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 Alumni Awards

At the 2024 George R. Brown School of Engineering Alumni Celebration in November, the school will honor alumni for their achievements in the engineering profession.

Martiel LutherDistinguished Service Medal

Martiel A. Luther graduated from Rice in 1978 with a B.S. in chemical engineering. She also earned her M.S. in chemical engineering practice from MIT and an MBA from Tulane University. Her 35-year career in the energy industry, primarily with Shell Oil Co., focused on technical and project management roles that took her worldwide, including a stint shaping their sustainability strategy.
Luther has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, Rice Engineering’s hub for undergraduate engineering innovation. She introduced Shell as a corporate sponsor and later became an individual sponsor on her retirement. Luther actively mentors students in the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership and the School of Engineering’s Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) department. Additionally, she has served on the ChBE Alumni Advisory committee and supported the new Ralph S. O’Connor Building for Engineering and Science.

Jeff BishopOutstanding Engineering Alumni Award

Jeff Bishop is a clean energy entrepreneur and a leader in the U.S. energy transition, focusing on the intersection of finance, commercial, technology and policy. Since 2016, Bishop has been the CEO and co-founder of Key Capture Energy, one of America’s largest owner/operators of stand-alone battery storage projects. In addition to his contributions to clean energy, Bishop’s societal impact extends to public transportation access and LGBT equality. Bishop holds a MBA from Chicago Booth, and he received a B.S. in electrical and computer engineering from Rice University in 2004.

Loren Hopkins

Loren Hopkins is the chief environmental science officer for the Houston Health Department and a professor in the practice of statistics at Rice University. She uses her expertise in environmental processes and statistical analysis to address health disparities. Her dual role with Rice and the Houston Health Department has been pivotal to her leadership in collaborative work with city, state, and national stakeholders to address a range of environmental and public health issues. Hopkins earned her B.S. in geology and geophysics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1986 and an M.S. and Ph.D. in environmental science from Rice University in 1989 and 1998, respectively.

Karen Lozano

Karen Lozano is the Julia Beecherl Endowed Mechanical Engineering Professor at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) and Founder/Director of the UTRGV Nanotechnology Center. In this role, she launched the first Ph.D. program (Materials Science and Engineering) in the college’s history. In addition to her significant contributions to UTRGV’s programs, she has demonstrated commitment and mentorship to at-risk students through educational outreach. Lozano earned her B.S. in mechanical engineering from Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM), and she graduated from Rice University with her M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and materials science in 1996 and 1999, respectively.

Juan CastillejaOutstanding Young Engineering Alumni Award

Juan “Tony” Castilleja Jr. is a Senior Manager at Boeing Defense, Space, and Security and is currently a Private Sector Fellow at National Defense University. Castilleja has received multiple awards for his Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) advocacy and mentorship, including being selected as a 2011 White House Fellows Regional Finalist after founding the DREAM STEM engineering mentorship program at Rice University. Castilleja completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Rice University in 2009 and 2011. While at Rice, he also served as Honorary Staff in the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership.

Samantha Santacruz

Samantha R. Santacruz is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is developing closed-loop neurotherapies and brain-machine interfaces to treat neural pathologies. In addition to her accomplishments in neuroscience, she is committed to creating an inclusive community and raising visibility for women and historically underrepresented minorities in STEM through service, mentorship, and leadership. Santacruz received her bachelor’s degree with honors in applied mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Rice University in 2010 and 2014, respectively.

Graphic depicting award numbers

Get Involved

Your active participation in the REA provides invaluable support and resources for engineering students. There are numerous ways to make an impact:

  • Mentor students
  • Provide an internship opportunity
  • Judge a design competition
  • Give a tech talk or speak on panels
  • Review grant applications

Become a Board Member

The REA is governed by a Board of Directors that consists of more than 20 volunteers from across the country, from as far as Boston and San Francisco. Our Directors represent a wide range of class years, from the Class of 1973 all the way to several members from the past decade. We are career engineers, attorneys, retirees, graduate students, college professors and consultants. We represent established corporations, startups and nonprofits. If you have questions regarding the application or board member requirements, please contact Felix Campos, Chair of REA Board Governance, at