is technically rigorous and linguistically correct.

Theses that do not show proof of quality criteria will not be admitted for processing, and will be returned to the candidate with a reasoned report.


In order to ensure compliance with the first two requirements above, the reports of the directors referred to the regulations in force by EDUZ must explicitly mention the contributions that the candidate has made to the advancement of science and technology, referencing, if any, objective criteria (such as publications or patents). Criteria not related to the thesis content, although they were merits of the candidate, will not be invoked.

When publications or patents are signed by authors other than the doctoral candidate and their director(s), they will explain in their report the specific contributions of the candidate. This is a strictly obligatory requirement when the thesis is presented in the form of a 'compendium of publications', where it is accompanied by the express renunciation of the co-authors -not doctors- of the publications to present those works as part of another doctoral thesis in this modality.

The directors' report will be concise, direct, clear, and fundamentally aimed at certifying the above objective quality criteria. When there are several directors, the report may be common as long as it is signed by all of them. Usually, the report should not normally be longer than one page.

Together with their report, the directors may suggest a thesis board, using the form and observing the requirements established by the University of Zaragoza.

When the CA finds that there is not enough objective evidence of contributions to the advancement of science or technology, the CA will usually seek the opinion of experts, PDIM or external, on the existence of such advances in the thesis, in accordance with the provisions of the regulations in force by EDUZ. If the opinion of the experts is negative, it will be transferred in a reasoned way to the candidate and director(s), but the identity of the expert will remain anonymous.

To ensure compliance with the latter requirement, the CA will examine the content of the thesis to verify: its syntactic, semantic and orthographic correctness; that the structure is clear, and appropriate; and that the typography, composition, images and graphics are of sufficient quality. The CA may ask for expert opinion. In case of negative opinion, it will be transferred in a reasoned way to the candidate and director(s), but the identity of the expert will remain anonymous.

The CA will check that the rest of the administrative requirements for the admission of the thesis are fulfilled, including for example the existence of the activities document and the completeness of the completeness of the complements and training activities.


Transversal Training Activities

The Doctoral School offers an annual series of voluntary activities for all doctoral students. This formation has a transversal and interdisciplinary nature. The offer is dynamic and covers the following formative aspects: communication (oral and written), access and information management, and skills for a future social and professional performance.  Information about the activities, admission and enrolment can be found in the website of the Doctoral School  (info).

Additionally, other formative activities of interest for a wide range of our doctoral students are disseminated through our web (info).

Specific Training Activities

Title: Seminars.

Duration: 10h

Control procedures: Two 30-minute public seminars, one in the second year of studies and the other in the third, on the doctoral research subjects. Debate of up to thirty minutes with the audience, made up of other doctoral students and doctors participating in the Doctorate Program in Mechanical Engineering. It is considered compulsory to give the two seminars, for the preparation of which a total of 10 hours is assigned. The Academic Committee will issue a guide document on the aspects to be assessed in this type of activities.

Title: Attendance to seminars, workshops, talks.

Duration: 10h

Control procedures: Attendance to seminars, workshops or talks on aspects that are state of the art in some of the lines of the program. They are organized by the professors of the program or by the Academic Commission and are often given by visiting and invited professors and researchers. Student participation is evaluated through questions or discussion, if appropriate. The language of instruction will be Spanish or English. There will be at least one activity per semester. The minimum number of hours required is 5h.

Title: Computer tools for scientific research.

Duration: 30h

Control procedures: Several courses or workshops on essential computer tools for research in Mechanical Engineering. The courses will be offered annually by the Academic Commission, depending on the needs and interests detected among the students enrolled that year. The courses offered may include the following: symbolic computation; text processing with LaTeX; management of bibliographic databases; parallel calculation and management of massive data; visualization tools in Mechanical Engineering. This activity is programmed to be given during the first year of studies. The teaching will be in general in Spanish, and occasionally in English when given by foreign guest professors. A minimum of 15 hours is considered compulsory.

Title: Preparation and presentation of papers at congresses and technical conferences.

Duration: 20h

Control procedures: Preparation and presentation of papers at national or (preferably) international congresses and technical conferences, subject to the availability of funding, and presentation of papers. A minimum of 10 hours is considered mandatory, which is equivalent to two presentations (including preparation time). The activities can be carried out throughout the doctorate, but at least in the final two years.

Title: Research stays in other research groups, or companies.

Duration: 480h

Control procedures: Research stays in other research groups or in national or (preferably) foreign companies, subject to the availability of funding. The minimum length of stay will be one month, or 160 hours, and at least three months, or 480 hours is recommended. In the case of part-time students, the Academic Committee will assess the exemption from this requirement if the work carried out in their other dedication are comparable to the research stay, and if they are not, may agree to split the stay of one month into several shorter stays. Students with specific educational needs derived from disability may be exempted by the Academic Committee from this requirement, at the request of the interested parties. The stay may be made at any time during doctoral studies. 


Doctoral students enrolled in doctoral programs benefit from mobility aids established in various national and international calls. The calls for the Erasmus + program stand out.

In the Erasmus + Studies mode, doctoral students can choose a wide range of destinations, since most of the agreements signed by the University of Zaragoza with other universities include places for PhD students of all branches.

In the Erasmus + Stays / Practices in companies modality, PhD students access two calls: the one from the University of Zaragoza and the one carried out by the Iberus International Campus of Excellence for the universities that comprise it, the one from Zaragoza among them.

Other mobility calls are specifically designed for Latin American students and for international stays of students with predoctoral contracts. The mobility of doctoral students of the University of Zaragoza is also encouraged with cotutela agreements signed with foreign universities.

Research Lines

  • Thermal Engineering and Energy Systems
  • Advanced Materials in Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Advanced Simulation Methods
  • Modelling of the Mechanical Behaviour of Materials
  • Transport Systems and Vehicles
  • Machines and Mechanical Systems

Research Teams

Ingeniería térmica y sistemas energéticos

Mecánica de fluidos

Métodos de simulación avanzada, modelado de comportamiento de materiales

Sistemas mecánicos y máquinas, materiales avanzados en mecánica, sistema de transporte y vehículos

Academic Regulations

The Doctoral School of the University of Zaragoza has rules and procedures to achieve its various goals, which have been written with the agreement of the different levels of the Doctoral School, and are published on its website.

The regulations section of the Doctoral School website contains other important regulations, both national and of the University of Zaragoza, such as RD 99/2011 por el que se regulan las enseñanzas oficiales de doctorado, el Reglamento de los Estudios de Doctorado (2012) y el Reglamento sobre tesis doctorales (2014).

PhD Duration and Their Management Rules

Rules of duration and permanence in the doctorate are established in Instrucción de23 de mayo de 2018 de la Escuela de Doctorado relativa al acceso, admisión,dedicación y permanencia en los estudios de doctorado de la Universidad deZaragoza (R.D. 99/2011).

Full-time thesis should be complete in three years, from the date of admission to the doctoral program, although the Academic Committee of the program may authorize the extension of this period for one more year. Part-time doctoral students will have five years from their admission to the presentation of the thesis, and the Academic Committee may authorize an extension for two more years. Exceptionally, an additional year of extension can be added.

PhD candidates may request a change in dedication (full-time / part-time) as well as the temporary withdrawal for justified reasons of the Academic Committee. They can cause a definitive withdrawal and see their file closed in these cases: if the available time to deposit the thesis is exceeded or if they receive two consecutive negative evaluations of the research plan.

These processes are explained in detail on our website (info) and the doctoral students are told how to proceed in cases of temporary withdrawal (info).

Academic Calendar

The academic year is governed by the deadlines established in the specific Doctoral School´s academic calendar.

This calendar sets the periods of request for entry, admission to the programs, enrollment at the University of Zaragoza, as well as how the students must present every year the research plan and the activities document, deadlines for defending doctoral theses, etc.

The Doctoral School website publishes the calendar of the current course as well as the two previous courses (info).

Learning Resources

The University of Zaragoza and the Departments, Institutes, research groups and professors involved in the doctoral program offer the resources and services necessary for the completion of the doctoral thesis.

Among these resources, the following stand out.

1. Laboratories

There are several laboratories and technological resources among the experimental means and computations available to the students of the doctoral program, several laboratories or resources.

2. Libraries and documentation

The University has libraries with wide opening hours and easy access that can be used by the students of the program. The libraries offer students a wide range of services such as books borrowing, access to paper and electronic collections, spaces with computers and individual and group work spaces.

In particular, the Hypatia Library, located on the Rio Ebro Campus, will facilitate access to the documentary collections, bibliographic databases and scientific publications related to the doctoral program.

3 Administrative support for doctoral candidates

The Section of the Doctoral School is the unit of the University of Zaragoza responsible for providing technical and administrative support to the university community linked to doctoral studies.

4. International Relations Service

Through the international student reception offices, the International Relations Service promotes mobility, welcomes international PhD students and facilitates their integration into the University.

International PhD students are provided with support and information about the city, accommodation, courses in Spanish and other languages, medical assistance, and grants and scholarships, among others.