The Pentagon, the headquarters building for the Department of Defense (DOD) in Arlington County, VA

The research programs of the United States Department of Defense (DOD) focus on a variety of imperatives, from the acceleration of current technical capabilities to developing world class science, technology, engineering, and mathematics capabilities for the future of DOD and the nation.
Duke University researchers are active participants in DOD research programs, and select awards and projects are highlighted below.

DOD Funding Overview:

FY 21 Expenditures:  $61.6 million

Selected Research Currently Supported by DOD at Duke University

Duke’s Center for Metamaterials and Integrated Plasmonics advances the basic understanding of electromagnetic metamaterials, exploring their capabilities and limitations across the electromagnetic spectrum – from microwaves to optics – and across different branches of physics, including acoustics and fluid flow. Applications include the development of “invisibility cloaks” and light manipulation, satellite communications, sensing, aerospace, optics and more. CMIP currently has four spinout companies.

Researchers at Duke are part of a large DARPA-funded effort to develop a system to rapidly screen individuals for exposure to dangerous materials and pathogens potentially associated with weapons of mass destruction.

Biology Professor Sheila Patek is exploring biomechanics of mantis shrimp, which has led to the development of fracture-resistant materials and hold potential for future engineered systems in robotics, materials, and propulsion, among others.

Researchers in Duke’s Cyber-Physical Systems Lab are exploring security issues for the Internet of Things and developing high assurance design methodologies for Cyber-Physical Systems in autonomous systems, advanced manufacturing, medical devices and smart systems.

Duke is one of the top recipients of funding through the Department of Defense’s Minerva Research Initiative, which provides support for university-based social science research critical to DOD’s mission. One current project is investigating the impact of marine chokepoint shutdown, from piracy as one example, to national economies in the Persian Gulf countries.