Our Story

Engineering Excellence in Service to Society

The Pratt School of Engineering ranks among the top 10% of its peers thanks to its community of scholars that defines engineering excellence in education, research and societal impact.

A Leader in Engineering Education

The rigorous engineering education we provide to students at all stages of their lives is the center of who we are as an institution.

A Duke Engineering education leads to lives of purpose and integrity that are as rewarding as they are impactful.

The work begins in the very first semester. Our First-Year Design program is a transformative experience for students, instilling reserves of grit and resilience while inspiring students to continue their engineering journey.

A Legacy of Excellence

From an engineering course in our 19th-century predecessor’s classical curriculum to our position today as a leading research enterprise, Duke Engineering’s growth has paralleled Duke’s rise.

Our legacy includes discoveries with significant impact. Our faculty invented real-time 3D ultrasonic scanning and the first bioabsorbable stent, and we continue to develop new tools to improve clinical outcomes. A Duke alumnus (and eventual faculty member) invented the signal processing strategies that underpin the cochlear implant, which has restored hearing to 750,000 people worldwide. And it was not Hogwarts wizards, but Duke researchers who produced history’s first “invisibility cloak”—a metamaterial that can render an object undetectable at microwave frequencies.

Today, our research expenditures exceed $96 million per year, second within the university only to Duke’s esteemed medical research establishment.

Service to Society

We exist to serve. An engineer’s purpose is to imagine solutions that make peoples’ lives better—and then to lead teams to design and build those solutions.

Our faculty, staff and students are inventing that better future by identifying real needs and designing solutions that are effective, sustainable and equitable.

These innovations often lead to patents and, for the our growing community of entrepreneurs, startup companies—at a pace of about five per year.

Time to Take a Shot

Duke Engineering isn’t afraid to make a big bet on emerging technologies that could transform industries.

We’ve recruited a host of physicists, theorists and engineers to form the Duke Quantum Center. Its focus on developing quantum computers with the potential to revolutionize entire sectors of the economy has led its members to have already received more than $170 million in funding and performed $100 million in contract work for public-sector clients.

Drawing partners from across North Carolina, we recently secured up to $52 million in funding from the National Science Foundation to understand and engineer the microbiomes in our homes, workspaces and other built environments to improve human health.

With such audacious ambitions, it should come as no surprise that our faculty includes 10 members of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering, and more than 20 Duke alumni have earned that honor.

And we’re just getting started.

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