Meet Yujie exploring network topology with a passion ignited by his father's legacy!

Name: Yujie Mao
Year in Program: Third
Advisor: Dr. Bilal M. Ayyub
Research interests: network topology, weighted network analysis, freight rail, hazmat


What drew you to engineering?

My father is an engineer, and his passion for the field greatly influenced me. I vividly remember observing him construct intricate models and animate code during my childhood, which left a lasting impression on me. One particular memory is watching a simulated wall respond to an earthquake. For ten minutes, the wall transitioned from minor cracks to complete collapse. It was both fascinating and amusing, and my father explained that a wall's collapse time can impact the safety of individuals during an earthquake. This experience ignited my desire to design resilient structures.

Furthermore, my enthusiasm for engineering intensified during high school, particularly in physics and especially mechanics. My proficiency in this subject led me to pursue a degree in engineering in college. The amalgamation of my father's expertise and my aptitude for physics shaped my aspiration to contribute to creating structures that withstand external forces and make a lasting positive impact.

What made you choose UMD and the ENRE Program?
As a civil engineering graduate student, I focused on studying railway networks. During this time, I extensively employed network topology to assess the performance of freight rail systems, integrating diverse data sets like commodity volume. However, delving deeper into my research, I realized that my work predominantly intersected with safety and resilience within freight rail operations. This realization underscored the significance of reliability analysis within my research.

Acknowledging my need to develop my reliability analysis expertise further, I decided to pursue the ENRE Program at UMD. The program's reputation for providing a comprehensive understanding of reliability and its exceptional curriculum made it the ideal choice to enhance my knowledge and skills in this critical area. Additionally, I found it compelling that my advisor, who played a pivotal role in my academic journey, is associated with the Center for Risk and Reliability at UMD. This association aligns well with my research interests and academic aspirations, making UMD and the ENRE Program the perfect fit for my educational pursuits.


What do you want people to know about Reliability Engineering that they may not be aware of?
Reliability Engineering is closely tied to risk assessment and management. It helps identify potential failures, evaluate their consequences, and implement strategies to mitigate or prevent them. This proactive approach enhances safety and minimizes costly downtime.


A fun fact about you? (Not related to engineering!)

My hobbies are badminton, hiking, and swimming.