Duke Forward

Over the past decade, the Pratt School of Engineering has seen unparalleled growth on every level, from research funding to enrollment. Now, as Duke embarks on a comprehensive fundraising campaign, we seek investments that will allow us to continue on a trajectory of excellence and help us realize our most important goals. We’ll educate engineers with the vision and technical expertise to tackle our world’s biggest challenges. And we’ll give our faculty, researchers, and students the tools to harness Duke’s distinctive strengths and do what engineers do best: solve problems.

Duke Forward

Boundaries Not Included


From their first day of class at the Pratt School of Engineering, our students have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and work on real problems. We provide an education that allows our students to develop not only technical knowledge, but practical experience and an affinity for working collaboratively to address societal needs. This campaign will allow Pratt to sustain and enhance distinctive programs that give engineering students at every level the tools and opportunities they need to make meaningful contributions to industry and the world. We’ll seek to expand and enhance our educational space, as well as to invest in programs that encourage innovation. We’ll grow hands-on opportunities like the Pratt Undergraduate Research Fellows, which give students the chance to conduct faculty-mentored research. Programs like these will set us apart from other engineering schools and help Pratt attract students who will become leaders.

How Will You Support Expand Horizons for Duke Engineers?

Blazing New Paths


The Pratt School of Engineering is a linchpin in Duke’s ability to make a difference through research and innovation. Engineering students and faculty will play a key role in helping unlock the potential of Duke’s interdisciplinary initiatives in global health, energy, and the environment. They will also be vital to other strategic research efforts, including work in brain sciences, nanotechnology, and the development of new, lifesaving drugs and medical devices. We’ve demonstrated over the past decade that Pratt’s growth in size has also dramatically expanded our research output. As part of the campaign, we seek to continue our progress forward with new investments in the people, research, and programs that advance the university’s efforts to solve complex societal challenges.

How Will Your Gifts Help Us Blaze New Paths In Engineering?

Fueling Uncontainable Ideas


An extraordinary student body and talented faculty are at the core of what drives our success at Pratt. Through this campaign, we’ll seek the support necessary to attract and retain the best faculty and enroll the brightest students, as well as the flexible operating funds that keep us innovative and nimble.

How Will You Keep Duke Engineering on a Trajectory for Continued Success?
Faculty Support

No investment has a greater impact on our success than the hiring of excellent faculty. Not only do high-caliber faculty shape our programs and elevate our research profile, they also help to attract top undergraduate and graduate students.

Fellowships and Financial Aid

Our ability to enroll smart, ambitious students ties directly to our capacity to offer adequate financial support to undergraduate and graduate students. We must have the resources to sustain our commitment to need-blind admissions at the undergraduate level and the means to offer graduate fellowships that are competitive with our peers.

The Engineering Annual Fund

Our growing, dynamic school must maintain its ability to adapt to change and to move forward aggressively on the important projects critical to our future. Unrestricted operating support provided through the Engineering Annual Fund gives our leadership the tools to do just that, fueling all that makes Pratt great.

New Research and Education Building

Duke University and the Pratt School of Engineering are committed to the need for a critical pipeline of skilled engineers capable of growing our economy, developing clean and sustainable energy solutions, and nurturing entrepreneurship. Pratt’s new facility for education and research supports our drive to address society’s grand challenges, and to prepare Duke students to be leaders and innovators in the 21st century global workforce.

How Many Engineering Schools in the Country Can Claim a 200 Percent Increase in Research Expenditures From 2000 To 2010?

The Pratt School of Engineering can. Duke was #1 in percentage growth of research spending among the top ten graduate schools ranked by U.S. News & World Report. That increase in productivity was mirrored by growth in our faculty. Between 1999 and 2009, Pratt’s tenure and nontenure track faculty grew from 89 to 113.

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161.5 Million

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Campaign Committee
  • Mr. Stephen D. Bard, BSE'83
  • Mr. David Bennett, BSE'83
  • Mr. Sean E. Delehanty, BSE'00
  • Mr. Daniel M. Dickinson, BSE'83
  • Mr. Fred M. Fehsenfeld, Jr., BSE'73
  • Mr. William B. Gex, BSE'82
  • Mr. Thomas A. Natelli, BSE '82, P'10
  • Mrs. Janis J. Rehlaender, BSE'77, P'07, P'09, P'11
  • Mr. Timothy P. Rooney, BSE'80, MBA'82
  • Mr. Jerry C. Wilkinson, BSEE'67, P'98, P'00, P'03
  • Mr. Harold L. Yoh III, BSE'83, P'09
Hands-on From Day One

Students at Pratt can help develop sustainable solutions for daily living in the Duke Smart Home, nurture a start-up in the DUhatch business incubator, or experiment with virtual reality in the Duke Immersive Virtual Environment (DiVE).

Engineering is Hands on From Day One

Finding Grand Solutions

Can a robot model the human visualprocessing system? Can algae produce a cost-effective alternative fuel? Does lining an implantable medical device like a stent with endothelial cells help prevent rejection or infection? Those are some of the questions that undergraduates in Pratt’s Grand Challenge Scholars program are actively trying to answer through coursework, service-learning opportunities, global and entrepreneurial experiences, and in-depth project work. Designed around the National Academy of Engineering’s 14 Grand Challenges for the 21st Century, the program links a Pratt education, beginning as early as freshman year, to themes such as engineering better medicines.

Beyond the Lecture Hall

Pratt students seek out chances to pursue an intensive research project, industry internship, study-abroad experience, or extracurricular opportunity that lets them put their skills to work. In fact, Duke had so many students interested in participating in projects through the global service group Engineers Without Borders that the national organization couldn’t support them all. Duke had to form a new group—Duke Engineers for International Development—to handle the overflow.

Duke Engineering Discovery Makes a Difference

Discovery that Makes a Difference

Today, Pratt researchers are shaping ideas and developing technologies with potential to improve everything from medical diagnoses to the health of the planet.

Turning a Problem into a Solution

In the developing world, the lack of effective sewage systems plays a major role in water contamination and the spread of disease. Civil engineering professor Marc Deshusses has come up with a solution with the potential to improve the health of families worldwide and provide a sustainable source of energy. He’s developing a novel, self-contained sewage digestion system that captures human and animal waste and converts it into energy—a system that will eventually be installed and tested by students working on a DukeEngage project.

Duke Engineering is Turning Problems into Solutions

Found in Translation

Biomedical Engineering Professor Nimmi Ramanujam was named a Top 100 inventor by MIT’s Technology Review magazine. Among her inventions? A new optical tool to diagnose breast cancer that could reduce the number of follow-up procedures for affected women. The technology is being commercialized through a start-up called Zenalux. It’s one of 19 Duke projects that have been supported in part by the Duke Coulter Translational Partnership in biomedical engineering, which brings bioengineers and clinicians together to develop new technologies to improve patient care.