Knowledge in the Service of Society

Engineering Education as a Vehicle for Change

Prism Magazine, April 2009As a top tier engineering school, Duke has vested and very personal interest in the quality of science, mathematics and engineering education in this country. We recruit the very best students to our programs, and in turn, produce engineers who can excel in academic or industry-focused careers. Our role as educator and as a consumer of the students created by our national school system provides us with perspective and motivation to advocate for continuous improvement and change. 

Our faculty continuously work to improve our courses and laboratory experiences, and often publish best practice information with the American Society of Engineering Education. As an example, our Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering recently completed a National Science Foundation funded project to create a modern educational experience focused on integrated sensing and information-processing theme. In addition, we support a number of outreach programs designed to encourage students from kindergarten to high school to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers, for the betterment of our society. There has never been a time when the problems we face as a society have been more complex, and when engineers were more needed.

We also advocate for change by including educational outreach activities in our research activities, and by talking, writing and advocating for changes in policy and curriculum.

Recent articles:

New Challenges, Same Education? Last Word section, Prism Magazine, April 2009 [pdf] A New Vision for Engineering - op-ed column, News & Observer, March 12, 2009 [pdf]

Key Faculty Members

Tom Katsouleas Martha Absher William Reichert David Schaad
Tom Katsouleas, dean and professor, co-founded the NAE Grand Challenge Scholars Program and advocates for systemic change in the nation's education system. Martha Absher, associate dean for education and outreach, founded the Pratt Undergraduate Research Fellows Program and the longest running NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates program in the U.S.
William Reichert, professor, was honored by Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network with the Catalyst for Institutional Change Award for his efforts in recruiting minorities to higher education in engineering at Duke. He directs the Grand Challenge Scholars Program.
David Schaad, associate professor of the practice, leads Duke Engineers for International Development and is a driver in Duke's DukeEngage service learning program for undergraduate students.
Robert Malkin Larry Bohs  
Robert Malkin, professor of the practice, is the founder and director of Engineering World Health. Larry Bohs, lecturer, leads the Devices for People with Disabilities senior design course, and helped hundreds of individuals in the Durham/Research Triangle area overcome their disabilities.    

Helpful Contacts

Want to get started? If you are interested in participating in a service learning or outreach program, access the web site for that particular program. You can also contact our faculty members: 

Martha Absher, Associate Dean, Educ & Outreach Programs
Pratt School of Engineering
REU Programs

Fred Boadu, Associate Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Duke Engage

Laurence Bohs, Lecturer
Department of Biomedical Engineering
BME courses 

Kevin Caves, Clinical Associate
Duke Surgery-Speech & Hearing
BME courses

Linda Franzoni, Professor of Practice, Associate Dean
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Richard Goldberg, Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Biomedical Engineering
BME courses

Eric Mlyn, Director
Duke Engage Program

Bob Malkin, Professor of Practice
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Engineering World Health, BME Courses

David Malone, Associate Prof of the Practice
Duke Education Program
Service Learning Tutoring, Outreach 

Jan Riggsbee, Associate Prof of the Practice 
Duke Education Program
Service Learning Tutoring, Outreach 

David Schaad, Ph.D.
Departmental of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Duke Engineers for International Development, Duke Engage