August 17, 2019

Our Method

Each project has unique needs and expectations, but our organization operates unanimously to create cost-efficient and sustainable designs alongside the communities that we work with. During the fall semester, our organization leadership works with our faculty advisor, Dr. David Schaad, on project selection for DEID. Once projects have been selected and confirmed, we announce them through a series of general body meetings. During this time, Duke’s undergraduate community can learn about the scope of each project, as well as DEID as an organization. After a few general body meetings, project leaders pick separate times to meet with students interested in that specific project.


After a few weeks, students typically select the project they are most interested in. During the fall semester, students work on fundraising initiatives for these projects. That includes, but is not limited to: personal contribution fundraising (specific to the project), grant-writing, on-campus fundraisers, and alumni outreach. During November, students on each project team have the opportunity to apply to travel during the upcoming summer. Depending on the scope of the project, DEID travel teams consist of 4-8 undergraduate students and optionally 1 graduate student with academic and/or cultural experience relevant to the project.


During the spring semester, all project designs are completed. Designs are either completed in conjunction with an NGO (Engineers in Action, Bridges to Prosperity, etc.) or in CEE315, an engineering design class taught by Dr. David Schaad. During this entire design process, project leaders (design leads) work to optimize material cost, while also taking into account the integrity and sustainability of that specific design. During the summer, our international travel teams meet up communities to work on and complete the project.


Upon arrival back in the United States, students work on a post-implementation report, that covers a myriad of different topics. DEID takes pride in approaching this projects realistically and critically, knowing that it is important to consider not only the successes of a project, but also the obstacles and shortcomings. DEID uses post-implementation reports to further bolster the sustainability and conduct of projects for the future.