Engineering at Duke – Research and education that builds a better world
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Engineering at Duke – Research and education that builds a better world

“I found that the passion the professors had for their research and learning made my experience at Duke extremely rewarding. Because they really loved the science they taught, I loved learning it.”Janelle Balesh, MEng in Biomedical Engineering Graduate

Blending complex science with innovative concepts and designs that empower humanity, engineering, as a discipline, is an engine for growth and progression.

As Albert Einstein famously said, “Scientists investigate that which already is; engineers create that which has never been.”

To put this into context, science helps us understand the laws of gravity but engineering helps us defy them through expertly constructed rocket ships that launch us into space. The potential of the discipline truly knows no bounds.

Universities are where engineering talent can be developed and refined, granting students the tools, techniques and dedication that elevates success. Coming in at #8 among top US engineering schools ranked by U.S.News & World Report in terms of per-faculty research funding, Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering produces high-caliber graduates who go on to inspire and thrive.

“Duke is a prestigious university, so its reputation is a big draw,” says Yaying Feng, a Master of Science (MS) in Materials Science student who went onto PhD-level studies at Duke.

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Source: Duke University

“The school also offers a two-year MS program with research opportunities. This is different from many other universities, which only provide 1-year or 1.5-year, class-based master’s programs with limited research requirement. I also had an advisor at Duke who could supervise my research and give me advice and direction, which is a big draw as well.”

While Duke Engineering has a highly regarded PhD program for those interested in intensive, focused research careers, its research strengths also benefit students enrolled in shorter-term master’s degrees, whether they plan to go on to careers in academia, industry, business management or entrepreneurship.

Students looking to make the most of the school’s prominent research capacity will find the MS an excellent route. Learners evolve when exposed to opportunities for thesis or non-thesis research projects, an experience that’s elevated by Duke’s globally respected faculty.

On top of this, Duke offers innovative programs such as the Master’s Research Fellowship in Biomedical Engineering, which provides funding for students engaged in research. To be eligible, students must submit a research plan and letter of recommendation from the faculty advisor who will oversee the guided work.

“The courses at Duke are continually updated to reflect the current trends in research, so when I complete a course I know for a fact it’s not just textbook knowledge I have but I also know what’s going on in the industry.”  Akshay Gupta, Master’s in Electrical & Computer Engineering

Here, graduate students are exposed to cutting-edge engineering science and development, participating in research that gives invaluable real-world perspective on whatever their chosen field.

“Duke gave me exposure to great classes, some of the best research labs and some really cool people,” says Mechanical Engineering Master’s graduate Shagun Maheswari.

“When I came to Duke I was interested in biomechanics and fluid mechanics, and Duke gave me the chance to explore both! I got the chance to work in a biology lab and to meet some of the top researchers in biomechanics,” she adds.

“I had an opportunity to explore my passions and figure out new interests. For example, I got to work on a microfluidics project in Duke’s Microscale Physiochemical Hydrodynamics lab, where I worked at the intersection of material science, physics, fluid mechanics and electrostatics.”

Shagun is one of many students whose positive journey at Duke paved the way to a fulfilling professional life. She went on to become a mechanical engineer in the Global Services Division at Applied Materials (Sunnyvale, CA) – a company that stands among the elite in materials engineering solutions.

While the MS program comprises primarily technical coursework, both the Master of Engineering (MEng) and Master of Engineering Management (MEM) programs at Duke combine advanced engineering studies with courses in core business principles, presenting a cross-disciplinary exploration of two lucrative fields.

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Source: Duke University

Duke’s is also a highly entrepreneurial environment, one where faculty and student research advances are enhanced by reputable industry collaborations, product licensing and brand-new start-up ventures. In fact, Duke’s Master of Engineering Management Program recently launched a new Founders Track for students interested in starting their own tech-based ventures.

Whichever path they choose, learners get the chance to work alongside world-reputed faculty with strong industry ties in both established and leading-edge fields, including data science, machine learning, software engineering, biotechnology and medical device design, computational mechanics and scientific computing, and risk engineering.

These project-based courses translate state-of-the-art research into experiential learning, with students benefitting from internships with impactful industry partners. Duke enjoys strong connections with companies and startups both across the United States and in the nearby Research Triangle Park, which is home to more than 200 leading technology firms.

But above all, Duke offers an education enjoyed by aspiring engineers. It fine-tunes their skillset but also lets them have fun, ultimately creating a sought-after and unforgettable student experience.

“Duke provided me with a strong educational foundation and network to begin my career in engineering,” says Janelle Balesh, former Master’s in Biomedical Engineering student who is now a research fellow in the Edison Engineering Development Program at GE Healthcare.

“The courses I took enhanced my skillset in design and knowledge of life sciences,” she concludes. “I found that the passion the professors had for their research and courses made my learning experience at Duke extremely rewarding. Because they really loved the science they taught, I loved learning it…At Duke you will constantly be challenged by bright minds.”

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