Hiba Benjeddou


Sidi Yahya El Gharb, Morocco

Academic Interests

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Mathematics, and Creative Writing

Fun Fact

I am good friends with an astronaut!

There are two types of superheroes in the world: problem-solvers and storytellers. I happen to be both: I work on thrilling engineering projects by day and write whimsical fantasy novels by night. Sometimes, the two worlds merge—Detailed descriptions of a magnetic levitating toothbrush and smart mirrors in my sci-fi adaptation of Pride and Prejudice turn into well-thought-out sketches and prototypes. I find solace in creating and building, and at Duke, nothing has changed; wearing my blue and white cape, I hope to grow as an engineer and bring the world of STEM closer to underprivileged kids in African countries through intellectual storytelling. 

Through Duke’s rigorous engineering courses, I strive to tackle some of the challenges that my community faces, get hands-on training, and collaborate with others. I had the chance of exploring these options in my EGR101 class, in which my lab partner and I designed and built a spoon for teens with arthrogryposis. Currently, I am working on building an alert device for individuals with hearing loss and I’m finding it to be enthralling. I anticipate that the next four years at Duke will leave me just as enthralled as I seek to take similar classes and partake in problem-solving activities.

With newfound knowledge and experience, I aim to serve as a medium to the millions of children all around the world who don’t have the privilege of good quality education through storytelling. Having occupied the same spot once before, I wish to use my white and blue quill to convey my love for engineering and science in the form of witty Sci-Fi novels and personal stories

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

When you’re a reader, there are many places you can call home. Huddled underneath my favorite blankets, I drowned in the world of Hogwarts: flying brooms and magical potions, Quidditch matches and talking letters, and the sense of belonging to a tight-knit community. However, when it came to choosing a house, I hesitated: am I a brave Gryffindor or a hard-working Hufflepuff? A witty Ravenclaw or an ambitious Slytherin?

At Duke University, I don’t have to choose; I could be all those things and more. Whether I am crafting choreographies as a member of Pureun or 3D-printing an army of elephants in Co-Lab, I can nurture my intellectual curiosity all while being part of an inquiring community that welcomes diversity.

In Duke classrooms, magic happens: students of different interests and majors gather in a desperate search for knowledge, ridding themselves of labels and restrictions, curious about one another and the world surrounding them. This, I realized, is a place I can confidently call home

Hiba Benjeddou
Hiba Benjeddou