Our Mission

 Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) Rice strives to empower undergraduate and graduate students to explore and engage in space disciplines both at Rice and abroad.


Our Purpose

The primary objective of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) Rice is to increase student passion for space disciplines in the Rice Community. Rice has a momentous history in the space industry dating from the creation of NASA and John F. Kennedy’s famous “We go to the Moon” speech in Rice Stadium. SEDS Rice aims to build on this history by providing students numerous opportunities to network with space industry professionals and share their ideas about space.


Ways to Get Involved

We have a multitude of technical projects we’re working on now, so click the “Projects” tab in the header to explore a few of the ways. Or, you can help us plan one of the largest student space conferences in the world, SpaceVision 2021. If you want something on a smaller scale, think about getting involved with planning our Symposiums or Lecture Series! Please Contact Us if you would like to join!


Our Officers 2020-2021


Ryan Udell, President

MechE ’21

Our President, Ryan Udell, is a senior from McMurtry College pursuing mechanical engineering and a certificate in the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership. He hails from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and he enjoys reading business books and watching rocketry videos in his spare time. As President, Ryan works tirelessly to empower others to reach their full potential by connecting them with numerous space opportunities on campus and abroad. Ryan aspires to reignite Rice University’s aerospace capabilities by increasing connections with the space industry.

Feni Pandya, Vice President

Space Studies Masters

Feni Pandya is a Professional Science Master’s student in Space Studies. She graduated with a B.Tech in Aerospace Engineering from Amity University Dubai. She was the President of an aerospace engineering club in her undergrad, Aero-club Amity Dubai. She led the team and organized events, including events for school kids, to enhance the students’ knowledge about aerospace concepts. She aims to become an astronaut and is interested in designing vehicles for faster space travel which will change the dynamics of exploring the universe.

Chima Adiole, Outreach Chair

MechE ’23

Chima Adiole is a sophomore from Baker College majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Her primary interests are in aerospace, sustainability, and renewable energy production. Alongside her officer position at SEDS, she is part of the mechanical team working on the OwlSat CubeSat this year. During her free time, Chima loves to listen to classical music and study world history. She looks forward to being a part of the many future developments in the space industry and encourages anyone with the slightest bit of interest in any of the club’s exciting projects to reach out and come on board!

Max Bowman, Secretary

Computational Physics, Materials Science ’23

SEDS secretary Max Bowman is a sophomore from Martel College interested in physics and materials science applications in the space industry. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Max’s passion for space began early with trips to the Adler Planetarium. Max fills his time with a combination of schoolwork, reading, fencing, and lab research. He is excited to help promote the SEDS mission of expanding the exploration of space disciplines on campus.

Juan De La Garza, Projects Chair

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering ’22

Our Projects Chair, Juan De La Garza is a junior from McMurtry College pursuing Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with a certificate in the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership. He is from Corpus Christi, Texas and his passion for aerospace lies in the innovation of propulsion systems. Juan works towards furthering Rice’s involvement and prodigious legacy in the space industry through SEDS-Rice. He aspires to play an integral role in advancing space exploration technology in order to learn more about humankind’s place among the stars.

Brandon Khek, Treasurer/Business Development Chair

Physics ’23

Brandon is a sophomore from McMurtry College pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Physics.  From Fairfax, Virginia, Brandon has always been interested in space and joined SEDS Rice in order to test his gravitation toward the field further. In his free time, Brandon likes to play tennis and chess, and is currently involved in other organizations around Rice such as BASYK Dance or McMurtry student government. As treasurer and business development chair, he hopes to facilitate easy transactions within the club and market SEDS Rice as a community that any student can be a part of.

Our Team Leads 2020-2021

OwlSat CubeSat


Douglas Steinbach, Co-Lead/Mechanical Lead

Materials Science and NanoEngineering PhD

Doug Steinbach is pursuing a PhD in materials science and nanoengineering. He obtained his B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Florida. He is the co-project lead and mechanical lead of the Owls’ cube satellite. In these roles, he is both overseeing the completion of the project and designing the structure of the satellite. When he isn’t in the research lab or working on the Owlsat you’ll find him exercising, spending time with friends, or calling his girlfriend. He intends to work in the private space industry after completing his PhD and before returning to academia to teach.

Eric Yang, Co-Lead

Computer Science ’23

Eric Yang is a sophomore from Sid Richardson College pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science. As co-lead of the OwlSat CubeSat project, he helps manage the overall progress of the satellite’s development. He also enjoys working on the electrical development of the OwlSat. Raised in Cupertino, California, in the Silicon Valley, Eric was introduced to engineering and technology at a young age from everyone around him. In his spare time, he enjoys speedcubing or doing astrophotography. He aspires to enter the aerospace industry after graduation, hoping to play a part in eventually making humans an interplanetary species.

Hoik Jang, Head Science Advisor

Space Studies/MBA

Hoik Jang is on coordinated degree on Space Studies and MBA as graduate student. He majored in Mechanical Engineering in Chung-Ang University in South Korea and he was a developer for a new user interface for CAD which used wireless physical blocks to build CAD models which allows easy access to designers. He also served U.S. Army in Korea(KATUSA) as an interpreter and analyst. He has watched the ‘Apollo 13’ dozens of times that lead him into space industry. He would like to lower the entry barrier to space industry for many people around the world developing a platform for them.


Human Exploration Rover


Emily Ellison, Project Lead

Mechanical Engineering ’23

Emily is a rising sophomore from Sid Richardson majoring in Mechanical engineering. Born and raised in Houston, Emily has always been fascinated with space. She also loves to design and build anything. Whether a project involves welding, kitting, wood working, painting, or CAD designing she enjoys picking up new skills and creating new things. She’s excited by the unlimited potential for learning and innovation in the space industry. Emily hopes to one day make a contribution to the future of space exploration. In her free time Emily can be found tinkering away on a random side project or in the OEDK designing and building puzzles for the Rice Escape Club’s escape rooms. As the lead for the Human Exploration Rover Challenge, she’s excited for the opportunity to tackle a fun design challenge and to compete in the upcoming competition with teams from other universities.


Our Team 2019-2020