Student Spotlight: Samantha Wismer

news story image

Meet Sami a 3rd year PhD student who enjoys crossword puzzles ! 

Year in Program: 3rd year Ph.D. Student

Advisor: Dr. Katrina Groth

Research interests: Quantitative Risk Assessment,  Electrolytic Hydrogen Production Technology, Engineering Education

Dissertation Topic : Quantitative Risk Assessment of the Safety and Reliability of PEM Electrolysis for Hydrogen Production at Nuclear Power Plants

What drew you to engineering?: I have always been fascinated by the logic behind how things are put together. When I was a kid I would actively take apart my toys to see their innerworkings and (try to) put them back together. When I started taking math and science courses, I began to see these same logical patterns and knew I had to pursue a discipline that primarily involved those principles. Engineering provided that opportunity as well as the ability to think creatively in producing solutions to different problems.

What made you choose UMD and the ENRE Reliability Program?: I knew I wanted to conduct research in the area of clean energy as that is something I feel very passionate about. When I found the research the SyRRA Lab and other CRR labs were conducting in the area of safety and reliability for nuclear and hydrogen systems, I knew this is where I had to be. Working in this area would allow me to expand on the nuclear safety I had been exposed to in a previous job, while further developing my understanding of risk and reliability as it applies to clean energy systems. Just seemed like the perfect opportunity to me!

What do you want people to know about Reliability Engineering that they may not be aware of? Honestly, that it exists. When I tell people what I am studying, I am always met with "Oh I've never heard of that, what do you even do?" The work reliability engineers do is vital and the value of a safe and reliable system cannot be overstated.

A fun fact about you? (Not related to engineering!): I am an avid crossword puzzler! 

Published June 17, 2024