Dateline Rice for Jan. 30, 2018


Rice University heads the list of top 10 colleges in Texas
Rice is No. 1 among the top 10 colleges and universities in Texas, according to the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education, which compiled the state ranking on the basis of Texas schools’ placement in the WSJ/THE national college rankings for 2018 that were published in September 2017. Rice was No. 14 in that national ranking.
Wall Street Journal (Subscription is required.)

Heavy nitrogen molecules reveal planetary-scale tug-of-war
Laurence Yeung, assistant professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, and colleagues at Rice, UCLA, Michigan State University and the University of New Mexico counted rare molecules in the atmosphere that contain only heavy isotopes of nitrogen and discovered a planetary-scale tug-of-war between life, the deep Earth and the upper atmosphere that is expressed in atmospheric nitrogen. Yeung and postdoctoral research associate Huanting Hu are quoted in a video.
National Science Foundation (This was featured as “Today’s Video” on Science360 News.)


Amateur astronomer finds long-lost NASA satellite
Patricia Reiff, professor of physics and astronomy, is quoted in an article on IMAGE, a NASA spacecraft that monitored space weather before going silent in 2005. The satellite recently was detected by an amateur astronomer. Reiff was a member of the original IMAGE team at Rice.
Smithsonian (Similar articles appeared in more than 10 other media outlets.)
Amateur astronomer finds NASA satellite long given up for dead
National Public Radio
Astronomer searching for missing ZUMA finds signal from long-lost IMAGE satellite; NASA alerted
International Business Times
NASA IMAGE: Long-lost satellite tech is so old NASA can’t read it

Rick Perry’s home state doesn’t want him taking over its grid
Peter Hartley, the George and Cynthia Mitchell Chair in Sustainable Development, is quoted in an article on fears among Texas regulators that the state power grid could become subject to federal oversight.
Bloomberg (This article also appeared in Newsmax.)

Texas Republicans censure House leader who blocked ‘bathroom bill’
Mark Jones, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies, professor of political science, fellow in political science at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and fellow at Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, is quoted on the censure of Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio. Jones also is quoted in an article on Democratic U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s re-election bid.
Texas GOP chief speaks after historic censure of Speaker Straus
Texas Monitor
Texas Republican party leaders censure outgoing House Speaker Joe Straus
Texas Public Radio
KRLD-AM (Dallas) (Click the audio button to listen to the broadcast, which also aired on KLBJ-AM in Austin.)
Challenges Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee will face for 2018 re-election

Who is Rep. Joe Kennedy III?
Paul Brace, the Clarence L. Carter Professor of Political Science, is quoted in an article on U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, who will deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. Brace also is quoted in a WOAI article on the address.
U.S. News and World Report
Border wall proposal expected to be front and center at State of Union

It might be time to retire private jets
Pedro Alvarez, director of Rice’s NEWT Center and the George R. Brown Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is quoted in an article on the environmental impact of private jets.


Harvey damage may force Harris County to slow spending growth
Jim Blackburn, a professor in the practice of environmental law and the co-director of Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters Center, is quoted. Blackburn leads the nonprofit Bayou City Initiative, which sponsored a meeting on flood preparedness Jan. 29. Blackburn also is quoted in a KPRC article and video on the economic and regulatory impact of flooding in Houston.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the San Antonio Express-News, and it appeared in the Jan. 30 print edition of the Chronicle with a different headline, “County to slow outlays in wake of flood.”)
Q&A: Your voice in flood control discussions
KPRC-TV (Houston) (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.) (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)

Tiny antibiotic beads fight infections after joint replacement
An article on antibiotic beads that are implanted after joint-replacement operations mentions that Antonios Mikos, the Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, participated in the development of the beads.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

Facebook has invented a new unit of time, ‘the flick.’ Why stop there?
Jennifer Latson, an editor at the Jones Graduate School of Business’ Rice Business Wisdom, co-authored a tongue-in-cheek article offering suggestions for Facebook.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared in the Chronicle’s “Gray Matters” online magazine.)

Tuesday letters: Personal choices, America first, commuter rail
A photo of former secretaries of state James A. Baker III, honorary chair of Rice’s Baker Institute for Foreign Policy, and Henry Kissinger at the opening of the Baker Institute is featured.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)


KHOU-TV (Houston)
The Houston Symphony’s live recording of Alban Berg’s “Wozzeck” won a Grammy Award Jan. 28 in the Best Opera Recording category. The chorus included students and alumni of Rice’s Shepherd School of Music. (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)

Iconic Midtown store not the only Sears to close doors for good
Utpal Dholakia, the George R. Brown Professor of Marketing at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business and a marketing and consumer behavior expert, is quoted in an article on the closure of a Sears store in Houston’s Midtown neighborhood.
Houston Public Media


Weak hydrogen bonds key to strong, tough infrastructure
The right mix of hydrogen bonds in polymer and cement composites is critical to making strong, tough and ductile infrastructure material, according to Rice scientists who want to mimic the mechanics of mother-of-pearl and similar natural composites with synthetic materials. Rouzbeh Shahsavari, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and of materials science and nanoengineering, is quoted. Graduate student Navid Sakhavand is mentioned. Shahsavari also is quoted in an article on white graphene’s effect on ceramic.
Nanotechnology Now (Similar articles appeared in more than 10 other media outlets.)
White graphene makes ceramic stronger and tougher
Materials Today

New super-strong aluminum alloy rivals stainless steel’s strength
Researchers created a super-strong aluminum alloy that rivals the strength of stainless steel. Ned Thomas, professor of materials science and nanoengineering and of chemical and biomolecular engineering, is a co-author of the study.
World Industrial Reporter (Similar articles appeared in Steel Guru and Next Big Future.)

The climate of climate in the 2018 election
Daniel Cohan, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is quoted in an article that mentions he organized the recent Houston Climate Forum. Cohan also is quoted in an op-ed on renewable energy forecasts.
Get Energy Smart! Now!
The tricky business of renewable energy forecasts and the inconsistencies of the practice
Energy Central

Hearing is believing in gene therapy’s promise
Gene editing could someday help people at risk of hearing loss from genetic mutations. Xue (Sherry) Gao, the Ted N. Law Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is co-lead author of a new Nature paper that reports on the promise of gene editing to treat autosomal dominant hearing diseases.
Audiology Online

Chemists put a novel twist on carbon nanotube fibers
The lab of Matteo Pasquali, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, of materials science and nanoengineering and of chemistry, developed a method to quickly produce strong, conductive fibers from carbon nanotubes. Pasquali and lead author and graduate student Robby Headrick are quoted.
Materials Today

Engineered bacteria to detect gut inflammation
The lab of Jeff Tabor, assistant professor of bioengineering and of biosciences, which engineered gut bacteria capable of sensing colitis in mice, is mentioned.
Public Library of Science


Angela Blanchard — ‘Shipwrecked: Rebuilding Lives After Disaster and Displacement’
Angela Blanchard, a member of the board of advisers at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, will speak Jan. 31 in Providence, R.I.
Brown University

“Miracle in Motion” continues after beloved priest’s death
David Warden, adjunct professor of engineering and economics, is quoted in a story about a book he co-authored with the late Father T.J. Martinez titled “Miracle in Motion: How To Live a Meaningful Life.”

If you are not learning — you are forgetting
President John F. Kennedy’s “Moon Speech” given at Rice Sept. 12, 1962, is mentioned.
The Blunt Bean Counter

In memoriam: Dennis John Kilper, professor emeritus in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies
Dennis John Kilper, who formerly taught at Rice, died Jan. 14.
Virginia Tech News


North Texas’ Conference USA basketball outlook
An article on the University of North Texas men’s basketball team mentions Rice faces the Mean Green Feb. 3 in Denton.
North Texas Daily

Lady Toppers excelling in C-USA road games
An article on the Western Kentucky University women’s basketball team mentions Rice will host the Lady Toppers Feb. 10 at Tudor Fieldhouse.
College Heights Herald

Strong arms lift No. 5 Mustangs
Baker College freshman Kel Bordwine, a member of the Rice baseball team, is mentioned.
Perfect Game

UCF baseball: Greg Lovelady praises pitching talent, offensive potential
An article on the University of Central Florida baseball team mentions Rice will compete against the Knights at the UCF Tournament Feb. 16-18 in Orlando, Fla.

Astros: Lance Berkman in retrospect. Where is the ‘Big Puma’ now?
Former Rice baseball player Lance Berkman is featured.

Lions add 3 assistants to future coach Matt Patricia’s staff, per SN source
Former Rice interim head coach and assistant coach Brian Stewart will join the Detroit Lions’ coaching staff.
Sporting News
Lions reportedly settle on new coaches for O-line, quarterbacks, defensive backs

Gundy adds 6 to staff, including former Duke defensive coordinator Knowles
Former Rice assistant football coach Chris Thurmond joined the staff at Oklahoma State University.
Stillwater News Press


Judge Ed Emmett to speak Feb. 21 at SSPEED’s Harvey conference at Rice
County Judge Ed Emmett ’71, Houston “flood czar” Stephen Costello and Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon will join dozens of experts Feb. 21-22 at Rice to discuss how the Houston region moves forward from 2017’s historic Hurricane Harvey flooding.

About Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is a senior editor in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.