From the Chair

Marcie O'Malley
Marcia O’Malley,
Department Chair

Mechanical Engineering has been a fundamental part of Rice since its founding more than 100 years ago. The Department of Mechanical Engineering combines high educational standards with research distinction and service to the community. 

As one of the broadest engineering disciplines, mechanical engineering addresses critical issues facing society today in order to benefit humanity tomorrow. At Rice University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, our purpose is to make innovative contributions to fields such as energy and the environment, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, and biocompatible robotics to improve the world around us. From smart fabrics to wearable robotic devices, our faculty and students are at the forefront of making tomorrow’s technologies a reality. 

Our faculty are conducting groundbreaking research in a wide range of areas, including biomedical systems, aerospace engineering, computational fluid dynamics, thermo-fluid sciences and more. Collaboration is a cornerstone of our department, and we put students at the center of research opportunities. Mechanical engineering students learn to embrace creative problem-solving techniques beyond the classroom, using their engineering skills to tackle real-world challenges. 

The Mechanical Engineering Department is proud to be ranked the #24 Best Mechanical Engineering Graduate Program (U.S. News & World Report, 2024), and our esteemed faculty include six NSF Career Award winners. With our inspiring faculty and dedicated research community, we are excited about even greater things to come.

Marcia O’Malley
Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Thomas Michael Panos Family Professor in Mechanical Engineering