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

June 27, 2022

Dr. Michael Rizk wins 2022 Maclin Community Grant

Dr. Michael Rizk, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Biomedical Engineering, has won a Maclin Community Grant.

students working in The Foundry

June 27, 2022

First-Year Design makerspaces are among top in Higher Education

Both makerspaces which host First-Year Design courses are featured in an article highlighting innovative and creative spaces on campus.

June 27, 2022

Saterbak Wins 2022 AIMBE Professional Impact Award

Ann Saterbak, director of our First-Year Design program, and a professor of the practice in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, has won an award for her innovative and outstanding work as an engineering educator from the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).  [...]

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