Lori Bechtold, Retired, Reliability Engineer
Lori Bechtold is a reliability engineer, retired after 32 years with The Boeing Company. She has participated in the VITA Standards Organization since 2004, and has chaired the reliability working group, VITA 51, since 2006. She also participates in SAE and IEEE standards development. She is currently leading a joint development effort between IEEE and VITA to develop a new standard for electronics derating.
WORKING WITH VITA
1. What role does VITA’s Reliability Community play in helping the larger embedded computing ecosystem?
The VITA Reliability Community provides a forum for finding common solutions for the challenges facing reliability practitioners from different companies.
2. For someone not familiar with VITA 51.x, what are the key elements to understanding the benefits of this standard that provides a failure rate prediction framework?
The VITA 51.x family of standards provides consensus-based solutions to common reliability problems, such as updating the modelling factors in reliability handbooks for current technologies or applying innovative analysis methods like physics of failure.
1. Did you always want to be an engineer? If so, why? If not, how’d you wind up here?
I was always interested in math, since I was a young child. I majored in mathematics in college and there, I was provided with a broader understanding of engineering and decided to concentrate on applied math. I was offered an engineering job before graduation with a large aerospace company and stayed there for my whole career.
2. What has surprised you the most about the work you do with embedded computing? (or engineering in general)
I’m surprised at how undervalued embedded computing applications are. Because they are often low volume, highly specialized equipment they don’t attract the same attention as high-volume commercial electronics. However, embedded electronics enable us to safely drive cars and efficiently navigate airplanes, so are very important for our world and our quality of life.
3. What is one of the biggest issues currently facing engineers?
Cybersecurity and, more generally, issues related to assuring information integrity are becoming bigger issues as our world embraces increased information access and interconnectivity.
4. What advice would you give to someone looking into this field of engineering?
Reliability engineering requires a good foundation of engineering fundamentals, as well as a penchant for seeing and exposing weaknesses in designs.
Off the cuff: What’s the most recent show you’ve binge watched?
I love nature shows and have been binge watching several in the Planet Earth series.