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Years of work and preparation go into defending one’s doctoral dissertation and the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering is not letting the transition to remote instruction halt doctoral candidates’ progress toward earning their Ph.D. on schedule.

Recently, doctoral candidate Victor Aguilar successfully defended his dissertation in the Department of Civil Engineering’s first completely remote dissertation defense. Prior to this experience, only individual members of the Ph.D. committee would participate remotely when necessary, with the majority of the committee and the candidate together in the same room.

“This was the first exam and defense for me in which the candidate was remote or in which everyone was participating remotely,” said Robert Barnes, associate professor of civil engineering and co-chair of Aguilar’s dissertation committee. “With the number of courses and technical conferences and meetings in the near future that just got shifted to a virtual footing, we are all going to be adept at this very soon.”

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