Research & Translation

Goal 1

We will become a top-10 private School of Engineering by achieving research preeminence.

Our first goal is to become a top-10 private school of engineering by achieving research preeminence. To accomplish this, we will make investments in strategic research areas that leverage our strengths, location, agility and strong interdisciplinary culture to solve local and global societal challenges. We will recruit and retain excellent faculty to ensure growth in these areas, and foster research productivity and impact by providing state-of-the-art facilities and skilled staff. Our intent is to enhance our national and international visibility through targeted promotion of our achievements and pursuit of external partnerships that build our institutional network. We will broaden the School of Engineering’s visibility, impact and influence on Houston and the rest of the world through intellectual leadership in emerging technologies, strategic industrial partnerships and active involvement in city-scale projects. We will partner with central administration to develop policies that help transform new ideas and inventions into valuable products and services, and build effective partnerships with our alumni, industry, the Texas Medical Center, NASA and other organizations.

Objective 1.1

We will grow the engineering faculty by 30 percent by investing in targeted and strategic areas that leverage our strengths so that the School of Engineering achieves preeminence nationally and internationally, with local, national and global impact. We will establish 20 new endowed chairs at all levels to attract top faculty and reward high achievers. These strategic areas include:

  • Engineering & Medicine
  • Molecular Nanotechnology & Materials
  • Cities of the Future
  • Energy & the Environment

All require that we continue to build strength in computational and data sciences.

Objective 1.2

World-class research requires world-class facilities. We will enhance existing space and create a new state-of-the-art facility to encourage research and translation at the intersection of engineering, science, business, social science, the humanities and architecture. This space will serve as a point of entry for external partners, as a makerspace for graduate students and as a center for entrepreneurial and translational activities.

Objective 1.3

Establishment of a named fellowship program will aid in recruiting the best doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars, and provide them with cross-disciplinary research and education, communication skills enhancement and opportunities for engagement with local and national industry, the City of Houston and local institutions. Excellence in our doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars, as mentors in classrooms and laboratories, will strengthen the undergraduate experience. We will establish strategic partnerships with highly ranked international universities/programs to recruit top doctoral students from diverse areas of the world, including Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Objective 1.4

We will support research institutes and centers at Rice to address cross-disciplinary problems and as a mechanism to pursue center-level projects (Engineering Research Centers, Science and Technology Centers, etc.). Leveraging existing institutes and centers will expand the School of Engineering’s visibility, impact and influence through intellectual leadership in emerging technologies, strategic industrial partnerships and active involvement in city-scale projects. Joint programs with the Baker Institute will serve as a mechanism for engineering faculty to shape state and national discussions on critical global challenges and raise the visibility of significant research at Rice.

Objective 1.5

The School of Engineering will be a driving force in creating an innovation ecosystem in Houston to nurture entrepreneurship, strengthen industrial partnerships and enhance the commercial and societal impact of our research. This will entail maintaining and strengthening the technology incubation function and active translation, promotion and marketing of technologies developed at Rice.