What does “Prof. Dr. ir.” mean?
I have a Belgian colleague who is “Prof. Dr. ir.”. What does it mean?
I am assuming you are confused by the "ir" part. I think it is a reference to engineer/Ingénieur. I am not sure if it means the individual holds an EngD/ScD or simply a certification in engineering.
@DanielE.Shub I am also somewhat confused by the addition of all those titles… does “Prof.” mean university professor? If so, I don't think you can get there without being “Dr.”, thus I don't see the need for “Prof. Dr.” compared to just “Prof.”…
"Prof. Dr." is different from, for instance, "Prof. M.D." or even "Prof." alone since you can become professor without having a PhD.
I don't know the Belgian system, but in the German system it is not uncommon to list all honorifics, so something like Prof Dr. Dr. Dr. Smith would be someone with a single professorship and 3 doctorates. Sometimes you would see that as Prof DDDr. Smith. If Smith got a fourth doctorate, I believe the honorific would change to Prof. Dr. mult. Smith.
@seteropere you can become a professor without a PhD. A doctorate (e.g., MD, EdD, ScD) is helpful, but not a requirement.
@seteropere In France (only country for which I know very well the system), you need the "habilitation" to become a (full) prof. To have the habilitation, you need either a PhD plus a good research record with many publications, students, etc. or a very strong research record without the need of a PhD. For instance, there are researchers from industry who obtain professorship without having a PhD.
@Pieter, I deleted my answer as it just duplicates information from an existing answer and existing comments.
Ir. means a masters degree in Engineering.
source : Belgian Education :)
I added a "reference". This Prof. Dr. Ir. received a M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering and the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven), Belgium
Also, from wikipedia: Belgium
In Belgium, there are two types of engineering degrees:
- "Burgerlijk Ingenieur" /"Ingénieur civil" or "Master of Science in Engineering" (abbrev. "ir.") - 5 years study (3 BSc. + 2 MSc.)
- "Bio-ingenieur"/ "Bioingénieur" or "Master of Science in Bioscience Engineering" (abbrev. "ir") - 5 years study (3 BSc. + 2 MSc.)
- "Industrieel Ingenieur" or "Master of Science in Industrial Sciences" (abbrev. "Ing.") - 4 years study (3 BSc. + 1 MSc.)(3 BSc. + 2 MSc. in 2013-future) (for the Flemish Region)
- "Ingénieur industriel" or "Master of Science in Industrial Sciences" (abbrev. "Ing.") - 5 years study (3 BSc. + 2 MSc.) (for the Walloon Region)