inspiring
engineers
undergraduate students in the new Design Pod

Duke's signature undergraduate experience to cultivate confident creators

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Inspiring Engineers

What does tomorrow’s engineer need to know? What strengths will shape the future? At Duke Engineering, we’re thinking hard about these questions, and preparing creative engineers who are inspired & equipped to solve complex societal problems.

From the Dean

Dean Ravi Bellamkonda with student in Design Pod

At Duke Engineering, we are embarking on an ambitious initiative to transform our undergraduate curriculum.

We are crafting a signature educational experience that immerses students in hands-on design, data science, computing, research and entrepreneurship from the very beginning—and engages them in teamwork on real projects with real clients throughout their engineering education.

Engineering is exciting—and we believe giving students the experience of how engineers can make a difference will not only give them a sense of purpose and motivation to pursue this challenging path, but ultimately help them gain:

  • Ability to generate creative solutions to complex, open-ended problems
  • Rigorous research, analytical, quantitative and critical-thinking skills
  • Comfort with design, data and computational tools
  • Experience working in diverse teams
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Entrepreneurial confidence

We see these qualities as the hallmarks of a Duke Engineer—complementing the strong interdisciplinary research engagement and educational breadth that Duke University is known for, and preparing our students for high-potential paths in industry, academia, entrepreneurship and public service. I invite you to learn more about our vision for “Inspiring Engineers” in the stories below.

Ravi V. Bellamkonda
Vinik Dean of Engineering
Duke University

Foundational Experiences

Outfitted with workbenches, laser cutters, 3-D printers and other tools, the new Duke Engineering Design Pod provides a dedicated 5,000-square-foot workspace and active-learning classroom for the first-year design course.

Real-World Design

An innovative course gives first-year students early engineering experience as they work in teams to design, prototype and deliver solutions to meet real community needs

students participate in a hands-on lab activity

Data & Decision Sciences

By teaching students to leverage statistical analysis to glean useful insights from complex, real-world datasets, a new course aims to make data competency a signature strength of every Duke Engineering undergraduate

Computational Thinking

By weaving in real-world projects, Duke Engineering is piloting a new approach to introductory computing that seeks to give students not only a strong foundation in programming skills, but a vision of coding as a creative tool

Environmental engineering major Karyn Saunders created computational models to understand problems with a greywater treatment system in Honduras—part of her NAE Grand Challenge Scholars project advised by faculty mentor David Schaad.

Mentored Research

Duke Engineering offers students unparalleled opportunities to conduct original research with faculty advisors. Almost 70 percent of our undergraduates engage in intensive research, with one in five either publishing or presenting a paper off campus before graduating.

 Steve McClelland and Bill Walker (right) talk technology with student founders of OptiML, a winner of the first Baquerizo Innovation Grants.

Entrepreneurial Confidence

From a “Founder’s Workshop” course to a $20,000 Innovation Grant competition, Duke Engineering is investing in new initiatives to help undergraduates turn their ideas into impactful solutions

To get involved, please contact:

Ravi Bellamkonda

Vinik Dean of Engineering
ravi@duke.edu

Linda Franzoni

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
franzoni@duke.edu

Jim Ruth

Associate Dean and Director of Development
james.ruth@duke.edu

Visit undergraduate admissions

Inspiring Engineers:
The Signature Duke Engineering Undergraduate Experience

Foundational Experiences + Disciplinary Depth + Connected Community = Confident Creators

Foundational Experiences

Innovative core courses and extensive co-curricular opportunities

  • Engineering Design
  • Data & Decision Sciences
  • Computational Thinking
  • Mentored Research
  • Entrepreneurship

Disciplinary Depth

Intensive majors, plus extensive opportunities for double-majors, minors and certificates across Duke

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Energy Engineering (minor)

Connected Community

Engagement and support that opens doors and minds

  • Personal faculty advisors
  • Supportive, committed peers
  • Engaged alumni network
  • Extensive industry partnerships
  • Internship and career services
  • Global connections (study abroad, service-learning opportunities)

Confident Creators

With signature strengths to maximize impact in academia, industry, public service and policy

  • Ability to generate creative solutions to complex, open-ended problems
  • Rigorous research, analytical, quantitative and critical-thinking skills
  • Comfort with design, data and computational tools
  • Experience working in diverse teams
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Entrepreneurial confidence