Energy and Water Sustainability

Energy and Water Sustainability

Jorge Loyo Rosales
Program Director

The interdisciplinary program in Energy and Water Sustainability is offered by the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department in collaboration with several other Rice University departments.  

Sustainable development is a societal goal that challenges traditional ways of thinking and requires alternative approaches and solutions to balance environmental, economic, and social interests. Carbon management strategies and renewable resources will be key elements of energy policy for the coming decades. Similarly, the long-term viability of existing water use and human settlement patterns must be reconsidered given the effect of climate change in freshwater availability, as well as increasing competing demands for this limited resource. More generally, the dedication of materials, energy, and ecological resources will become more important in economic decision-making, while more and more members of society will demand equity in decision-making processes.

Students studying Energy and Water Sustainability will gain knowledge of both the science and policy issues associated with the evaluation of sustainable energy and water strategies that will form a cornerstone of 21st century social systems. Students completing this program will be better prepared for a global society that is attempting to understand and address the challenge of meeting basic human needs today and in the future while maintaining a functional natural system and social order.

Energy and Water Sustainability does not currently offer an academic program at the graduate level.


Jorge Loyo Rosales, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Undergraduate Advisors

Pedro J.J. Alvarez, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Jorge Loyo Rosales, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Steering Committee

Philip B. Bedient, Civil and Environmental Engineering
James B. Blackburn, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Walter G. Chapman, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Daniel S. Cohan, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Kenneth R. Cox, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Leonardo A. Dueñas-Osorio, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Peter Reginald Hartley, Economics
George J. Hirasaki, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 
Qilin Li, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Caroline A. Masiello, Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences
Ka-Yiu San, Bioengineering
Edmund Segner, III, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Robert M. Stein, Political Science
William W. Symes, Computational and Applied Mathematics
Mason B. Tomson, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Rick K. Wilson, Political Science
Kyriacos Zygourakis, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

For Rice University degree-granting programs:
To view the list of official course offerings, please see Rice’s Course Catalog
To view the most recent semester’s course schedule, please see Rice's Course Schedule

Description and Code Legend

Note: Internally, the university uses the following descriptions, codes, and abbreviations for this academic program. The following is a quick reference: 

Course Catalog/Schedule 

  • Course offerings/subject codes: Courses from various subjects may apply towards this program  

Department (or Program) Description and Code 

  • Energy and Water Sustainability: EWSU 

Undergraduate Minor Description and Code

  • Minor in Energy and Water Sustainability: EWSU 

CIP Code and Description1

  • EWSU Minor: CIP Code/Title: 30.3301 - Sustainability Studies