Today globalization is rapidly changing the face of commercial enterprise, the roles of developing countries, and the power of individuals. The Global Engineering and Entrepreneurship @ Duke group is dedicated to investigating and understanding these rapidly evolving dynamics through a variety of research projects.

Engineering Graduation Trends

There has been great interest in the comparison of engineering graduates in the United States, India, and China. However, the statistics commonly cited to compare the number of engineering undergraduates in these three countries are inaccurate indicators of the size of the newly-minted engineering workforce and the skills that it possesses. Our research has aimed at generating more reliable international comparisons in terms of the quantity and quality of engineering graduates.

Multinational Outsourcing Strategies
The United States is well-positioned to reap the benefits from growing international competition, but other countries are catching up fast in the global talent race. The United States must continue to be a pacesetter not only in how it educates engineering and scientific talent, but also how it deploys this workforce effectively to tap new innovative frontiers. Our research includes surveys with top managers in U.S. multinational firms to assess their opinions about the availability and quality of engineering and scientific talent in the United States and abroad.

The Role of Immigrant Entrepreneurs
The key to maintaining U.S. competitiveness in a global economy is to understand our strengths and to effectively leverage these. Skilled immigrants are one of our greatest advantages. Our research shows that U.S. immigrants have become a significant driving force in the creation of new businesses and intellectual property in the United States — and that their contributions have increased over the past decade. However, new lucrative opportunities in developing countries, comparable standards of living and stifling U.S. visa policies are beginning to make employment in the United States a less viable option. Our work includes surveys with CEOs and CTOs of technology companies to better understand the role the immigrant entrepreneurs are playing in driving U.S. innovation.

Global Intellectual Property
Often when a technology with high global utility is developed, protection is sought though the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). We examined WIPO records filed through the U.S. receiving office to evaluate the contributions made by U.S. universities, individual states and specific immigrant groups.

Technology Commercialization
The United States is known for its venture capital, start-up and entrepreneurial environments; however university research has a notoriously low rate of commercialization. Through partnerships with leading technology transfer offices, our research seeks to explore novel technology commercialization strategies and development programs.



  • The Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University has provided support both in terms of funding, research staff and students.
  • The Center for Globalization, Government and Competitiveness at Duke University has contributed funding and research staff.
  • The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has contributed funding for specific research on multinational outsourcing activities and international business trends.
  • The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has contributed funding for research on the economic and intellectual property contributions of immigrant entrepreneurs.