First-Year Student Design Teams Solve Real-World Problems

Making a difference »

Welcome to Duke First-Year Design

Featured Projects

Through Duke University’s First-Year Design (FYD) program, students gain early experience as they work in multi-disciplinary teams to design and build prototype solutions to solve real-world, client-based problems.

group shot of students

Residential Bridge in West Virginia

A cost-effective, residential bridge that can withstand major weather events

Storage For Bikes

A storage system for adaptive sports equipment for those with physical challenges or disabilities

Shipping Container

An efficient and productive makerspace from a 40-foot-long converted shipping container

Recent News

Students working on an engineering project together

November 8, 2021

Incorporating Ethics Into Engineering

Undergraduate Reya Magan joined a Bass Connections team to help prepare the next generation of engineers for their careers. The team designed modules for Engineering 101


November 4, 2021

How Freshman Engineers Solve Real-World Problems in EGR 101

From reducing injuries from intubations to helping elderly residents with their garbage bins, students in EGR 101 are as busy as ever.

The team of Alanna Manfredini, Joanna Peng, Darienne Rogers and Amy Guan show their prototype for a low-cost colostomy bag

September 21, 2021

Duke Engineering First-Year Design Team Impresses at NIH DEBUT Competition

Design team wins $15,000 National Cancer Institute prize for their innovative tool to help patients with colon cancer

Inspiring Engineers

Duke Engineering offers students a progressive immersion in engineering design, from the first-year overview to capstone design projects in their chosen disciplines.

Be part of the excitement

You have the opportunity to support bright students and to benefit from their ideas!

Students in the POD

Project Idea

When you see a need or problem, submit the idea as a project.

Professor Gavin with student

Provide Support

Share you knowledge as an expert in the engineering field as a team mentor

Tools in the POD

Pay It Forward

Support components of the First Year Design program to ensure student success

Explore our impact Map

Click the pins to see First-Year Design clients and projects by location