Engineering has been a part of Rice's curriculum since the university first opened as The Rice Institute in 1912. In those early days Rice offered courses in chemical, civil, mechanical and electrical engineering. Over the years, the engineering program grew, and in 1975 the George R. Brown School of Engineering was established. Today the school is comprised of eight academic departments and includes fourteen research institutes and centers. More than one fourth of Rice students are engineering majors.

Among the more than 100 engineering faculty are nine members of the National Academy of Engineering. Virtually all undergraduate courses in engineering are taught by Ph.D. faculty. With a small student-to-faculty ratio, students in both undergraduate and graduate programs not only have easy access to professors in the classroom, but work closely with them on research projects. Departments and centers within the school of engineering take advantage of Houston's role as a center for the energy industry, medical research, space exploration, and the city's rapidly growing high-technology sector. Several departments have active industrial affiliates programs, and many research projects are undertaken with local companies. Students benefit from these relationships through collaborative research projects, summer internships, and making contacts for employment before graduation.

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Recent Submissions

  • CFD Analysis of the Location of a Rear Wing on an Aston Martin DB7 in Order to Optimize Aerodynamics for Motorsports 

    O’Driscoll, Thomas P.; Barron, Andrew R. (2022)
    The purpose of this study is to identify the initial lateral and vertical location and angle of attack of a GT4-style rear wing on the rear downforce for an Aston Martin DB7 Vantage, prior to installation. The tests were completed with a two-dimensional model, using the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software, Fluent Ansys. The tests were completed ...
  • High-surface-area corundum nanoparticles by resistive hotspot-induced phase transformation 

    Deng, Bing; Advincula, Paul A.; Luong, Duy Xuan; Zhou, Jingan; Zhang, Boyu; (2022)
    High-surface-area α-Al2O3 nanoparticles are used in high-strength ceramics and stable catalyst supports. The production of α-Al2O3 by phase transformation from γ-Al2O3 is hampered by a high activation energy barrier, which usually requires extended high-temperature annealing (~1500 K, > 10 h) and suffers from aggregation. Here, we report the synthesis ...
  • Snapshot polarimetric diffuse-specular separation 

    Dave, Akshat; Dave, Akshat; Hold-Geoffroy, Yannick; Hašan, Miloš; Sunkavalli, Kalyan; (2022)
    We present a polarization-based approach to perform diffuse-specular separation from a single polarimetric image, acquired using a flexible, practical capture setup. Our key technical insight is that, unlike previous polarization-based separation methods that assume completely unpolarized diffuse reflectance, we use a more general polarimetric model ...
  • Multiple genome alignment in the telomere-to-telomere assembly era 

    Kille, Bryce; Balaji, Advait; Sedlazeck, Fritz J.; Nute, Michael; Treangen, Todd J. (2022)
    With the arrival of telomere-to-telomere (T2T) assemblies of the human genome comes the computational challenge of efficiently and accurately constructing multiple genome alignments at an unprecedented scale. By identifying nucleotides across genomes which share a common ancestor, multiple genome alignments commonly serve as the bedrock for comparative ...
  • Artificial Soils Reveal Individual Factor Controls on Microbial Processes 

    Del Valle, Ilenne; Gao, Xiaodong; Ghezzehei, Teamrat A.; Silberg, Jonathan J.; Masiello, Caroline A. (2022)
    Soil matrix properties influence microbial behaviors that underlie nutrient cycling, greenhouse gas production, and soil formation. However, the dynamic and heterogeneous nature of soils makes it challenging to untangle the effects of different matrix properties on microbial behaviors. To address this challenge, we developed a tunable artificial soil ...
  • Turning data into better mental health: Past, present, and future 

    Moukaddam, Nidal; Sano, Akane; Salas, Ramiro; Hammal, Zakia; Sabharwal, Ashutosh (2022)
    In this mini-review, we discuss the fundamentals of using technology in mental health diagnosis and tracking. We highlight those principles using two clinical concepts: (1) cravings and relapse in the context of addictive disorders and (2) anhedonia in the context of depression. This manuscript is useful for both clinicians wanting to understand the ...
  • Infectious Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Exhaled Aerosols and Efficacy of Masks During Early Mild Infection 

    Adenaiye, Oluwasanmi O; Lai, Jianyu; Bueno de Mesquita, P Jacob; Hong, Filbert; Youssefi, Somayeh; (2022)
    Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemiology implicates airborne transmission; aerosol infectiousness and impacts of masks and variants on aerosol shedding are not well understood.We recruited coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases to give blood, saliva, mid-turbinate and fomite (phone) swabs, and 30-minute breath ...
  • On-chip mid-infrared silicon-on-insulator waveguide methane sensor using two measurement schemes at 3.291 μm 

    Zhao, Huan; Zheng, Chuantao; Pi, Mingquan; Liang, Lei; Song, Fang; (2022)
    Portable or even on-chip detection of methane (CH4) is significant for environmental protection and production safety. However, optical sensing systems are usually based on discrete optical elements, which makes them unsuitable for the occasions with high portability requirement. In this work, we report on-chip silicon-on-insulator (SOI) waveguide ...
  • Comparator automata in quantitative verification 

    Vardi, Moshe Y.; Chaudhuri, Swarat; Bansal, Suguman (2022)
    The notion of comparison between system runs is fundamental in formal verification. This concept is implicitly present in the verification of qualitative systems, and is more pronounced in the verification of quantitative systems. In this work, we identify a novel mode of comparison in quantitative systems: the online comparison of the aggregate ...
  • Inhibition of biofouling on reverse osmosis membrane surfaces by germicidal ultraviolet light side-emitting optical fibers 

    Rho, Hojung; Yu, Pingfeng; Zhao, Zhe; Lee, Chung-Seop; Chon, Kangmin; (2022)
    Biofouling of membrane surfaces poses significant operational challenges and costs for desalination and wastewater reuse applications. Ultraviolet (UV) light can control biofilms while reducing chemical usage and disinfection by-products, but light deliveries to membrane surfaces in spiral wound geometries has been a daunting challenge. Thin and ...
  • Evolutionary power spectral density estimation using energy spectrum equation 

    Spanos, Pol D.; Di Matteo, Alberto; Zhang, Hanshu; Yue, Qingxia; Pirrotta, Antonina (2021)
    In this paper a novel approach is developed for the determination of evolutionary power spectra (EPS) of non-stationary random processes that can be used as models of earthquake accelerograms. Specifically, the spectra are estimated by considering the statistical moments of the energy of lightly damped linear systems (filters) excited by the stochastic ...
  • A Decarbonization Roadmap for Taiwan and Its Energy Policy Implications 

    Lau, Hon Chung; Tsai, Steve C. (2022)
    The objective of this paper is to propose a decarbonization roadmap for Taiwan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 by analyzing the status of fossil and non-fossil energies, screening applicable decarbonization technologies for their effectiveness, and then proposing an energy mix for the future. The novelty of this work lies in the screening ...
  • Real-time detection of response regulator phosphorylation dynamics in live bacteria 

    Butcher, Ryan J.; Tabor, Jeffrey J. (2022)
    Bacteria utilize two-component system (TCS) signal transduction pathways to sense and adapt to changing environments. In a typical TCS, a stimulus induces a sensor histidine kinase (SHK) to phosphorylate a response regulator (RR), which then dimerizes and activates a transcriptional response. Here, we demonstrate that oligomerization-dependent ...
  • A wearable textile-based pneumatic energy harvesting system for assistive robotics 

    Shveda, Rachel A.; Rajappan, Anoop; Yap, Te Faye; Liu, Zhen; Bell, Marquise D.; (2022)
    Wearable assistive, rehabilitative, and augmentative devices currently require bulky power supplies, often making these tools more of a burden than an asset. This work introduces a soft, low-profile, textile-based pneumatic energy harvesting system that extracts power directly from the foot strike of a user during walking. Energy is harvested with a ...
  • Systematic comparison of CRISPR-based transcriptional activators uncovers gene-regulatory features of enhancer–promoter interactions 

    Wang, Kaiyuan; Escobar, Mario; Li, Jing; Mahata, Barun; Goell, Jacob; (2022)
    Nuclease-inactivated CRISPR/Cas-based (dCas-based) systems have emerged as powerful technologies to synthetically reshape the human epigenome and gene expression. Despite the increasing adoption of these platforms, their relative potencies and mechanistic differences are incompletely characterized, particularly at human enhancer–promoter pairs. Here, ...
  • Modes of Selection in Tumors as Reflected by Two Mathematical Models and Site Frequency Spectra 

    Kurpas, Monika K.; Kimmel, Marek (2022)
    The tug-of-war model was developed in a series of papers of McFarland and co-authors to account for existence of mutually counteracting rare advantageous driver mutations and more frequent slightly deleterious passenger mutations in cancer. In its original version, it was a state-dependent branching process. Because of its formulation, the tug-of-war ...
  • Understanding fragility and engineering activation stability in two-dimensional covalent organic frameworks 

    Zhu, Dongyang; Zhang, Jun-Jie; Wu, Xiaowei; Yan, Qianqian; Liu, Fangxin; (2022)
    The sensitivity of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) to pore collapse during activation processes is generally termed activation stability, and activation stability is important for achieving and maintaining COF crystallinity and porosity which are relevant to a variety of applications. However, current understanding of COF stability during activation ...
  • Plasmonically Enhanced Hydrogen Evolution with an Al–TiO2-Based Photoelectrode 

    Yuan, Lin; Kuriakose, Anvy; Zhou, Jingyi; Robatjazi, Hossein; Nordlander, Peter; (2022)
    Photoelectrochemical water splitting, as a method for producing clean hydrogen, could benefit from both plasmon-enhanced processes and the incorporation of earth-abundant materials in photoelectrode design. Here we report a n-TiO2/aluminum (Al) nanodisk/p-GaN photoelectrode sandwich device that exhibits enhanced H2 generation efficiencies due to a ...
  • Hydrated Anions: From Clusters to Bulk Solution with Quasi-Chemical Theory 

    Gomez, Diego T.; Pratt, Lawrence R.; Asthagiri, Dilipkumar N.; Rempe, Susan B. (2022)
    ConspectusThe interactions of hydrated ions with molecular and macromolecular solution and interface partners are strong on a chemical energy scale. Here, we recount the foremost ab initio theory for the evaluation of the hydration free energies of ions, namely, quasi-chemical theory (QCT). We focus on anions, particularly halides but also the hydroxide ...
  • Seismic fragility assessment of typical bridges in Northeastern Brazil 

    Cavalcante, Gustavo Henrique Ferreira; Pereira, Eduardo Marques Vieira; Rodrigues, Isabela Durci; Vieira Júnior, Luiz Carlos Marcos; Padgett, Jamie Ellen; (2022)
    This paper presents a seismic fragility assessment of bridges commonly found in Northeastern Brazil. A generic three-dimensional nonlinear finite-element model is generated in OpenSees to enable variation of geometric features and component modeling. A parametric analysis is performed to evaluate the impact of the geometric and physical variations ...

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