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Remembering Richard Merritt, Senior Science Writer for the Pratt School of Engineering from 2008-2013

The Pratt School of Engineering was for five years the professional home of Richard Merritt, who passed away on August 21, 2013 after 25 years of service to Duke. He was 56 years old. 

Richard was a talented writer who had served as Pratt’s senior science communicator and media relations specialist since 2008. Prior to joining the engineering school, he worked as a media relations specialist in the Duke University Medical Center News Office. 

Richard Merritt with his daughterRichard truly loved telling the story of Duke science and research and did much to advance the university through his contributions over the years. He was also a gentle, kind-hearted and helpful colleague who generously shared his time to mentor young student writers and interns. He will be missed by his colleagues and friends here at Pratt and across Duke.

In tribute to his talent and contributions, here are just a few of the hundreds of stories Richard wrote over the years. If you have a particular favorite you'd like to add, please contact us. For those wishing to share their memories of Richard, please visit

Articles by Richard Merritt:

Pressure Cooker on Steroids Treats Human Waste July 9, 2013

A Highway Without Speed Limits March 21, 2013

Novel Materials Shake Ship Scum January 31, 2013

Making a Better Invisibility Cloak November 12, 2012

Duke Blue Light Controls Gene Expression October 1, 2012

Megapixel Camera? Try Gigapixel June 20, 2012 

Novel Approach Tests Mother-to-Newborn HIV Spread Prevention August 23, 2011

Hybrid Solar System Makes Rooftop Hydrogen August 9, 2011

Why Winning Athletes Are Getting Bigger July 17, 2009

Sometimes the Simplest Things Make the Biggest Difference August 6, 2008

Arteries Bio-engineered from Elderly Cells June 17, 2005

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