Judith Ledlee

Pratt School of Engineering

Executive In Residence in the Pratt School of Engineering

Judith  Ledlee Profile Photo
Judith Ledlee Profile Photo

Research Interests

- Commercializing innovations to address climate challenges
- Cleantech solutions
- Emerging water/wastewater treatment technologies
- Science of innovation and design


Judy Ledlee, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of Design Climate and is passionate about cleantech innovation and commercialization. Judy developed her passion for cleantech innovation during her doctoral studies at Duke University where she researched emerging water treatment technologies. From her work, she co-founded a startup for hydraulic fracturing wastewater recycling. After graduating, she continued her cleantech career in the water industry working for Evoqua (now Dupont and Xylem), Black & Veatch, and ZwitterCo. Throughout her career, she’s continued working on entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial activities and is excited to return to Duke and create opportunities for new generations of students to develop innovations for addressing climate challenges.


  • B.S. Tufts University, 2008
  • M.S. Duke University, 2015
  • D.Phil. Duke University, 2017


  • Executive In Residence in the Pratt School of Engineering
  • Executive in Residence in the Division of Environmental Science and Policy

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Young Professional of the Year. Water and Wastes Digest. 2021
  • Austin F. McCormick Jr. Award for Young Professional of the Year. American Water Works Association. 2017
  • Best Conference Paper Award. AWWA Membrane Technology Conference. 2014

Courses Taught

  • I&E 590: Special Topics in Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects
  • ENVIRON 590: Special Topics
  • EGR 590: Special Topics in Engineering