Duke Engineering in the News

Check out the latest media coverage of Duke engineering research and education.

Triangle Business Journal

A recent decision by the FAA that lumps model airplanes in with impending drone regulation has prompted a number of professors to vocally disagree with the move, including Missy Cummings, who argues that the decision will stifle research important to both North Carolina and the United States.


David Smith publishes this Perspective piece in this week's Science on invisibility cloaking using metamaterials in general and, in particular, a recent result that demonstrates optical cloaking in "murky" or foggy conditions.

Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative

One of the leading organizations in autism research reports on Guilermo Sapiro's work to create tracking software to help flag potentail signs of autism early in a child's life.

Christian Science Monitor

Several news sites have picked up the story about Adrian Bejan's recent analysis of how the constructal law has influenced the evolution of passenger airplanes. Stories have also run in:


In an article about an exoskeleton device that is helping people walk again called the ReWalk, the recent work of Miguel Nicolelis on his mind-controlled exoskeleton is mentioned at the end of the first section.

SmithGroup JJR

This blog post on the SmithGroup JRR website - the company that helped design the Duke Smart Home - talks about the importance that leadership played in building the Smart Home, and its continued importance today.

The Guardian

This article features five different technological fields trying to make things invisible, including David Smith's group researching metamaterials.

The Atlantic Video

The Atlantic records a group of futurists, technology experts and artists predict the future of robotics, including Mary "Missy" Cummings, who says they may have already won, "We don't even realize where robots are in our world."


Robert Behringer, who holds a secondar appointment in MEMS, is named as a co-investigator on a grant to explore the physics of flow and jams of systems of millions of constituent parts, like piles of sand or mountains of snowflakes.

The Raw Story

Missy Cummings weighs in on the dangers - or lack thereof - of flying drones equipped with cameras through public fireworks displays.

Smoky Mountain News

An in-depth look at how the recent field campaign headed by Ana Barros in collaboration with NASA will help weather and climate experts understand rain patterns in the Great Smoky Mountains and beyond.

The Daily Caller

MEMS professor Adrian Bejan and J. Peder Zane explain why light-colored uniforms convey an advantage in team sports.

The New York Times

Heather Stapleton, who has a secondary appointment in CEE, is an expert source for this New York Times article on the prevalence of flame retardant chemicals both in the home and in the environment, how they got there, how they might affect people, and what is being done to reduce their future use.

Nature Reviews Drug Discovery

Realizing the vision of a new class of medicines based on modulating the electrical signalling patterns of the peripheral nervous system needs a firm research foundation. In this commentary, BME professor Warren Grill and colleagues put forward a research roadmap for the next five years.


Engineers and neuroscientists at Duke University have developed a method to measure the response of an individual neuron to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the brain. The advance will help researchers understand the underlying physiological effects of TMS -- a procedure used to treat psychiatric disorders -- and optimize its use as a therapeutic treatment.

The Atlantic

The U.S. government, engineering professor and former fighter pilot Missy Cummings argues, is ill-equipped for a world of automated warfare.

The New York Times

An opinion piece from Henry Petroski notes how well his 60-year-old home in Maine has withstood the decades by good materials and craftsmanship, while new homes and commercial buildings are bult with only the bottom line in mind. He compares it to the infrastructure of the nation as a whole, and calls for a return to the superior, more expensive, longer-lasting benchmarks of years past.

Red Orbit

Larry Carin weighs in as an expert on computer programming for a story about a newly developed algorithm from MIT that allows robots to work together better. “Distributed computing will play a critical role in the deployment of multiple autonomous agents, such as multiple autonomous land and airborne vehicles,” said Lawrence Carin, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University who was not directly involved in the study. “The distributed variational method proposed in this paper is computationally efficient and practical.”


A nice video segment from WRAL details how Bob Malkin and his students invented a way to get oral medicine to prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child to hundreds of thousands of poor residents in Africa.

NBC News

A crowdsourced project headed by Duke senior Emily Briere to send a time capsule to Mars launched its official campaign during a press conference. A number of media outlets covered the event, including:


A team of scientists led by Duke University's Ana Barros recently helped calibrate NASA's newest weather satellite by conducting a field mission in the Great Smoky Mountins of western North Carolina.

BBC News

As Miguel Nicolelis sets to debut his exoskeleton mind-controlled legs today at the opening of the World Cup and Brazil, the media coverage comes to a head with more than 16 international stories today and more than 35 media hits in the past month. Here are a few of the highlights.

The New York Times

The New York Times talks to Henry Petroski about his newest book, “The House With Sixteen Handmade Doors: A Tale of Architectural Choice and Craftsmanship.”

Scientific American

This article details the work done by Pei Zhong and his team to improve lithotripsy by making adaptations to the device's focusing lens.

Live Science

Silvia Ferrari's group is using brain-inspired computational models, known as spiking neural networks, and designing algorithms that train modeled neural networks to adapt to external feedback.