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.
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 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.
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.
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.