Duke University Pratt School of Engineering

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Pratt School of Engineering[1]
2016 Logo Edmund T. Pratt Jr. School of Engineering.jpeg
Parent institution
Duke University
Academic staff
WebsiteDuke Engineering

The Pratt School of Engineering[2] is located at Duke University in the United States.

The school was named in 1999 following a $35 million gift by Edmund T. Pratt Jr., a 1947 graduate and former chief executive of Pfizer.[3] The Duke University Pratt School of Engineering celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2014–2015.[4] The school and its associated research, education, alumni and outreach activities, are also collectively known as Duke Engineering.[5]

With research expenditures over $70 million per year, its faculty is ranked No. 11 in research productivity among U.S. engineering schools by Academic Analytics.[6] The Pratt School of Engineering is currently ranked No. 26 in the United States for graduate study and No. 20 for undergraduate study by U.S. News and World Report.[7]

The school is headed by Vinik Dean of Engineering Ravi V. Bellamkonda.[8]

The Pratt School of Engineering is home to the first academic Department of Biomedical Engineering in the United States, established in 1971.[4] The school also maintains departments of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science.

The school's research centers have played major roles in the development of many high-impact technologies,[9] including:

Since July 2018, Duke Engineering students have held the Guinness World Record for inventing the world's most fuel-efficient vehicle—14,573 miles per gallon equivalent.[10]

Degree Programs[edit]

Duke awards undergraduate degrees in biomedical, civil, environmental, electrical & computer, and mechanical engineering.

Master of Science and Master of Engineering degrees are also offered in each of those disciplines, plus materials science. PhDs are awarded by the Duke Graduate School in engineering in each of those disciplines.

A Master of Engineering Management degree, which combines engineering training with business courses and an industry internship, is offered through campus and online programs.

Student Body[edit]

As of the fall 2018 semester, Pratt's student body consists of 1,265 undergraduates and 1,107 graduate students, taught by a faculty of 139.[11]


Pratt's faculty, labs, and courses can be found in Hudson Hall, the Nello L. Teer Engineering Building, the Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences (also known as FCIEMAS), Gross Hall, the North Building, the Levine Science Research Center (also known as the LSRC) and in The Chesterfield, a former cigarette factory near downtown Durham that has been redeveloped into academic and industry research space.[12]


In 2006, the Pratt School's graduate program was ranked as the second best engineering graduate program in the country by The Princeton Review.[13]


Ravi V. Bellamkonda, became the Vinik Dean of Engineering on August 1, 2016.[14]

Kristina M. Johnson became the first woman dean of engineering at Duke in 1999. After Johnson left in 2007 to become the provost of Johns Hopkins University, Robert L. Clark became dean pending a national search. Thomas Katsouleas of the University of Southern California was announced as dean in spring of 2008 and started on July 1, 2008.[15]


The precursor to the school of engineering dates back to 1851, when Duke was known as Normal College and located in Randolph County, North Carolina. At that time, engineering was included in a classical course for seniors. A course in engineering was introduced in 1887, eventually becoming a regular course offering in 1903. At that time, engineering courses were limited to such fields as architecture and surveying until 1924, when Trinity College was renamed Duke University. Engineering was taught in the new separate departments of civil and electrical engineering. In 1931, a mechanical engineering department was created. Duke's Board of Trustees created the College of Engineering in 1939, with William H. Hall its first dean.

The College of Engineering graduated its first female graduates in 1946. The next year, the three departments moved from East Campus to West Campus. It became the Duke School of Engineering in 1966. Two years later the school's first black students graduated. The Division of Biomedical Engineering was created in 1967 — the first accredited biomedical engineering department at a U.S. university — in September 1972.[16]

In 1997, the Master of Engineering Management was established. The school was renamed the Edmund T. Pratt Jr. School of Engineering in 1999, in honor the 1947 graduate and former CEO of Pfizer.


Hudson Hall
Former namesOld Red
General information
TypeUniversity Hall
Architectural styleGeorgian
LocationWest Campus, Duke University
Current tenantsEngineering school
Named forFitzgerald S. "Jerry" Hudson
Design and construction
ArchitectOffice of Horace Trumbauer[17]

Hudson Hall is the oldest engineering building at Duke, constructed in 1948. It was renamed to honor Fitzgerald S. "Jerry" Hudson (E'46) in 1992.[18]

The Nello L. Teer Library Building opened in 1984. Located adjacent to Hudson Hall,it is now called the Nello L. Teer Building, and houses the Dean's offices, a computing lab, a circuits lab, an auditorium and a student lounge.[18]

The Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences - also known as FCIEMAS - opened in August 2004. Research facilities focus on the fields of photonics, bioengineering, communications, and materials science and materials engineering. The aim of the building was to emphasize interdisciplinary activities and encourage cross-departmental interactions. The building houses numerous wet bench laboratories (highlighted by a world-class nanotechnology research wing), offices, teaching spaces, and a café.[18] FCIEMAS is also home to the Master of Engineering Management Program offices. The construction of FCIEMAS took more than three years and cost more than $97 million.

The Levine Science Research Center (LSRC) is a 341,000-square-foot (31,700 m2) facility. When it was opened in 1994, the LSRC was the largest single-site interdisciplinary research facility in the U.S.. Its classrooms are shared by several departments, but the majority of its offices and laboratories are utilized by the Nicholas School of the Environment, the Pratt School of Engineering, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and Developmental and the departments of Computer Science, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and Cell and Molecular Biology.[19] The building was named for Leon Levine, the CEO of Family Dollar Stores.[18]



Deans of the school are as follows:[20]

  • William H. Hall, 1939-1953
  • Walter J. Seeley, 1953-1962
  • James L. Meriam, 1962-1969
  • George Pearsall, 1969-1974
  • Aleksandar Vesic, 1974-1982
  • George Pearsall, 1982-1983
  • Earl Dowell, 1983-1999
  • Kristina M. Johnson, 1999-2007
  • Robert L. Clark, 2007-2008
  • Thomas Katsouleas, 2008–2015
  • George Truskey, 2015-2016
  • Ravi V. Bellamkonda, 2016–Present

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable Duke Engineering alumni include Blake S. Wilson (engineering development of the cochlear implant), M. Katherine Banks (phytoremediation of petroleum contamination), Robert L. Cook (standard motion picture rendering tool) and Robert F. Fischell (pioneering contributions to satellite attitude control).[21]


  1. ^ "Duke Engineering - Duke Pratt School of Engineering".
  2. ^ a b c d "Duke Engineering at a Glance - Duke Pratt School of Engineering".
  3. ^ "Distinguished Alumnus, Edmund Pratt | Duke magazine". dukemagazine.duke.edu. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  4. ^ a b "Our History". Duke Pratt School of Engineering. 2014-01-23. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  5. ^ "Duke Engineering (@DukeEngineering) | Twitter". twitter.com. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  6. ^ "Duke Engineering Facts & Stats". Duke Pratt School of Engineering. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Best Engineering Schools". U.S. News & World Report.
  8. ^ "Dean's Welcome". Duke Pratt School of Engineering. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Research Timeline". Duke Pratt School of Engineering. 2014-10-17. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  10. ^ "Duke students make Guinness record for world's most efficient vehicle". newsobserver. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  11. ^ "About Pratt School of Engineering". Duke University. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  12. ^ "The Chesterfield Re-Engineered: Collaborative Space for High-Impact Discovery and Entrepreneurship Opens". Duke University. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  13. ^ The Princeton Review Releases Its First-Ever Ranking of the Nation's Top Graduate Engineering Programs, Marketwire
  14. ^ "Duke University Names New Engineering School Dean - Duke Pratt School of Engineering".
  15. ^ Katsouleas Named Dean at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering, Office of Duke News and Communication, March 6, 2008
  16. ^ Biomedical Engineering Celebrates 30 Years, Pratt School of Engineering, November 2001
  17. ^ Engineering News-Record 1946: 148.
  18. ^ a b c d About Pratt Facilities
  19. ^ "Duke University Maps".
  20. ^ Our History, Pratt School of Engineering
  21. ^ "Duke Engineering Members of the National Academy of Engineering". Duke Pratt School of Engineering. 2015-05-08. Retrieved 2018-11-16.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°00′14″N 78°56′25″W / 36.0040°N 78.9403°W / 36.0040; -78.9403