Knowledge in the Service of Society

Engineering Education as a Vehicle for Change

Prism Magazine, April 2009As a top tier engineering school, Duke has vested and very personal interest in the quality of science, mathematics and engineering education in this country. We recruit the very best students to our programs, and in turn, produce engineers who can excel in academic or industry-focused careers. Our role as educator and as a consumer of the students created by our national school system provides us with perspective and motivation to advocate for continuous improvement and change. 

Our faculty continuously work to improve our courses and laboratory experiences, and often publish best practice information with the American Society of Engineering Education. As an example, our Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering recently completed a National Science Foundation funded project to create a modern educational experience focused on integrated sensing and information-processing theme. In addition, we support a number of outreach programs designed to encourage students from kindergarten to high school to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers, for the betterment of our society. There has never been a time when the problems we face as a society have been more complex, and when engineers were more needed.

We also advocate for change by including educational outreach activities in our research activities, and by talking, writing and advocating for changes in policy and curriculum.

Recent articles:

  • New Challenges, Same Education? Last Word section, Prism Magazine, April 2009 [pdf]
  • A New Vision for Engineering - op-ed column, News & Observer, March 12, 2009 [pdf]

Key Faculty Members

William ReichertWilliam Reichert, professor, has been honored for his efforts in recruiting minorities to higher education in engineering. He is the Duke director of the partnership with Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

David SchaadDavid Schaad, associate professor of the practice, leads Duke Engineers for International Development and is a driver in Duke's DukeEngage service learning program for undergraduate students.

Robert MalkinRobert Malkin, professor of the practice, is the founder and director of Engineering World Health.

Larry BohsLarry Bohs, lecturer, leads the Devices for People with Disabilities senior design course, and helped hundreds of individuals in the Durham/Research Triangle area overcome their disabilities.