About the Institute

RWI Logo

Welcome to the Rice WaTER Institute, where water, technologies, entrepreneurship, and research converge to shape the future of sustainable water treatment. Launched in January 2024, our institute stands out by transcending traditional approaches to water challenges. Unlike other regional centers that focus on specific problems or industries, we adopt a comprehensive perspective, addressing cross-cutting fundamental challenges with technological innovation at the core.

Our commitment to advancing water treatment is evident in our focus on technological innovation, utilizing advanced materials and novel processes. We aim to revolutionize water treatment by transitioning from large, chemical and energy-intensive methods to compact catalytic and selective separation modules. This shift not only ensures clean water on demand but also enhances fit-for-purpose treatment, boosting treatment capacity and cost-efficiency.

At the heart of the Rice WaTER Institute is our dedication to fostering entrepreneurship in the water technology sector. We provide a platform for individuals and companies to commercialize innovative water technologies, bridging the gap between groundbreaking research and practical applications. This unique combination of research, technology, and entrepreneurship positions us at the forefront of the water treatment landscape.

NEWT Logo
Background

Since its inception in 2015 with a substantial $37 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) spanning a decade, the Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) center has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of water treatment research and development. NEWT's commitment to excellence and innovation has propelled it to international acclaim, earning recognition for its dedication to developing and integrating advanced materials and novel processes. The primary objective has always been to ensure reliable, affordable access to clean water, a mission that has become increasingly critical in addressing global water challenges.

NEWT's influence extends beyond the academic realm, with a robust network of industrial affiliates. These partnerships contribute not only to the center's financial sustainability but also foster collaborative projects that bridge the gap between academia and industry.

Spanning across four universities—Rice, Arizona State University (ASU), Yale, and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)—NEWT operates within 30 faculty labs, 13 of which are based at Rice University. NEWT's dedication to practical implementation is further underscored by providing real-world environments for testing and refining technological innovations.

NEWT's impact is not confined to the laboratory; the center has left an indelible mark on academic literature and technology transfer. With over 700 research papers, 45 patent disclosures, and the establishment of six spinoff companies, NEWT has significantly contributed to the advancement of water treatment science. Moreover, the center has been instrumental in shaping the next generation of leaders in the field, boasting a remarkable 754 student years, with 24 former students serving as faculty members across academic institutions.

NEWT's legacy is its enduring influence on the Rice WaTER Institute. Our mission is to lead cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research and technological innovation at the intersection of water with public health, energy transitions, and resilient infrastructure, and be a trusted partner that promotes economic growth and equity.

The vision of the Rice WaTER Institute is to be a premier innovation ecosystem that develops accessible clean water technologies that enhance human capacity and prosperity. Our aspiration id to economically create clean water on demand. Our mission is to conduct multidisciplinary research at the intersection of water with global health, energy transitions, and resilient infrastructure for cities of the future, and be a trusted partner that promotes economic growth and equity.

Join us on this transformative journey at the Rice WaTER Institute.

VISITING OUR OFFICES

The Rice WaTER Institute is located on the campus of Rice University inside the Lovett Hall Building.

Click interactive map for directions.

Parking

The best option for visitor parking is available in the Founder’s Court Visitor Lot in front of Cohen House Faculty Club (adjacent to Lovett Hall). To access the lot, enter campus through entrance No. 1 or No. 2 from Main Street; the lot will be located on the left. You will need to provide a credit card to enter the lot.Visitors can expect to pay about $5 per hour for parking with a maximum daily limit of $12. Parking lots only accept credit or debit cards.

LOVETT HALL 2ND & 3RD FLOOR

Entrance D

Walking towards Lovett, you can enter the courtyard through the sallyport and turn right towards Entrance D. Offices are on the second and third floor and only accessible by stairs. Building Entrance D - take steps up through double wooden doors to the 2nd floor. The first door on the left is the office entrance. Men’s restrooms are located on the first floor and Women’s restrooms are on the 2nd floor. All meetings are by appointment.

CONTACT

Rice University
Rice WaTER Institute
6100 Main Street, MS 7940
Houston, Texas 77005

Phone: 713-348-7940
Email: rwi@rice.edu

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Plans to move RWI Offices are set for Summer 2024. The future offices and labs will be located in the Ralph S. O'Connor Building for Engineering and Science.