Alumni Tale: Kevin Kurland ’96

What did you study at UNH?

Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering and Physical Science (CEPS)

What were you doing 1 year out of college?

I have been lucky enough to have multiple simultaneous careers after my time at UNH. My first career has continued for over the past 21+ years as an Automation Engineer with GE.

What were you doing 5 years out of college?

A few years later, I moved into my second career as a Military Intelligence Analyst with the New Hampshire Air National Guard.

What are you doing now?

Now, I am an entrepreneur and owner of Smokey Quartz Distillery located in Seabrook, NH. It is a small craft distillery that I opened in 2013. Our products include V5 Bourbon, Granite Coast Rum, Granite Lightening Moonshine and Solid Granite Vodka. Our products are in the NH State Liquor Stores as well.

How do you feel your time at UNH has had an impact on where you are today?

UNH gave me the engineering and business foundation I needed to be able to be successful in all three of my careers. I specifically remember a class I had called “failure analysis”. The class taught you how to examine a failed system (could be a failed toaster, a failed bridge or a failed process) and what to look for in new systems to prevent similar issues. I frequently remember the class whenever I am designing or creating something new. The class gave me the ability to look objectively at a design and pinpoint any weaknesses. It was definitely one of the most useful and practical classes I’ve ever taken.

Why do you believe in UNH?

I believe in UNH because I would not be where I am today without the top-notch education that I received during my time there. For example, I was able to create and design the stills in my distillery because of the skills that I learned from my classes at UNH. In addition, the people I met and the friendships that I created during my time at UNH are something that I will always treasure.