First-Year Student Design Teams Solve Real-World Problems

Making a difference »

First-Year Student Design Teams Solve Real-World Problems

Featured Projects

Through Duke University’s new 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.

Project Team

Breathe Easy

A hand-held inhaler that helps the elderly to self administer medicine

Project Team

Turn Taker

A “lock-out” buzzer for a specific, adjusted, individual amount of time to support learning for students with ASD

Team Blamo


A cheap, noninvasive design that can work with current heating systems to distribute cool air

Recent News

January 10, 2020

Duke University students help advance construction safety

Members of Skanska’s Durham NC team supporter first-year Duke University students as they created a solution that could one day improve safety on job sites across the world

December 18, 2019

Duke First-Year Designers Get a Lift from Skanska

The company constructing Duke’s newest engineering building challenged students to solve a tricky safety problem

December 18, 2019

Season's Greetings from where the Magic Happens!

Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season, as we engineer an outrageously ambitious 2020!

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