Research News

February 23, 2015

Adrian Bejan Talks Constructal Law

Adrian Bejan, professor of materials science and mechanical engineering at Duke University, recently sat down with film director Dan Dimancescu to describe the nuances and uses of constructal law, which he penned in 1996. The law states that, "For a finite-size system to persist in time (to live [...]

January 21, 2015

Every Snowflake Is Not Unique

People like to say that every snowflake is unique. On the level of execution and fine detail, that may or may not be true. After all, who has seen every snowflake? It is certain, however, that every snowflake conforms to only one architecture: a flat star with six fishbones connected at the center [...]

October 23, 2014

Mitzi Awarded SunShot Initiative Funding to Improve Thin-Film Solar Cell Materials

David Mitzi, a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Duke University, has been awarded a four-year, $1.3 million cooperative award from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. The award will fund a collaborative research project with Yanfa Yan, professor of physics [...]

October 08, 2014

Kevin Nikolaus: Scanning the Environment with Unmanned Aerial Systems

My Grand Challenge Scholar research centers on the challenge of engineering the tools of scientific discovery. Although it is one of the less mentioned of the fourteen NAE grand challenges, I believe that it holds a crucial role in designing a better future. "This program has certainly changed my [...]

October 08, 2014

Lucas Johnston: Preventing Injuries through Orthopaedic Biomechanics

As a member of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program, I am integrating all of my experience in technical research, interdisciplinary learning, service, entrepreneurship and global perspective to expand my knowledge and focus my capabilities to help solve the Grand Challenge of Engineering Better [...]

September 02, 2014

Kris Hauser: Keeping Robots Upright

Kris Hauser, an expert in computer science, informatics and robotics, joined both the electrical and computer engineering department and the mechanical engineering and materials science department in Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering on August 3, 2014. Part of a steadily expanding [...]

August 20, 2014

A Summer Spent Weightless

It’s not every day that a researcher has to worry about securing pieces of equipment to keep them from floating off during an experiment. But for a group of Duke undergraduate students this summer, it was a major concern. “During one of our trials I saw a washer from another team’s experiment float [...]

August 18, 2014

David Mitzi: Harvesting More of the Sun’s Shine

David Mitzi, an expert in developing new materials for solar cell and other energy applications, has joined the mechanical engineering and materials science department in Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering. His research will focus on making emerging photovoltaic materials more effective [...]

August 14, 2014

Pushing the Boundaries of Efficiency

Pratt’s Eco-Marathon team participated in the Shell Eco-Marathon in Texas this past April and performed better than they ever have. They placed second in the prototype-battery electric car competition, beating out nearly 30 competitors with their ultra energy-efficient vehicle and achieving a [...]

July 22, 2014

Law of Physics Helps Explain Airplane Evolution

Researchers believe they now know why the supersonic trans-Atlantic Concorde aircraft went the way of the dodo—it hit an evolutionary cul-de-sac. In a new study, Adrian Bejan, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Duke University, shows that a law of physics he penned more [...]

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