From the Director

Jim GastonAs the Director of the Duke Smart Home Program, I have the opportunity to work with students from across Duke with majors such as engineering, computer science, economics, or public policy. What unites these students in their interest in the Smart Home Program is a sincere desire to make a difference, a willingness to try and make mistakes along the way, and an amazing intellectual curiosity.

Our main goal with this program is to enable sustainable living--and we do that through teaching and hands-on research. We recognize that our society must embrace clean, green living strategies in order to ensure quality of life for the future. And this means working in diverse teams and taking new approaching to solving longstanding problems.

Through this program, students have the chance to turn their ideas into reality. Students can choose to participate in projects outside of class with almost unlimited flexibility or they can get class credit with courses like EGR 185 Smart Home Technology Development, Smart Home Research Fellows, or the new NAE Grand Challenge Scholars program. It is exciting to see students connect with industry and the community to develop innovative solutions that utilize new technologies.

As a “living laboratory” on Duke's central campus, The Home Depot Smart Home is a unique and evolving center of innovation and exploration. Born as a student project in 2003, the Duke Smart Home Program has evolved into an award winning interdisplinary research venture that encourages student to build prototypes in order to test ideas that incorporates both new technologies and sustainable lifestyles. 

Industry has shown an enduring interest in this program, from partnering with us to design and construct the dorm to engaging students in industry-relevant projects to welcoming students into internship experiences. We continue to welcome such involvement--it's the reason why we're here: to help prepare students to succeed in the real world.

Please explore our site and feel free to ask questions and get involved. It was the initiative of a single student that led to this program--and that is something we take a lot of pride in. Together, we can make a difference.


Jim Gaston