A unifying theme of Duke's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) is its interdisciplinary nature, characterized by significant funded research programs that actively engage Duke faculty from across Pratt, the applied sciences and medicine. The interdisciplinary nature of Duke ECE is well aligned with the increasing international trend toward a breakdown of traditional disciplinary boundaries; such an interdisciplinary focus has also been widely encouraged by industry and government. Our department has four primary research areas.

Signal and Information Processing

A particular strength is in the area of signal and information processing (SIP), embodied by successful collaborations between ECE, statistics and applied mathematics. Duke has long been a leader in SIP research with defense applications, and there has also been a significant expansion into biomedical applications, in collaboration with the Duke University Medical Center.

Computer Engineering

Computer engineering plays a critical role in enhancing the computing power of modern systems, impacting all areas of engineering, science and commerce. Duke ECE has played a leading role in developing new classes of computing architectures and systems, particularly with a highly successful core of young faculty. The computer engineering group in ECE has led development of significantly enhanced collaboration between ECE and computer science at Duke.

Information Physics

Duke ECE is also the home of international leaders in information physics research, embodied in pathbreaking programs in metamaterials, quantum devices, and optical systems. This interdisciplinary research involves the design, fabrication and testing of revolutionary new devices, based on novel physical concepts, with a foundation in rigorous computational modeling in electromagnetics and quantum mechanics.

Microelectronics, Photonics, and Nanotechnology

The fourth research area, microelectronics, photonics and nanotechnology (MPN), is highly vertically integrated, ranging from innovative materials, devices, and interconnects, through chip scale integrated systems. MPN research includes revolutionary microfluidic systems, nanoelectronics, optoelectronics, integrated optics, sensors, integrated multifunctional systems, energy conversion devices, and quantum sensors. The MPN research is highly interdisciplinary, and focused on design, fabrication through Duke’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMIF) cleanroom and characterization facility, and device and system test.

Research News

June 18, 2013
From transparent conductors to acoustic cloaking in water to undersea sensing, scientists at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering have been rewarded for their novel research by being involved in four of 15 large grants recently awarded by the federal government.
May 06, 2013
DURHAM, N.C. – Seven years ago, Duke University engineers demonstrated the first working invisibility cloak in complex laboratory experiments. Now it appears creating a simple cloak has become a lot simpler. “I would argue that essentially anyone who can spend a couple thousand dollars on a non-...
March 08, 2013
Robert Calderbank, the Phillip Griffiths professor of computer science, mathematics and electrical and computer engineering at Duke University, has been appointed director of an interdisciplinary program designed to increase "big data" computational research, Provost Peter Lange announced Friday....
January 18, 2013
DURHAM, N.C. –  Duke University engineers have developed a novel “sensor” that is more efficient, versatile, and cheaper for potential use in such applications as airport security scanners, and collision avoidance systems for aircraft, cars or maritime vessels..
December 06, 2012
DURHAM, N.C. – Microscopic metallic cubes could unleash the enormous potential of metamaterials to absorb light, leading to more efficient and cost-effective large-area absorbers for sensor applications or energy-harvesting devices.
November 12, 2012
DURHAM, N.C. –  The first working “cloaking” device reported by Duke University electrical engineers in 2006 worked like a charm, but it wasn’t perfect. Now a member of that laboratory has come up with a design that ties up one of the major loose ends from the original device.