The National Monument That Never Was

At 57,600 square meters, Mexico City’s main plaza, the Zócalo, is one of the largest open plazas of any city in the world. To provide a frame of reference for its size, imagine the area of ten American football fields, as for its significance, picture the National Mall in Washington D.C. or the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Long ago, this grand square once constituted the ceremonial hub of the Aztec city, Tenochtitlan. Previously dominated by looming silhouettes of Aztec temples and pyramids, such as the Templo Mayor, after several hundreds of years, the zócalo nowadays finds itself ringed by similarly significant and emblematic buildings such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Palacio Nacional, the Old Portal de Mercaderes and Federal District buildings.


Innovation Co-Lab and Two Student Athletes Save Duke’s Football Season

Evanston, Illinois. September 8th, 2018. Quarterback Daniel Jones leads the Blue Devils to one of their largest victories of the still young season finishing with 16 of 22 completions for 192 yards and three touchdowns in the 2nd quarter alone. From the stat sheet, it would appear as though it was just a normal victory for a Blue Devil squad that has become accustomed to winning. Yet, nothing was normal about this game. At the end of the 3rd quarter, Jones was sacked by a Wildcat linebacker and appeared to be injured; he was whisked off the field by the medical staff and XRay-ed on site at Northwestern Stadium. As the game went on and the fans in purple continued to roar up above, the results came back: a broken collarbone.

The next day,  Jones was operated on by surgeons in Duke Hospital, and it was clear that the road to recovery would be a challenging one. Besides the complications of the injury itself and the physical therapy that would need to be done in order for Jones to get back into good enough shape to start another game, the medical staff would need to ensure that Jones’ injury would not be exacerbated should he be hit again in a game. Stumped by how to protect Jones’ fragile collarbone, Duke’s executive director of athletic medicine, Hap Zarzour, approached two senior engineering students on the football team and said “boys, what can you do for me?”.


Biofiltration: Taking Off

The year is 2035, and man is finally going to Mars. It’s been five years since SpaceX and Elon Musk’s Big Falcon Rocket successfully delivered supplies and cargo to our planetary next-door-neighbor in what is sure to be the start of the human race’s future as a space-faring civilization. Every two years, the respective orbits of Earth and Mars align so that the planets are a mere 55 million kilometers away from each other, their closest distance. Thus, the voyage aboard the rocket will take more or less 300 days to complete, a practical blink of the eye considering the vast expanse of nothingness between the two celestial spheres.

On board the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) are dozens or researchers, scientists, diplomats, as well as several of the world’s wealthiest individuals. This motley group will be the leaders of humanity’s first colony in space and will establish a society built to last millennia, ensuring the homo sapiens’ survival despite the imminent destruction of its home planet due to climate change, nuclear war, or reality television. It’s day 162 of the trip and the BFR is a little past the half way mark. Everyone on board is a bit tired and cranky; if you thought airline food was bad, then you’ll want to steer clear of this stuff.

As the weeks drag on, something strange begins to happen: all persons on board begin to feel a bit light headed. It starts with moderate headaches, nothing worse than the cranial thumping typical of the next day after a heavy drinking night. However, symptoms exacerbate and now include shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, and throat discomfort. The ship is in panic. The medical staff, comprised exclusively of daytime television’s Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil, doesn’t understand what is happening. The oxygen and nitrogen tanks have enough to last four years in space, so why does it seem like there is not enough air for the passengers to breathe. By day 237, most, if not everyone on board, is functionally incapacitated as the air inside the ship has become toxic. What is going on?


Introducing the NEW Waterjet Cutter!


        It’s 2am on a quiet, empty Telecom Drive. The hum of construction has faded with daylight, as has the frequency of the Duke Parking and Transportation authority patrolling for vehicles to apprehend. It would have been pitch black on this hot, humid night, had it not been for a soft glow of synthetic luminescence radiating onto the street from inside the Technology Engagement Center.

        And like a flee to a porch light on a summer night, walked a college student into the Co-Lab, a familiar sight. This was not the student’s first time in the Co-Lab after hours, nor was it his last, yet, waiting inside was something, that would leave him quite aghast. For standing tall and alone, on the studio floor, was a bright and shiny rectangular machine, that the boy had not seen before. This device was unique, the student knew, its engineering special, because this newest expensive toy, would allow him to cut into metal.


An underrated presentation gadget

One of the most underrated gadgets resides within every Duke classroom, meeting space and auditorium. Are you wondering what it is?

Just picture this, it’s the day of your big presentation. You have your laser pointer in hand and the PowerPoint slides are ready to go. You bring your laptop to the front of the room and the first thing you grab is…. you guessed it, the projector adaptor dongles!


The key to facial recognition

Whether it’s strung on a keychain, tied to a hair band, or tucked away in a wallet, students across Duke’s West Campus typically access their dorm room via key. Sophomores, Benjamin Lawrence and Samuel Appiah-Kubi, however…..don’t! They use facial recognition!


3D Printing at the Ruby!

The Rubenstein Arts Center, or “Ruby”, houses the newest work studio operated by Duke’s Innovation Co-Lab. The “Makerspace” located at the Badger-Mars Visual Arts Wing features 15 Ultimaker 3 3D printers, a Trotec Speedy 400 laser cutter, a panel saw and a tool chest. Duke students, faculty and staff can access the makerspace anytime, and the studio with be staffed 2-8pm Sundays through Fridays.


CONDUIT Sports – The World’s First In/Off-Ear Headphones

Say, you’re on a jog with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. You refuse to run without music but you also want to catch up on gossip! You try to half earbud it but the wires start to wrap together, the earbud falls out every 2 seconds and you’re in this limbo state of hearing only half of your surroundings.


A 3D model of blood vessel flow

The Randles Lab in Duke’s Biomedical Engineering department focuses on developing a computational tool to guide cardiovascular surgeries in order to improve patient care. Their current project uses 2D medical imaging data to create a 3D computational model of a patient’s vascular topology. From there, factors of clinical importance may be derived from the 3D simulation of a patient’s blood flow.