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

two boys working outside with tubes

October 30, 2020

Introducing Engineering Concepts in a Pandemic

First-Year Design finds ways to provide real-world engineering experiences during a difficult semester

river in Duraham

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

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