22 from Rice Engineering earn NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Nine graduate students and six undergrads among the 2023 award recipients.

Lovett Hall at sunset

The National Science Foundation has awarded 32 Graduate Research Fellowships to Rice University-affiliated students — 22 of those from programs in the George R. Brown School of Engineering.

Fourteen are current or incoming Rice Engineering graduate students. Six are current undergraduates, and two are undergraduate alumni. An additional four Rice Engineering-affiliated students received an Honorable Mention.

NSF GRFP is a five-year fellowship that provides three years of financial support for students early in their graduate careers in science, technology, math and engineering. Financial support includes a $37,000 annual stipend and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution.

“While we celebrate with those who have won the NSF or received an honorable mention, we want to recognize that the hardest part of this process can often be hitting the ‘submit’ button,” said Seiichi Matsuda, dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies (GPS). “We want to recognize all of the students who completed the application and put in significant effort and hard work throughout the process.”

NSF Fellows

Current Graduate students:

  • Eugene Chung - Engineering - Bioengineering
  • Matthew Lee - Engineering - Bioengineering
  • Sadie N Brasel - Engineering - Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Anderson Roy Phillips - Engineering - Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Rice undergraduate alumni)
  • Autumn Bruncz - Engineering - Optical Engineering
  • Spencer Williams - Engineering - Mechanical Engineering
  • Kevin Michael McCoy - Mathematical Sciences - Statistics
  • Diego Gonzalez - Engineering - Biomedical Engineering (Rice undergraduate alumni)
  • Tia Gray - Engineering - Materials Engineering (Rice undergraduate alumni)

Incoming graduate students:

  • Katie Dannette Leonard - Engineering - Chemical Engineering
  • Emma Raisley - Engineering - Biomedical Engineering
  • Gillian Audia - Engineering - Bioengineering
  • Renallan C Neckles - Engineering - Environmental Engineering
  • Damon Renel Spencer - Mathematical Sciences - Applied Mathematics

Current Undergraduates:

  • Cameron Diao - Comp/IS/Eng - Machine Learning
  • Colter Decker - Engineering - Mechanical Engineering
  • Matan Alon Lieber-Kotz - Engineering - Chemical Engineering
  • Zachary Thomas Rewolinski - Mathematical Sciences - Statistics
  • Vi Vo - Engineering - Mechanical Engineering
  • Benjamin Walls - Engineering - Chemical Engineering

Undergraduate Alumni:

  • Maya Levitan - Engineering - Biomedical Engineering
  • Adrian Yao - Engineering - Electrochemical energy storage


NSF Honorable Mentions

Current Graduate Students:

  • Fariha Noor Ahmad - Engineering - Bioengineering
  • Lorenzo Castelli - Engineering - Mechanical Engineering

Incoming Graduate Students:

  • Lily Metsker - Life Sciences - Microbial Biology (incoming Rice Engineering PhD student)


  • Alexander Xiong - Engineering - Artificial Intelligence

The original version of this story was written by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.