Awards & Honors

Distinction in Research and Creative Works in CEE

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will recognize graduating seniors for outstanding creative contributions with the significant honor of “Distinction in Research and Creative Works in CEE.” It will be awarded to no more than 20 percent of a graduating class. This award shall be given for significant contributions in research, design and creative projects beyond routine class assignments (except CEVE 499).

Application & Nomination 

To be considered for this distinction, a students must: 

  • Declare their intention to apply for this distinction by notifying the department office in writing ( one week prior to Spring Break the semester of their expected graduation.
  • Electronically submit ( a portfolio (single pdf) to the department by the end of the 10th week of the same spring semester.

This portfolio must include: 

  • A one-page abstract that is well written and that conciselysummarizes the work and the roles of all individuals involved (fellowundergraduate and graduate student collaborators, faculty advisors,other mentors, etc.)
  • Copies of all papers, final reports, etc. from research and designprojects. These must have been completed while the applicant was anundergraduate at Rice but may have been conducted off campus withnon-Rice collaborators. Links to code, videos, etc. also are acceptable.It is better if the Departmental Awards Committee has moreinformation on which to base a decision; however, it is important tostress quality over quantity.

In addition, the applicant should arrange for one or more letters from faculty advisors to be sent to the department ( by the same due date. These letters should attest to the student’s contribution to the project. 

After all application materials are received, the Department Awards Committee will consider all applications. Based on the portfolio submitted and the expectations outlined below, the Committee will provide (prior to the end of the 12th week of classes) to the Department Chair a list of students to receive this distinction. Final approval rests with the Chair. 


Many CEE students conduct undergraduate research and/or projects during the academic year and over the summer. In their portfolio abstract, applicants must demonstrate how their contributions go above and beyond the norm and how they are truly distinguished. Examples could include, but are not limited to: 

  • Publication of an article in the research literature (either conventional journal or one focused on undergraduates; consideration will be given to manuscripts that have been submitted) 
  • Presentation of the work at a regional or national conference 
  • Publication of the work in a Rice research journal 
  • Winning of an award at the Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium or other special Rice symposium 
  • Receiving an award from an ASCE-sponsored competition, such as Concrete Canoe 

Rice Global Forum Scholarships

Each spring, the Rice Global Forum awards partial tuition scholarships to deserving students in the Rice School of Engineering, ranging in value from $500 to $8,000. In special cases, if a full $8,000 scholarship is awarded, it can be accompanied with a tuition waiver (one-semester tuition fee) for research master's students (with the approval of the RGF university liaison). In addition to the partial tuition scholarships, one $8,000 research scholarship is awarded.

Department Awarded Scholarships for Undergraduates

  • James Redding Sims Scholarship Fund
  • William G. Harding Scholarship in Civil Engineering
  • Walter J. Austin Memorial Endowed Scholarship

Note: These will be awarded at Chi Epsilon Annual banquet each Spring. Committee selection/No application process.

Student Club Awards/Honors (Spring)

  • ASCE
  • Chi Epsilon