Edward K. Rice, founder and Honorary Chairman of CTS Cement Manufacturing Co. in Cyprus, Calif., died last month in his Los Angeles home. His six-decade academic and civil engineering career started at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1943, just ahead of a World War II Army Air Corps tour of duty as a B-24 navigator.
Upon graduating from Berkeley in 1951 with a Master’s in Civil Engineering, he served as a lecturer in the University of California, Los Angeles School of Engineering (1951-1954), returning more than 30 years later to the UCLA Materials Science and Engineering Department as adjunct professor (1986-1990). He was named UC Berkeley Distinguished Engineering Alumnus in 1987, and received UCLA Engineering Service and Lifetime Contribution Awards in 2002 and 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.
Ed Rice cast an entrepreneurial backdrop to involvement in academia. In 1957, he co-founded T.Y. Lin and Associates, a San Francisco engineering consulting firm specializing in prestressed concrete. He invented and patented the first anchorage ever used in post-tensioning work with seven-wire strand, revolutionizing the use of unbonded P-T concrete construction throughout the world. As an innovator in concrete practice, he recognized that improving structures required progress in cement chemistry. In 1975, he founded CTS Cement Manufacturing Corp. The company focused on shrinkage-compensating and rapid-setting concretes based on calcium sulfoaluminate. Its flagship product, Rapid Set cement, would emerge in heavy/civil construction and agency specifications coast to coast. In California alone, Rapid Set has been used in the fast track rehabilitation of more than 1,000 miles of concrete highway pavement.
Rice sold CTS Cement to his employees in 2010 and became chairman emeritus. He held 26 patents covering a widely used system for stacking table-like modules to build de-mountable, efficient parking structures; shrinkage compensating and rapid hardening cements; and, quality control methods for calcium sulfoaluminate cement production. Innovative work on cement and concrete garnered many industry awards. He earned Honorary Membership in the ASTM C01 Committee on Cement and American Concrete Institute; was named American Society of Civil Engineers Fellow; and was inaugural Post-Tensioning Institute (Legends of Post-Tensioning) Hall of Fame member.