The Duke Digest - February 24, 2012
In Today's Issue:
- National Engineers Week: Spotlight on Pratt
- Board Approves New Home for Nicholas School
- Duke Study: Few Immigrants Go to the Doctor
- Duke Prof's Entrepreneurship Course Wins National Award
- Dukies on the Move
NATIONAL ENGINEERS WEEK: SPOTLIGHT ON PRATT
In Honor of National Engineers Week, we're putting a spotlight on the Pratt School of Engineering. See below for some research highlights and quick facts on Duke's engineering school.
Wringing Energy Out of Everyday Motions
Energy harvesting is the process of converting one form of energy, such as motion, into another form of energy, such as electricity. Current energy harvesting devices have been unable to make this energy conversion efficiently because devices can only be "tuned" to a single frequency, or size of vibration. These so-called "linear" devices work well, for example, if the wind blows at a constant predetermined speed or a person walks at a steady pace.
Engineers at Duke, however, believe they have come up with the theoretical underpinning that could lead to the development of energy harvesting devices that are more versatile in the real world because they take into account nonlinear motion - the way people actually move. The researchers are supported by Army Research Office and the Office of Naval Research.
Duke Engineering Research and Innovation
Curious about Pratt's annual research expenditures or rankings? What about major centers and major research awards? See the link below for this and other information on Duke's engineers:
BOARD APPROVES NEW HOME FOR NICHOLAS SCHOOL
Duke University's Board of Trustees on Friday approved the construction of Duke Environment Hall, a 70,000-square-foot building that will serve as the new home of the Nicholas School of the Environment. Groundbreaking is expected in late April, with building completion by summer 2013.
Plans call for a five-story, glass-and-concrete building that incorporates the highest sustainable features and technologies, and meets or exceeds the criteria for LEED platinum certification.
The trustees also gave the go-ahead for a large-scale, water reclamation pond on the fringe of West Campus. Instead of using water from the city of Durham's drinking water supply, Duke will pump water from the six-acre pond to one of Duke's nearby chilled water plants to produce chilled water for cooling and dehumidifying campus and medical buildings. Duke officials expect the initiative will save about 100 million gallons of potable water a year.
Board Approves New Home for Nicholas(Duke.edu)
DUKE STUDY: FEW IMMIGRANTS GO TO THE DOCTOR
New research from Duke University challenges a long-held assumption that immigrants are generally healthy before they move to the United States but become less so while living here.
The research suggests that widely used data from National Institutes of Health surveys paint an incomplete picture of immigrant health because many of the questions on the surveys inquire specifically about health care interactions. Those questions miss the many immigrants who, for a variety of reasons, do not seek health care at all, said Jen'nan Read, a Duke sociologist who authored the study along with doctoral candidate Megan Reynolds.
Their research suggests that that immigrants may live in the U.S. for years before ever seeing a doctor, whether due to a lack of insurance, language difficulties or other barriers. As a result, immigrants don't receive ongoing care for illnesses that can be relatively easy to treat, but can eventually become a drain on the American health care system when a serious problem - like a heart attack or stroke - does arise.
Duke Study: Few Immigrants Go to the Doctor(Duke.edu)
DUKE PROF'S ENTREPRENEURSHIP COURSE WINS NATIONAL AWARD
Tony Brown, a professor at Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy, has been honored for his course "Social Entrepreneurship in Action," which has been the launching pad for a number of ongoing on-campus and off-campus organizations over the last 12 years.
Brown's course for The Hart Leadership Program's Enterprising Leadership Initiative was chosen for a 2012 Ashoka U-Cordes Innovation Award. The award highlights teaching and partnership practices that are innovative, replicable and that make a significant impact on society.
Brown's course helps students combine analysis, action and personal passion to develop new social initiatives.
Brown's Entrepreneurship Course Wins National Award(Sanford.duke.edu)
DUKIES ON THE MOVE
Jillian Martin (T '07) on Monday will be starting as Governor Tim Kaine's policy director and working on Kaine's campaign for Virginia's U.S. Senate seat. Prior to her new role, Jillian served as legislative assistant for Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
Know of any Duke alumni who have recently taken a new post on the Hill, in the Administration or elsewhere in Washington? Let us know about it! Send Dukies on the Move tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.