First DBA graduate bids farewell

Congratulations to our first doctor! The first participant has successfully completed the FHDW “Doctor of Business Administration” program. Adrian Engel received his doctoral certificate from Prof. Dr. Eckhard Koch, Academic Director of the DBA program. In January 2019, Adrian Engel and six other participants started the doctoral program offered by the FHDW in cooperation with Edinburgh Business School. Adrian Engel is a Business Analyst at Diebold Nixdorf in Paderborn and has already completed a Master’s degree at the FHDW while working.

The head of the DBA program at the FHDW NRW, Prof. Dr. Eckhard Koch, congratulates Dr. Adrian Engel on his doctorate


Dr. Engel, …

You wrote your doctoral thesis on the success criteria of self-service technologies in the German food sector. What does this mean?

You may be familiar with self-service technologies in the form of self-checkout tills, such as those found in fast food restaurants. With the help of these technologies, customers can order their own food and thus create their own personal shopping experience. As part of my dissertation, I investigated criteria that are important for the success of these self-service technologies (SSTs) in the food sector. As a result of my doctoral thesis, I was able to develop an SST success model and an SST strategy checklist that illustrate the importance of the various dimensions of success. These dimensions include success criteria from the areas of software, system and service quality and also consider the overarching store processes of the food retailer that offers its customers SSTs.

How were you able to contribute your professional experience?

Thanks to my professional activity as a business analyst in the retail sector, I am very familiar with both customer requirements and technical solutions in the self-service segment. This has allowed me to combine the research literature in this field with my practical experience.

Courses, seminars, group meetings, thesis – how did you combine this with work?

I worked full-time and devoted my evenings and weekends to my courses and thesis. This was quite a challenge at times. But you know what you’re getting into beforehand, and with the goal in mind, I was always able to find new motivation. The development of the DBA program has also helped a lot. The availability of the contact persons, the events, the dialog with the supervisor (mine was Prof. Dr. Micha Bergsiek) – all this is optimal support on the path to the doctorate.

How much time did you have to spend each month?

That is difficult to say. In addition to regular work in the evenings (about two hours), I mainly invested time in my dissertation at the weekends.

How did you find the support from the FHDW supervisor?

Very positive and supportive. As often as I needed to, we discussed the content of my dissertation as well as organizational issues by phone or in person. The supervisor is the navigator who steers you in the right direction.

Can you recommend the DBA and why?

Absolutely. I can recommend doctoral studies for a Doctor of Business Administration to all those who want to study a topic academically over several years and combine it with their professional field.

Has the way you approach problems changed?

I have always dealt with topics in a very structured way and have found that participating in the DBA program particularly promotes and requires this approach.

Has your field of work changed as a result? Or was there a step up the career ladder / a new area of responsibility?

My doctorate has already generated interest in the company and demand for the topic has increased. Furthermore, my additional qualification now supports my approach to customers as a competent contact for developing comprehensive solutions for sometimes very complex business problems.

From left: Prof. Dr. Torsten Spandl (Head of DBA Program FHDW Hannover), Dr. Jesus Canduela and Adrian Carberry from Heriot-Watt University, Dr. Adrian Engel, Prof. Dr. Eckhard Koch (Head of DBA Program FHDW NRW), Karin Carroll-Scott (Head of International Office FHDW NRW) and FHDW NRW President Prof. Dr. Stefan Nieland