Research News

April 14, 2014

Programming Computational Wind Tunnels to Save Millions

It famously took Thomas Edison thousands of attempts to settle on a practical design for the incandescent light bulb. If each crack at a solution had cost him hundreds of millions of dollars, however, he might not have been so keen on using a build ‘em and bust ‘em approach. The companies designing [...]

March 25, 2014

Catheter Innovation Destroys Dangerous Biofilms

For the millions of people forced to rely on a plastic tube to eliminate their urine, developing an infection is nearly a 100 percent guarantee after just four weeks. But with the help of a little bubble-blowing, biomedical engineers hope to bring relief to urethras everywhere. About half of the [...]

March 18, 2014

New Lens Design Drastically Improves Kidney Stone Treatment

Duke engineers have devised a way to improve the efficiency of lithotripsy—the demolition of kidney stones using focused shock waves. After decades of research, all it took was cutting a groove near the perimeter of the shock wave-focusing lens and changing its curvature. “I’ve spent more than 20 [...]

December 23, 2013

The Physics of Snowflakes

It goes without saying that at least once this holiday season you can expect to hear someone utter the phrase, "No two snowflakes are alike." But just how accurate is that statement? Is it a solid fact backed by scientific proof, or upon further scruity does it fall apart like a snowflake under a [...]

November 01, 2013

Needham Inaugurated for Niels Bohr Visiting Professorship

Duke Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Professor David Needham has been officially inaugurated as the Danish National Research Foundation Niels Bohr Visiting Professor at the University of Southern Denmark. Needham received the professorship to establish a Center for Single Particle [...]

June 18, 2013

Pratt Engineers Awarded Four Department of Defense Grants

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. These highly sought-after [...]

May 21, 2013

Mechanical Engineering, Biology Intertwined

Several months into her Pratt Undergraduate Fellowship, Katrina Wisdom (E’12) was handed a mailer by her faculty advisor, Chuan-Hua Chen, Alfred M. Hunt Faculty Scholar and assistant professor of mechanical engineering. Inside were dozens of cicada wings, freshly arrived from Australia. Researchers [...]

May 21, 2013

New Method for Producing Clean Hydrogen

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University engineers have developed a novel method for producing clean hydrogen, which could prove essential to weaning society off of fossil fuels and their environmental implications. While hydrogen is ubiquitous in the environment, producing and collecting molecular hydrogen [...]

May 20, 2013

Triangle Universities Establish State-of-the-Art Characterization Facility

Scientists across North Carolina will now be able to probe the mysteries of very tiny particles, polymers, and surfaces for applications ranging from biomedicine to polymer science. Thanks to an $850,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), a consortium of universities – Duke, North [...]

April 29, 2013

Cicadas Get a Jump on Cleaning

As cicadas on the East Coast begin emerging from their 17-year slumber, researchers at Duke University and James Cook University have figured out one of the mysteries surrounding these bulging red-eyed insects -- namely how they keep their wings clean. The researchers have shown that dew drops can [...]

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