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New Graduate Program in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke and Duke Kunshan Universities Aims to Prepare Global Tech Leaders

The program’s initial areas of concentration include computer engineering, data analytics, image and vision, and robotics

A new international Master of Engineering (MEng) program in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) seeks to develop tech leaders with a global perspective by providing an educational experience at both Duke University and Duke Kunshan University. The jointly managed program was approved by the Duke Board of Trustees in May 2018.

The international MEng program will aim to recruit top ECE students in China and neighboring countries through its emphasis on international experience and contexts. Students enrolled in the two-year program will spend their first year at Duke Kunshan University and their second year at Duke in the Pratt School of Engineering. Upon graduation from the program, students will receive a formal degree from Duke University and become alumni of both Duke University and Duke Kunshan University (DKU). 

A partnership between Duke University and Wuhan University led to the creation of Duke Kunshan in 2013. “The onset of the master’s program in Electrical and Computer Engineering marks an important transition at DKU, as it represents our strong commitment to bring Duke’s advanced engineering education and pedagogy into the mainstream of our university campus here in China,” said Denis Simon, Duke Kunshan’s executive vice chancellor and an expert on Sino-US science and technology relations.

The program’s initial areas of concentration include computer engineering, data analytics, image and vision, and robotics.

 “Duke ECE faculty are recognized leaders in data science, advanced computing and intelligent systems, consistently ranked at the top of their fields,” said Ravi Bellamkonda, Vinik Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering.  “The new program offers an opportunity to expand the global impact of their work and our collaborations with Duke Kunshan University to meet the growing need for high-quality education in these transformative areas.”  

The MEng in ECE program is unique in that its students learn business and industrial management fundamentals as well as core engineering skills. Its emphasis on industry is reinforced by required summer internships. The curriculum as a whole is designed to develop engineers who have the knowledge, leadership skills and creative problem-solving abilities necessary to thrive in the global tech sector.

“We view the training and mentoring of master's students as an integral part of our educational mission, and we have no doubt that our master’s graduates will move on to leadership positions in industry,” said Duke ECE Department Chair and William H. Younger Distinguished Professor of Engineering Krishnendu Chakrabarty. “It is increasingly important for our students to gain a global perspective so that they can benefit from opportunities in the US, China and elsewhere. We hope to train the next generation of engineers to build bridges and advance technology on a global scale.”

 The new master’s program will be led by Professor Xin Li of Duke University and Duke Kunshan University, who also directs the new Institute of Applied Physical Sciences and Engineering (iAPSE) and the Data Science Research Center at Duke Kunshan University.

“Building upon our excellence of integrated research and education in electrical and computer engineering, I look forward to working with my Duke and Duke Kunshan colleagues and growing a successful and impactful MEng program that trains world-class talent for the global economy," said Li.  

“The newly approved graduate program following the approval of DKU's data science undergraduate degree program, the DKU Institute of Applied Physical Sciences and Engineering, and iAPSE affiliated centers will provide the much desired vertical integration of research and education, and further enhance DKU's emerging data science program,” said Duke Kunshan’s Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and former Physics Department Chair at Duke University, Haiyan Gao.

The program plans to offer its first courses in the fall of 2019, pending approval by China’s Ministry of Education.