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.


Rice Engineering Remembers Esteemed Faculty

Ahmad Kabbani, Calvin Ward, John Dobelman, Henry Rachford, Sam Davis in memoriam
IN MEMORIAM: Clockwise from center-top: Ahmad Kabbani, Calvin "Herb" Ward, John Dobelman, Henry H. Rachford, Sam H. Davis

As Rice Engineering looks to the future, the engineering community remembers faculty whose contributions shaped the university’s academic landscape and laid the foundations for future generations of engineers.

Sam H. Davis Jr. ’52 ’53, a chemical engineering professor emeritus and former director of the Office of Continuing Studies, left an indelible mark on Rice University. His tenure spanned over four decades, beginning in 1957. He was deeply involved in student life, serving in various roles, including interim magister for Jones College. Davis impacted Rice not only through his teaching but also through his dedication to continual learning. He directed the Office of Continuing Studies from 1969-1973 and laid the groundwork for the school’s growth.

Henry H. Rachford Jr. ’45, ’47 was a professor of mathematical sciences, computer science and mathematics. Joining the faculty in 1964, his research focused on numerical analysis, particularly methods for partial differential equations. Alongside colleagues, he co-founded a consulting firm that devised methods to simulate transient fluid flow in pipelines. Notably, the Douglas-Rachford numerical algorithm, developed in the 1950s, bears his name. Rachford was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2000 for his contributions to solving petroleum reservoir and pipeline hydraulics problems.

John Dobelman ’79 ’85 ’04, professor in the practice of statistics, joined Rice as a lecturer in 2004 following an accomplished career that included work for the Federal Aviation Administration. He directed the Statistics Professional Master’s Program, growing it to international prominence. Dobelman’s research focused on data-driven investment strategies. With the support of his family, he established the Dobelman Family Chair in Statistics and was instrumental in administering the Center for Computational Finance and Economic Systems (CoFES).

Ahmad Kabbani, a respected lecturer in materials science and nanoengineering, devoted his academic career to teaching and mentoring. He contributed to the Rice community through his courses on electrochemistry, polymer science, and nanochemistry. Beginning as a visiting professor in 2006, he became a research scientist, eventually joining the faculty in 2019. Kabbani, who earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Davis, left a lasting impact on students at Rice and Lebanese American University, where he retired in 2019.

Calvin “Herb” Ward’s career at Rice spanned over half a century, beginning in 1966. He was the Foyt Family Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering emeritus and a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology emeritus. A leading authority on hazardous waste remediation, Ward’s impactful leadership was felt on and off campus. He created the international journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and his contributions have been recognized by institutions such as the National Academies of Science and Engineering, NASA, and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.