Our Story

Engineering Excellence in Service to Society

The Pratt School of Engineering ranks among the top 10% of its peers thanks to a 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 Impact

From a classical engineering course first offered in 1851 to our position in the 21st century as a leading research enterprise, Duke Engineering’s rise has paralleled Duke’s.

Our legacy includes discoveries with significant impact. Real-time 3D ultrasonic scanning and the first bioabsorbable stent were invented at Duke.

A Duke Engineering graduate (also a faculty member) invented the signal processing strategies that underpin the cochlear implant, a technology which has bestowed hearing to more than a million people with profound deafness.

And, it wasn’t Hogwarts wizards, but Duke Engineering researchers who produced history’s first “invisibility cloak”—a metamaterial that renders 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 our growing community of entrepreneurs, new ventures—at a pace of about five per year.

Time to Take a Shot

A professional school only since 1939, Duke Engineering is young, scrappy and hungry. We aren’t afraid to place big bets on emerging ideas with the potential to make life better.

Just one example: We’ve recruited physicists, theorists and engineers to form the Duke Quantum Center. Its focused on developing quantum computers with the potential to revolutionize entire sectors of the economy. To date, this team has already received more than $170 million in funding and performed $100 million in contract work for public-sector clients.

Another: 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 nearly a dozen members of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering. Plus, more than 20 Duke graduates have earned that honor.

And we’re just getting started.

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