Cement and Concrete Trailblazer With 26 Patents Dies at 94

Edward K. Rice, founder of CTS Cement Manufacturing Co. of Garden Grove, California, and a visionary who held 26 cement and concrete patents, has died. He was 94.

headshot of Rice

Rice, P.E., FACI, F.ASCE, recognized that improving concrete structures required progress in cement chemistry. CTS focused on shrinkage-compensating and rapid-setting concretes based on calcium sulfoaluminate. Rapid Set cement was used in the rebuilding of the Santa Monica Freeway bridges after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and has been in use nationwide ever since. In 2010 Rice sold the company to his employees and became chairman emeritus.

An ASCE Life Member who joined in 1949 and an active member of EWRI, Rice’s patents were in cement, concrete and building technology, and included a widely used system for stacking table-like modules to build demountable, efficient parking structures.  shrinkage compensating cements, rapid hardening cements, quality control during the production of calcium sulfoaluminate cements, and new cements.

In the 1960s, Rice tackled another urban problem when he created a system for rehabilitating New York City tenement housing. This and other contributions to solving problems of urban construction earned him an appointment to the Presidential Commission on Low Income Housing.

A strong supporter of academia, Rice was named Distinguished Engineering Alumnus at UC Berkeley. He received the UCLA Engineering Service Award in 2002 for 50 years of service to UCLA, and the UCLA Lifetime Contribution Award in 2013. The Linda and Edward K. Rice Chair was endowed at the UCLA School of Engineering, as well as the Bescher Fellowship in Materials Science.

He received many award for his innovative work on cement and concrete. In 2013, he received an honorary membership in the ASTM C01 Committee on Cement. He was an honorary member of the American Concrete Institute and was elected an inaugural member of the Hall of Fame of the Post-Tensioning Institute (Legends of Post-Tensioning) in 2005.

Perhaps above all, Rice was a devoted family man. He was also an avid world traveler, which fed his boundless curiosity for exploration and world cultures.


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