Establishing the Society of Women in Space Exploration (SWISE) Rice Chapter

Society of Women In Space Exploration Rice Chapter (SWISE Rice)

Women make up about 25% of the aerospace industry. These figures have been rather static in the last 20 years. In this male-dominated industry, we want to reach out to students and let them know that times are changing and there is room for women in the industry.

Founded in June 2020, SWISE Rice aims to provide a platform to women and other diversities in STEM to talk and discuss current trends, issues, and be able to have open conversations about career paths. We want to promote and encourage diversity in an otherwise male-dominated sector.

We plan on hosting events that help students connect to industry professionals and ask them questions about careers and their journey. These include but are not limited to guest lectures, panel discussions, and group discussions. We also want to showcase and celebrate the achievements and diversity in the industry through outreach programs and movie nights. We want to reach out to middle and high school students and make them aware of the different opportunities in STEM.

SWISE Rice is an official affiliate of SEDS Rice and all SWISE members receive the full benefits of SEDS Rice members. To become involved with SWISE Rice, connect with us today!

Feni Pandya
SEDS Rice | Vice President

SEDS Rice Spring 2020 Update

Dear Friends of SEDS Rice,

I hope you are all safe and well during these difficult times. While the global pandemic greatly altered all our lives, our members persevered and accomplished many goals during the Spring 2020.

I am proud to share that the SEDS Rice OwlSat CubeSat team was selected in the 11th round of the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative in February. OwlSat was one of 18 satellites selected to earn a ride share as an auxiliary payload on a launch vehicle sponsored by NASA. OwlSat’s primary mission is to gather extreme ultraviolet radiation data from the sun to enable researchers to develop more accurate orbital prediction models using machine learning. The team continues to achieve milestones and is preparing for a full design review in early Fall of this year. Students, faculty, alumni, and staff are encouraged to send their name to space on the OwlSat CubeSat set to launch in January 2022.

Additionally, SEDS Rice has undertaken two new projects this semester. SEDS has formed two new competition rover teams to compete in the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge and the NASA Robotics Mining Rover Competition in the Spring of 2021. Both teams have begun designing their rovers and are excited to represent Rice at these competitions.

SEDS started a new lecture series named the SEDS Lecture Series to connect students to professors in space related careers. This panel informed students about the many pathways into aerospace careers. SEDS officers also spoke with students at Seven Lakes High School to inspire them to engage with space.

On February 22nd, SEDS hosted the 2020 Owls in Space Symposium with Keynote Speaker NASA Johnson Space Center Director Mark Geyer and Special Guest NASA Deputy Associate Administrator Melanie Saunders. The Symposium improved upon the inaugural symposium and gained a great increase in student attendance from universities across Texas including 5 SEDS chapters and the SEDS-USA Executive Director. With 15 companies in attendance during the dedicated networking session, over 200 students connected with aerospace professionals. SEDS will release more information about the 2021 Owls in Space Symposium in the Fall of this year.

While the world pandemic caused new challenges, I am proud of our resilient SEDS members. The team’s commitment earned the chapter the inaugural SEDS-USA Chapter of the Month Award and the Rice Student Activities Program of the Year Award. I personally would like to thank all our members for their continued passion to connect students with space.

SEDS Rice thanks all our supporters and sponsors throughout the Spring of 2020 and a special thanks to Dr. David Alexander and the Rice Space Institute team for supporting the program since its founding. Make sure to connect with SEDS Rice and thank you all for your continued support.


Ryan Udell

President | SEDS Rice

SEDS Rice 2019 Update

Dear Friends of SEDS Rice,

I am proud to share SEDS Rice’s accomplishments for the 2019 year. In this timeframe, club membership grew from 5 to over 40 active members today. Additionally, the team had many accomplishments in both technical and non-technical fields.

In the beginning of 2019, SEDS began a proposal to develop the OwlSat CubeSat, Rice’s first student built nanosatellite designed to analyze the relationship between extreme ultraviolet radiation and satellite drag in Low Earth Orbit. The team entered the Astranis SEDS-Sat 2 national competition sponsored by Astranis, SEDS-USA, and NanoRacks to earn a flight on a launch vehicle. Out of 13 proposals submitted, the Rice University team placed 2nd and tied with the joint team from MIT, Tufts, and Northeastern. In the Fall of 2019, SEDS Rice improved the previous proposal and submitted it to the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative to earn a spot on a launch vehicle to space.

In April of 2019, SEDS Rice hosted the inaugural Owls in Space Symposium with keynote speaker Jim Bridenstine, the 13th NASA Administrator and Rice Alum. The Symposium aims to connect space industry professionals local to Houston with enthusiastic students to build lasting relationships. Over 200 students attended the Symposium which comprised of over 45 space professionals, 3 astronauts, and 11 aerospace companies.

SEDS Rice will be hosting the 2nd Owls in Space Symposium on February 22, 2020 with keynote Mark Geyer, the 12th Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Admission is free for all and the RSVP link is currently open on Eventbrite.

With increasing interest in the space industry, SEDS aims to expand its technical projects and events in the new year. SEDS intends to connect aerospace related fields across Rice in new and innovative ways.

SEDS Rice thanks all of our supporters and sponsors throughout the past year and hopes to continue these relationships throughout 2020. SEDS greatly thanks Dr. David Alexander and the Rice Space Institute team for supporting the program since its founding.

Start 2020 right by connecting with SEDS Rice. Thank you for all of your continued support.

Ryan Udell
President, SEDS Rice

We Are SEDS Rice

SEDS Rice is dedicated to increasing access to space at Rice University. SEDS Rice sponsors Spaceport Lectures on campus and enables student engagement with industry professionals.