Interdisciplinary design projects
Our students work on design teams organized around core themes such as energy and sustainability, robotics, infrastructure and health. These teams may consist of students from several engineering disciplines, mimicking what they will encounter as practicing engineers. Many times these teams mimic "real-world" teams, which helps our students prepare for jobs in industry.
To meet the demand for engineers who are effective communicators, our students are coached in oral presentation and writing in a way that not only enhances their speaking skills, but teaches them how to support their ideas and assertions with data and logical argument.
Business planning and entrepreneurship
Through collaboration with the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, our students are coached in real-world business planning and entrepreneurship. Many of our students are required to participate in an annual elevator or pitch competition focused primarily on undergraduate engineering design, which gives the students the opportunity to practice the skills involved in communicating about a project.
Interaction with industry professionals
Our students are engaged from day one and throughout their academic careers, collaborating with industry professionals including engineers, business people, attorneys and physicians on focused design projects. Professionals from these fields consult with the students as they conceive, design and test prototypes to solve their design challenges
To enrich leadership, communication, presentation and teamwork skills, our students are encouraged to participate in design competitions, both at Rice and nationally. Each year our design teams compete in an Engineering Design Showcase at Rice, featuring 80-100 teams and judged by industry and community partners.