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.

A solution for sewer lines

Each day, millions of Americans pour fats, oils, and grease down their sinks. This happens because people are unaware, forgetful, or don’t worry about their actions.

Team dispenses liquid for zero-waste store

For team members Rodrigo Guerreiro, James Koconis, and Kaitlyn Roegner figuring out how to dispense liquids for a zero-waste store was just a fraction of what they learned during their first spring semester.

group shot of students

Residential Bridge in West Virginia

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

Recent News

February 9, 2024

Pratt Instagram Recaps the Design Expo

From a lifting sytem for homeless shelter operations to a pitcher plant that will be used in a drama production of "Little Shop of Horrors", the Pratt Design Expo featured imaginative solutions to real-world needs in the community.



May 19, 2023

Inaugural First-Year Design Student Awards Luncheon

The student leaders of the First-Year Design (FYD) program are essential to the EGR 101 student experience. Teaching Assistants (TAs); Writing Consultants (WCs); and LabRATS (technical lab support) are selected from a competitive interview process.

bluebird houses built by Pratt students

May 8, 2023

Engineering design in action – building a home for NC Bluebirds

Early in the fall semester students in EGR 101 have an opportunity to impact a unique group of North Carolina residents - local bluebirds. The assignment to build a wooden birdhouse is not hypothetical.

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