Engineering: Solving Real-World Problems

Engineering is as old as the pyramids, and as new as our robotic workforce. This field’s trail of innovation has taken us from the beginning of time to modern-day advances. In this course, you’ll learn how engineers work to solve real-world problems, learn the fundamental concepts, and explore the many engineering disciplines. Finally, you’ll choose a Capstone Project that will have you build your own robot, or determine how to provide clean drinking water in an environment devoid of access. 

Our engineering course is coming in Fall 2024.

Program Dates

Multi-length courses available throughout the year


For students ages 13 and up



Delve Into the World of Engineering

Explore the Many Engineering Disciplines

Understand the core concepts, tools, and ideas that inform all engineering disciplines. Learn the essential science and math skills required to identify problems, then design and build solutions.

Learn the Fundamentals of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Study examples of chemical engineering and bioengineering innovations. Meet chemical engineers and bioengineers, and learn about the challenges they are working to solve.  

Discover the World of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Delve into the fundamentals of mechanical and materials engineering, and how they solve engineering design problems. Gain insight into the work mechanical or materials engineers do daily.

Understand Electrical and Computer Engineering

Learn the fundamental concepts of electrical and computer engineering.  Discover specific innovations developed by electrical and computer engineers, and ascertain career opportunities within these disciplines.

Examine Civil and Environmental Engineering

Review the fundamental concepts in civil and environmental engineering. Study current challenges that civil and environmental engineers are working to solve, transforming the world around us.

Explore Potential Careers in Engineering

Topics covered in this course will help you define the various engineering disciplines and explore the many careers available like aerospace, computer, nuclear, or chemical engineering.

How You Will Benefit

  • Learn the fundamental concepts from various disciplines of engineering.
  • Understand how engineers are working to solve real-world challenges such as climate change.
  • Delve into the foundational science and math required to be an engineer: physics, chemistry, mechanics, calculus.
  • Discover how engineers solve problems: analyze, design, build.
  • Delve into the ideas that serve as building blocks for each engineering discipline.
  • Hear from real-world engineers and learn about the different career paths available.

Three Learning Advantages Designed for You

Capstone Project

Choose from two options:

Build a Human-Like Robot: 

  • Equip the robot with sensors to detect the five senses.
  • Ensure that the frame is made of hard materials, but the exterior is soft, like human skin. 
  • Provide Clean Water:
  • Determine how to provide clean drinking water in an environment devoid of access.
  • Review potential sources and strategies to clean and purify it for drinking.
  • Address bacterial growth and contamination, salt removal, and toxic contaminants.


You’ll receive guidance from a mentor who can support you and deepen your learning experience. You can expect:

  • Encouragement and direction on all assignments. 
  • Inspiration, motivation, and confidence to help you excel in your studies. 
  • Brainstorming and ideation to help you prepare for your capstone project.

Flexible Learning

  • 100% online learning that works with your schedule.
  • Flexible format: you’ll learn through video lectures that allow you to tune in anytime that works for you.
  • 20-30 hours of total instruction and course work, 
  • Tech-forward interactions, including engaging multimedia, real-life simulations, and curated assignments.
  • Guidance and support from mentors.

Apply Now for the Next Available Course

We currently have no available cohorts. Please check back for more cohort options in the coming months.

Professor Rafael Verduzco

Course Designed by Rice University Faculty

Rafael Verduzco

Professor and Associate Chair, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Professor, Materials Science & Nanoengineering

Professor Verduzco received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 2007, studying liquid crystal polymer gels. He received his B.S. in chemical engineering from Rice University in 2001. Rafael then went on to a postdoctoral position in the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, where he studied bent-core liquid crystals, water-soluble  dendrimers for drug delivery, and conjugated polymeric materials for organic electronics. 

The Verduzco laboratory uses a combination of polymer chemistry and multi-scale characterization tools to broadly address challenges in polymer science; and current areas of research include polymers for microbial bioelectronics, polymeric membranes for water treatment, and bottlebrush polymer additives for surface modification.

Want to Know More?

Sign up for more information and we’ll be in touch.


Our application process is easy. You can expect a prompt decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will you be graded? What are assignments like? How much time do you have to turn around a project? When do you find out if you’re admitted? Find answers to your questions here.


We offer need-based scholarships in each cohort to students exhibiting high potential and an inability to pay full tuition. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship but you:

  • Haven’t applied to the program, complete your application now. The scholarship application is included.
  • Applied to the program and didn’t fill out a scholarship request, resume your application and click “Apply for Scholarship”.
  • Are unsure about whether or not you applied for a scholarship, reach out to us at for assistance.