Devi – Exploring the wonders of engineering

Freshman year at Duke University

Devi at Duke

Devi (’22) from Indonesia has just completed her first year at Duke University, USA. 

“This year has been transformative to say the least. Duke has given me so many amazing opportunities that allow me to flourish academically and socially. In my first engineering design course, I worked with 3 other students for Garmin International to design a pontoon boat fixture to test their watches and sonar devices in lakes. The class taught me the fundamental aspects of the engineering design process and teamwork. My favorite class so far is definitely my pilot mechanical engineering course which is also a project-based class. We designed a happy meal toy, a mousetrap-powered sand car, and a Rube Goldberg machine which was super fun!  

On campus, I have been heavily involved in Duke AERO (Duke’s high power rocketry team) and Duke Electric Vehicles. In Duke AERO, I am part of the Structures team where we design and manufacture physical parts of the rocket. We did carbon fiber and fiberglass composite layups for the airframe parts, the nose cone, and the fins. This club has taught me valuable engineering skills such as CAD/3D modeling, 3D printing, CAM, molding, GD&T, various manufacturing techniques, mechanical testing, machining, prototyping, etc. The team was very tight-knit and everyone I met in the team has been very welcoming and helpful throughout the year even though I did not have a lot of engineering-related experience before coming to Duke. We competed in an international high-powered rocketry competition called the Spaceport America Cup just two weeks ago in New Mexico and we placed third in Design and Built Quality!

Devi with fellow students

Devi with her follow students

In Duke Electric Vehicles, I am involved in the mechanical team that designed and optimized mechanical parts of the electric car. My projects include modeling and manufacturing the car backseat panel, the battery storage unit, the wheel protective cover, and an adjustable mirror mechanism. I am also working as a technician in the Innovation Co-Lab makerspaces where I manage and maintain various lab equipment such as Ultimaker 3D printers, laser cutters, water jet cutters, CNC machines, electric hand tools, etc. Aside from that, I assist and advise lab users with 3D modeling and printing, manufacturing programming, Adobe software, operating different machines and equipment as well as navigating the makerspace in general.

Devi at Spaceport America Cup

Devi At Basketball match

Devi and her friends supporting the Duke basketball team

Aside from academics, the highlight of my Duke experience is definitely watching basketball games with my friends. Most people here are devoted basketball fans and these games possess the power to bring everyone in the campus community together to cheer and support our basketball team. In my free time, I enjoy exploring Durham/Raleigh, watching on-campus musicals, and going to cultural shows/festivals which is somewhat reminiscent of the UWC experience where the student body is rich in diversity and culture. I am currently back at Duke to take a mathematics class and work full-time in the engineering lab. I’ve loved my university experience so far and I cannot wait for what the next 3 years have in store for me!” 

We look forward to following Devi’s progress over the next 3 years too!


July 2023

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