Like many engineers, Marcelo R. Fernandes, a third-year doctoral student in mechanical engineering (MECH), is an idealist with a practical bent. He sees a problem – in his case, the pressing need for renewable energy – and goes about solving it systematically.
MECH senior and undergraduate researcher Andrew Corbató studies Rayleigh–Bénard convection. Using the fluid- and heat-transfer physics learned in MECH and mathematical techniques learned in CAAM, Corbató now enjoys doing research at the intersection of these areas.
“I looked at 13 different schools, and when I hit Rice, I ranked everything else on a scale of one to Rice,” said MECH senior Gigi Rill. “I love the culture here so much,” she said. “You get to meet so many passionate people and they want to share what they do with you. And that changes you. You learn things and you grow.”
“I would recommend that new students carve out their own path. Don’t feel pressured to pursue any pre-set track,” she said. “Learn about things that are interesting to you and find things that you are passionate about, even if it’s outside of your field.”
Last year, Devon Merz was in his business communication class when his professor announced that an internship was available with the KIPP Houston Public Schools. The organization wanted a student who could create a system to crunch data.