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.

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

March 2, 2020

Starving the Beast

First-Years work to alleviate trash issues in Durham's local waters.

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

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