Duke Engineering Continues Climbing US News and World Report Rankings

6/18/24 Pratt School of Engineering

Duke Engineering now boasts two top 10 programs, with Environmental Engineering joining Biomedical Engineering, which leads all departments with its #2 ranking

Exterior of Wilkinson Building with Duke Chapel in background
Duke Engineering Continues Climbing US News and World Report Rankings

Duke Engineering is home to two top 10 graduate school programs for the first time, as ranked by the U.S. News and World Report. In its newly released list, Duke’s Biomedical Engineering Department rose to #2 in the nation, while its Environmental Engineering program rose to #9. Both rankings are the highest in either program’s history.

All told, all of Duke Engineering’s programs rank among the top 30 in their fields. Duke Engineering overall ranked #23 for its graduate programs, again placing within the top 25, which it has since 2020.

“We can all be very proud of Duke Engineering’s impressive rise in program rankings—credit goes to the creativity, ingenuity and passion of the amazing community of scholars that call Pratt home,” said Jerome P. Lynch, the Vinik Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering. “The rankings also reflect our unyielding commitment to boldly solving pressing societal problems through our education and research excellence.”

Jerome Lynch

These rankings reflect our unyielding commitment to boldly solving pressing societal problems through our education and research excellence.

Jerome Lynch Vinik Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University

As one of the oldest biomedical engineering departments in the country, the department has long been a leader in the field. Boasting more than 50 faculty members and $39 million in research funding, its historical strengths lie in biomaterials, biomedical imaging and tissue engineering. With new faculty joining the department bringing expertise in machine learning, AI and computational medicine, Duke BME is poised to further expand its pioneering leadership in the field.

On the educational side, Duke’s Biomedical Engineering Department has prioritized practical, hands-on experience through programs like Design Health and Design Fellows, where students work with clinicians, stakeholders and community partners to transform their research and ideas into marketable prototypes.

Duke’s Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering program’s rise into the top 10 can be attributed to several factors, most notably the launch of the Precision Microbiome Engineering Research Center. Called PreMiEr for short and funded by $26 million from the National Science Foundation, the center aims to develop diagnostic tools and engineering approaches that promote building designs for preventing the colonization of harmful bacteria, fungi or viruses while encouraging beneficial microorganisms.

Along with Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke Engineering has also recently launched the Design Climate program, which connects teams of students with industry and community partners to get hands-on experience while solving real-world problems linked to mitigating and adapting to climate change. Duke Engineering also recently launched a Master of Climate and Sustainability Engineering program, which builds expertise beyond traditional engineering subject matter to prepare professionals who are ready to implement nimble solutions for a rapidly changing landscape.

Duke’s Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering programs retained their positions among the top 20 with their peers. Having moved into record-high positions last year, the continued recognition is a reflection of Duke Engineering’s growing footprint in the realms of quantum computing, artificial intelligence, full-stack hardware design and cybersecurity.

Continuing its march toward the top 20 was the Mechanical Engineering program, which rose two places to #23, it’s highest ranking ever. Long recognized for its leadership in aerospace-based computational mechanics and dynamics, the program also now boasts a growing reputation in autonomous systems, robotics and biomechanics.

Some of the biggest movements within Duke Engineering’s programs, meanwhile, came from the Civil Engineering and Materials Engineering programs, which each jumped four places to #27 and #26, respectively. With the continuing shift of civil engineering research trends toward adapting to climate change, Duke Engineering has made major investments and hired new faculty in areas such as carbon sequestration, hydrodynamics and water quality, and smart-city technologies. The materials engineering program, headlined by the Duke Materials Initiative, has continued adding to its known expertise in computational materials, soft matter and materials for green energy technologies.

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