Wiess School of Natural Sciences
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Biochemistry & Cell Biology
Earth Science
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Physics & Astronomy

Center for Research Support

The Center for Research Support will be comprised of the current Research Support Shop, better known as the Machine Shop, and a new Advanced Development Center. The Center for Research Support is located in the basement of Space Science.

The Research Support Shop will continue to provide its traditional set of fabrication services.  

The new Advanced Development Center, directed by Christopher Harris, will provide a new set of services that encompass design (computer-aided-design, PCB layout, schematic capture, systems design and analysis, component and/or system level simulation), assembly of systems (metal fabrication, new types of computer-aided manufacturing), and technical support for equipment repairs/service. The rate for these services will also be $60/hour.

The RSS and ADC will coordinate to provide a seamless process for technical design and fabrication.

Research Support Shop

Rice’s Research Support Shop, better known as the Machine Shop, has a full-time team of highly skilled technicians who create precision tools and machines that help Rice scientists complete their research and experiments. 

The Research Support team provides services ranging from simply drilling a hole to creating complex scientific instruments. Almost every job completed is one-of-a-kind, created to serve a unique purpose in a specific lab for a particular piece of research.

The shop is self-supported by revenue earned by providing services to all schools and laboratories on campus, although Natural Sciences and Engineering are high-volume users.

They also offer an annual six-week class for graduate students seeking an introduction to his team’s services and products. In the 36 hour course, students learn basic machine shop tool skills and how to make simple machine parts for their experiments.

Service Rate: $60/hour


  • Hurco CNC Milling Machine
  • Bridgeport Milling Machines
  • Hardinge HLV Precision Lathes
  • LeBlond Lathes
  • Vertical Band Saw
  • Horizontal Cutoff Saw
  • Tool Grinders
  • Belt Sander
  • Hydraulic Press


  • Precision Machining
  • EDM Machining (Electrical Discharge Machining)
  • Sheetmetal Fabrications
  • TIG Welding
  • Metal Finishing

The RSS has a material stockroom where miscellaneous shop supplies can be purchased. If your needs require materials not in stock, a special order can be placed.

Materials on hand

  • Raw materials such as Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Copper, and Brass
  • Fasteners such as a variety of screws, bolts, washers, and nuts
  • Materials not on hand can be special ordered

Space Science Building basement, Rm.106
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5 pm
Phone: 713.348.4051