Rachel Lance is an author and Assistant Consulting Professor at Duke University, where she conducts research out of their Hyperbaric Medicine facility. She enjoys scientific non-fiction, and is passionate about writing because it lets her share with the world her love of finding the answers to complex riddles.


Rachel Lance is, at heart, an engineer. Most days she simply refuses to stop taking things apart. She made the designation of “engineer” official when she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan, and later she earned a PhD in the same field from Duke University. She specializes in injury biomechanics, and is especially fascinated by the trauma patterns from blast and ballistic events.

In addition to writing, she is a scientific researcher at the Duke University School of Medicine, where her official title is Assistant Consulting Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology. Working out of the hyperbaric chambers located at the Duke University Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Environmental Physiology, she is currently focused on the development of novel methods to enable human survival in extreme environments, like underwater and outer space. Her secondary passion project is finding a way to remove some of the words from lengthy formal titles.

A native of suburban Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Lance now lives with her husband in Durham, North Carolina. She enjoys rock climbing, distance running, scuba diving, and baking. She is passionate about art, her two lovable rescue mutts, the throaty rumble of a big-block Chevy engine, and properly designed O-ring seals. In the Waves is her first book.

Carolyn Scott Photography