aerial view of downtown Durham

You are here

Engineering in Service to Society

Duke Engineering is dedicated to building purposeful partnerships to solve complex societal challenges—locally and globally.

We share research discoveries, design solutions to community needs, and inspire the next generation of problem-solvers and innovators.

By the Numbers

100+ community events led each year by Duke Engineering

2,000+ K-12 students engaged in STEM programs each year

~11,000 DukeEngage service hours volunteered each year by engineering students

25% of Duke Engineering students participate in service-learning courses

>50% of Duke Engineering students volunteer in the US, and 25% abroad

4 engineering courses with service-learning components

Explore Our Outreach

NSF PreMiEr ERC logo

NSF Summer Research Experience for Teachers

K-12 and community college teachers spend five summer weeks working in microbiome science and engineering labs and developing lesson plans

A Design student looks through a handheld rectangular structure

Outreach Design Education @ Duke

Through hands-on opportunities, K-12 students learn basic engineering skills and then use them to identify problems and design solutions.

K-12 students dressed in laboratory cleanroom gowns

Interactive Lab Tours: Nanotechnology & Imaging

Duke's state-of-the-science nanotech lab invites K-12 teachers and students to see an electron microscope in action or suit up for a visit to the cleanroom.

Students work at the Duke Summer STEM Academy

Duke Summer STEM Academy

A three-week summer program for high school students to establish a tech talent pipeline for the Research Triangle Region.

Young men study and work at a table

Entrepreneurial Training For Durham Youth

Partnership with Durham Success Summit teaching innovation skills as part of a 12-week mentorship experience for young Black men.

US Capitol Building

Public Policy Fellowships for Engineers

Candidates for PhDs in engineering receive tuition and stipends to support internships with public policy or nonprofit organizations.

Duke REP

Duke Research in Engineering Program

A seven-week summer experience for Durham Public Schools juniors and seniors interested in engineering and science.

Duke Design Health team members

Duke Design Health Fellows

Assembles teams from across engineering, business and medicine at Duke to create solutions to unmet needs in health care.

Project Tadpole student volunteers

Project Tadpole

Student members modify and fix toys for physically challenged children.

Facilitated art engagement for children with cerebral palsy, by Duke Engineering students Amy Cheng and Alex Guevara.

Devices for People With Disabilities

Taught by an instructor recognized by Duke for service-learning innovation, students create custom assistive devices for individuals.

Durham skyline

Bull City Classrooms

Connecting volunteers with public schools in Durham, NC. Founded by engineering PhD student Anish Simhal.

Exterior of the Duke Smart Home

Duke Smart Home

A live-in laboratory and community demonstration project of energy efficiency and sustainable technology.

Fellow teaching lesson to elementary students

Boeing Grand Challenges K-12 Outreach Fellows

Student-led program brings hands-on activities into classrooms in Durham and Orange counties.

bridge opening in Rwanda

Certificate in Global Development Engineering

Students study culture and ethics before completing a hands-on engineering project.

illustration of Durham skyline with Duke Chapel

Doing Good in the Neighborhood

Through coordinated giving, faculty and staff donors support 60+ organizations in four NC counties.

Blueprint oceans graphic

Duke Blueprint

A student-led conference that develops actionable ideas to address critical environmental challenges.

DEID students in Honduras

Duke Engineers for International Development

Partnering with communities to engineer solutions that improve living standards.

DukeEngage student teaching young people about technology in India


Students address human needs through a summer of service in the U.S. and abroad.

child in Spiderman costume with 3d printed web shooter


Using 3D printing technology, students create adaptive devices for amputees.

graduate students help build a home in Durham

Engineering Graduate Student Community Service

Student leaders organize service opportunities with community partners.

The Duke chapter supporting a regional hospital in Xela, Guatemala.

Engineering World Health

The Duke EWH chapter has built a close relationship with a hospital in Xela, Guatemala.

Duke FEMMES students

Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering, and Science

FEMMES is student-led, with a mission to engage young girls in STEM fields through hands-on activities and mentorship.

Girls Scouts participant using microscope

Girl Scouts STEM Day @ Duke

An annual event demonstrating STEM career possibilities through a day of hands-on fun for more than 140 middle schoolers and high schoolers

students with mobile health clinic in Peru

Global Women’s Health Technologies

Creating solutions to address challenges in women’s health, and inspire the next generation of health leaders.

Student coders at HackDuke


An annual 24-hour coding sprint focused on solutions to societal challenges.

young student with microscope

Hands-On Experiences: Lasers, Lenses & Light

Our Fitzpatrick Institute of Photonics and Duke Optical Student Club provide lab tours and science demonstrations to middle school students

RTNN logo

Nanotechnology-themed lesson plans for K-12

Provided to educators free of charge through Duke's membership in the Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network.

Professor Lee Ferguson at whiteboard with sketches

NC Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substance Testing Network

Detecting contaminants in drinking water, with partners UNC-Chapel Hill and state government.

dormitory in India

Reinventing the Toilet

Duke is home to two efforts funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aiming to improve the health of billions.

students work on a motorized device for a client with sensory defensiveness

Service-Learning Courses

Students explore ethics and culture while creating custom solutions for neighbors in need.

SENSOR participants at Eno River State Park

Student Engineers Network-Strengthening Opportunities in Research

SENSOR engages underrepresented eighth grade students in science.

aerial view of the Chesterfield building in downtown Durham

The Chesterfield in Downtown Durham, NC

An empty cigarette factory was reborn as a hub for scientific discovery and entrepreneurship.

Triangle Women in STEM logo

Triangle Women in STEM

Promoting inclusion in STEM, with partner tech firms, NC State University, UNC-Chapel Hill and Campbell University.

First-year students in EGR 101L work in the Duke Engineering Design Pod.

First-Year Design: Community Clients

Students design solutions for needs expressed by community organizations working in education, health care, the environment, and more.