Meet Lance, who says reliability is essential for designing everything people use every day.


Lance Curtis

Year in Program

3rd year PhD candidate in Reliability Engineering

Research Interests:

Mechanical metallurgy, failure analysis, life data modeling and analysis

What drew you to engineering?

While in high school, I thought I wanted to be an architect, so I interned in an architect's office. Seeing what they do every day, I realized I didn't want to do everything they did.  The parts I liked were the parts that the in-house engineer handled. So I entered college as an engineering major, and I've been hooked ever since.

What made you decide to come to UMD and attend the Reliability Engineering (ENRE) Program?

I didn't know about reliability until I worked as a reliability engineer in industry, but it didn't take long working in that job to hook me into the reliability field. The ENRE program at UMD is widely known in industry and enjoys a good reputation, so when I decided to pivot my career towards education and return to school for a PhD, UMD with its ENRE program was high on the list of candidates. For different reasons, each of the other candidate schools left consideration, and in the end I got an attractive financial offer from UMD that sealed the deal for me.

What do you want people to know about Reliability Engineering that they may not know?

People just expect things to work, but most don't think much about how that happens. Reliability with all its models and predictions of when failure likely happens plays a key role in designing products and systems so that they work as intended. Reliability is essential for designing everything people use every day, and reliability helps to make each new generation of products and systems better and better.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

Of the 50 states in the United States, I've lived in 9 and visited 26.  I hope one day to set foot in the remaining 16 so I can say I've been to all 50.