Research

Duke's research in mechanical engineering and materials science addresses fundamental and applied engineering problems in the areas noted below. We are particularly strong in unsteady aerodynamics, controls, thermodynamics, and soft materials and interfaces. Our faculty maintain strong connections with industry, and lead multi-university research efforts--providing ample opportunities for graduate students to pursue research at the forefront of their field, and develop career-relevant experience. A defining characteristics of our research is an interdisciplinary approach that leverages the strengths of Duke's many departments and schools as a top research institution.

Mechanical Engineering Research at Duke

Materials Science Research at Duke

Opportunities for Graduate Study

Doctoral and Master of Science study in mechanical engineering and materials science at Duke is highly interdisciplinary, drawing on a broad slate of faculty from across the Pratt School of Engineering. Students have considerable flexibility in crafting a graduate program that suits individual interests, with core courses that reflect faculty research strengths.

The department also offers a program of study towards the Masters of Engineering (M.Eng) in either mechanical engineering or materials science. This 30-credit degree program includes course work towards departmental requirements, an area of specialization, business and management fundamentals, and an internship or applied research experience.

Research News

August 24, 2010
Just as cilia lining the lungs help keep passages clear by moving particles along the tips of the tiny hair-structures, man-made miniscule bristles known as nano-brushes can help reduce friction along surfaces at the molecular level, among other things. 
August 19, 2010
DURHAM, N.C. – The same process that crumbles kidney stones and pits ship propeller blades may hold the key to successfully injecting drugs directly into individual cells without harming them.A new technique that harnesses the power of mighty microscopic bubbles, developed by Duke University...
July 12, 2010
DURHAM, N.C. – In the record books, the swiftest sprinters tend to be of West African ancestry and the faster swimmers tend to be white. A study of the winning times by elite athletes over the past 100 years reveals two distinct trends: not only are these athletes getting faster over time, but...
June 14, 2010
DURHAM, N.C. -- Humans did not invent the wheel. Nature did. While the evolution from the Neolithic solid stone wheel with a single hole for an axle to the sleek wheels of today’s racing bikes can be seen as the result of human ingenuity, it also represents how animals, including humans, have...
May 03, 2010
DURHAM, N.C. -- The Board of Trustees at Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research (KUSTAR) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, announced the appointment of Duke University mechanical engineering professor Tod Laursen as its new president on May 3, 2010. Laursen’s selection from more...
April 22, 2010
Pratt junior Jared Dunnmon realizes that in order to solve any large worldwide problem – in this case sustainable energy – more is needed than just the technical knowhow.That is why in addition to pursuing his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and materials science, he is also majoring...