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Engineering Professor Creates Inspiring Artwork

Recently, a painting of an SR-71 Mach 3 jet was added to the stairwell in Duke Centennial. It is the latest creation by Peter Tkacik, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and engineering science in the William States Lee College of Engineering.

Tkacik’s artistic pursuits are a hobby, but he sees them as a source of inspiration for engineering students as they learn more about their future profession. "I sketched growing up, and I've found it to be a valuable skill as an engineer," said Tkacik. "I say that I do pencil CAD; I can draw a design in three-dimension so others can see it."

Tkacik's rendering of the SR-71 is based upon several photographs of the long-range Mach 3 reconnaissance aircraft. The plane is depicted high above the Earth with stars in the background and hangs 40 feet above the marble floor.