2024 Rice Engineering Magazine Cover

The spring 2024 issue of Rice Engineering Magazine is here!

At Rice Engineering, we are driven by a passion for innovation and a commitment to responsible engineering practices. It’s with great excitement that we unveil the new design of Rice Engineering magazine, which underscores our dedication to excellence in research, education, and service. The 2023-24 issue is full of news about how Rice Engineering is solving for greater good.


Pedro AlvarezIn the news

“Rice has strategically increased its investment in research that will positively impact the community, region, nation and world. As university president and a civil engineer, I am confident that Rice scientists will make discoveries that transform lives and communities through innovation.”

Rice President Reginald DesRoches on
the launch of the WaTER Institute led by
Professor Pedro Alvarez (pictured).

Houston Chronicle, February 1, 2024

The Countdown

Five stories that excite us


A time capsule to the moon depicting the “essence of humanity”

In 2027 NASA is sending a time capsule to the moon. “Sanctuary on the Moon” will contain 24 sapphire discs, each with up to 7 billion micropixels of information, engraved with a “backup of humanity,” including female and male genomes. The capsule will also include mathematic equations, scientific findings, and works of art.


3D bioprinted blood vessel could reveal the effects of microgravity

How does weightlessness change the cardiovascular system of astronauts in orbit? A new 3D bioprinted blood vessel will soon tell us. The European Space Agency-supported study explores arterial biology using a bioprinted vessel model.


Cell therapy that turns lymph nodes into tiny liver

A biotech company, LyGenesis, carried out a trial on a patient with liver failure. In the one-of-a-kind experimental procedure performed in Houston, donor cells were injected into a lymph node, with the idea that the cells could potentially grow and transform the lymph node structure into a “functional ectopic liver” within a patient’s body.


Student invents an affordable fire-fighting robot

Firefighters have one of the most dangerous jobs, risking their lives to help others. Siddarth Thakur started working on FireBot as a high school student in Houston. The robot can withstand temperatures up to 1,832˚F, is wirelessly controlled, and can assist firefighters in search and rescue missions. Notably, Firebot is affordable compared to other fire-fighting robots.


Unlocking boundless energy with the world’s largest sundial

A project for the city of Houston, Texas, will generate nearly 400,000 kWh of electricity every year while acting as a public sundial. The Arco del Tiempo (Arch of Time) will be a 100-foot-tall archway with a roof covered in photovoltaic modules to produce electricity that goes directly into the city’s power grid.