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.


From the REA President, Jim Pyke

Serving on the Rice Engineering Alumni (REA) board is an incredible reminder of how our community of students, alumni and the university can create positive change. Initially, I was eager to reconnect with Rice and explore ways to contribute. Now, four years later, I see so many ways each of us can make a difference. When I began my term as president in July, I wanted to bring more innovation to the board and our activities. Lately, my focus has turned toward making it easier for anyone to get involved and have high impact. We’ve made great strides, and there’s more to come.

Jim Pyke

I’m excited to continue the success of past boards, particularly around the REA Summer Engineering Experience (SEE) program which achieved national recognition last summer. SEE very closely aligns with all aspects of the REA’s mission: To support, honor and connect Rice engineers before and after graduation. We work extensively, but not exclusively, with individuals from underrepresented groups of students to obtain their first engineering internships at a range of host companies, many of which have very deep ties to the Rice community. During the summer of 2023, we placed 16 students at 11 companies, an almost tenfold increase from our 2020 start. Having already received more applications than last year, we aim to place 25 students in more companies this summer. These opportunities help launch engineering careers, and notably, not a single student who has participated in the SEE program has left Rice before graduation or changed their major away from engineering. We and the Rice engineering community should be proud of this 100% success rate.

As transformative as SEE is, the REA continues to maintain other activities around education, outreach, alumni honors, and grants and awards. By the end of the academic year, we will have awarded over $100,000 in grants to support undergraduate projects, graduate student travel to conferences, and other activities. We have an active engagement calendar — from our Winter Social to our recently launched “REA Connect” program, designed to reconnect alumni to Rice through small group lunches hosted by an REA board member. We’ve also launched a significant five-year campaign in support of the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) that will result in the naming rights to the Maker Bar.

There are limitless ways you as an alum can get involved. Consider mentoring students through the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership, reviewing grant applications, judging OEDK projects, mentoring or hosting SEE interns, or speaking on panels to educate students and alumni about career options and paths.

The following stories show our innovation at work and illustrate the impact an engaged alumni community can have. We invite you to join us.

Formed in 1938, the Rice Engineering Alumni (REA) is the oldest alumni affinity group at Rice and provides support to our current and future members by working closely with the George R. Brown School of Engineering. Our mission is to support, honor and connect Rice engineers before and after graduation. Membership in the REA is granted automatically upon graduation. All members are welcome at any REA event. The REA has been working hard to continue building the engineering alumni’s legacy at Rice and to make all of us proud of our alma mater. The simplest way to describe REA is that we are paying it forward. The education that we received from Rice Engineering and the previous generations of engineering alumni have helped us reach our professional goals. By establishing a pattern of alumni supporting the school, we guarantee the continuous improvement of the student and alumni experiences.