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

July 27, 2011
In 1994, a small glitch was uncovered in a floating point unit in the Pentium P5 microprocessor. Unfortunately, it wasn’t detected until after it had been installed in countless computers, which forced the company to take a $475 million charge to replace the faulty components.Somehow, the defect...
June 30, 2011
DURHAM, N.C. – A Duke University graduate student has found ways to double the battery life of mobile devices – such as smartphones or laptop computers – by making changes to WiFi technology.Wifi is a popular wireless technology that helps users download information from the Internet. Such...
June 30, 2011
After already showing that simple man-made materials can be employed as invisibility cloaks or used to facilitate wireless power transmission, Duke University engineers have now demonstrated that these same materials can also make objects invisible to sound waves.
June 29, 2011
DURHAM, N.C. -- So much for tagging photographs with names, locations and activities yourself – a new cell phone application can take care of that for you. The system works by taking advantage of the multiple sensors on a mobile phone, as well as those of other mobile phones in the vicinity.
May 23, 2011
DURHAM, N.C. – Electrical engineers at Duke University have determined that unique man-made materials should theoretically make it possible to improve the power transfer to small devices, such as laptops or cell phones, or ultimately to larger ones, such as cars or elevators, without wires.
October 21, 2010
DURHAM, N.C. -- Step aside copper and make way for a better carrier of information -- light. As good as the metal has been in zipping information from one circuit to another on silicon inside computers and other electronic devices, optical signals can carry much more, according to Duke...