Duke's Hudson Hall seen through an archway

Welcome to Duke MEMS

The Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University

Since our founding almost 90 years ago, Duke MEMS has been teaching students to engineer solutions to make the world a better place.

Today we're home to more than 300 undergraduate and graduate students, studying in exciting areas of mechanical engineering and materials science, including energy, aerospace, soft matterbiomedical applications, scientific modeling and computing, and reliable autonomous technology.

At Duke MEMS, students work with top faculty even as undergraduates—doing independent projects as a Pratt Research Fellow, or working on teams, such as Duke Robotics, Duke Electric Vehicles, or Duke Motorsports.

Our students have access to incredible maker spaces and resources, such as the Innovation Co-Lab, The Foundry, the Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility, and the garage labs in our new Wilkinson Building.

"It's amazing where a Duke MEMS education can take you."

Students are designing and racing fuel-efficient vehicles, 3D printing titanium devices for use in surgeries, and exploring materials at the nanoscale.  Our students are setting Guinness World Records, working with companies like NASA, GM, SpaceX, and Tesla, designing ways to protect caregivers during the pandemic, and starting their own companies. Duke MEMS gives them a foundation to become leaders who make a difference.

Duke MEMS research is solving some of the biggest challenges facing humanity. We're working on clean and abundant energy by improving solar panel materials and designing more efficient turbines, and developing reliable autonomous technology for robotic surgery, defense, and self-driving cars. 

 "Duke Engineering is an incredible place to work, learn, and create."

Our faculty are also creating new surgical devices, lab-on-a-chip technologies, and biomaterials to improve human health, working with physicians at Duke Medical Center right here on campus.  

And, we’re leading the development and application of state-of-the-art computational tools like AI and machine learning to design new materials and develop new mechanical systems.  

I'm so proud that our department is now named in honor of Thomas Lord, a mechanical engineer whose investment in Duke Engineering decades ago has laid the foundation for faculty, staff, and students for decades to come.

I invite you to explore our website to learn more, and sign up for our newsletter to stay tuned on all the latest from Duke MEMS.

Cate Brinson
Sharon C. and Harold L. Yoh III Distinguished Professor 
Donald M. Alstadt Chair
Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
More about L. Cate Brinson »