Mechanical Engineering Graduate Wins Fulbright Scholarship

Olivia Schimmels 214x300 - Mechanical Engineering Graduate Wins Fulbright Scholarship
Olivia Schimmels, Mechanical Engineering Major, Class of ’17

For the second year in a row, a graduating mechanical engineering student from Loyola Marymount University’s Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering has landed both a job at Boeing in Seattle and a Fulbright grant. Olivia Schimmels, who graduated in May 2017, had accepted a position as a product review engineer at Boeing when she learned of the Fulbright in June.

Nina Lepp, a 2016 graduate, also had a job offer from Boeing when she learned she was a Fulbright recipient. Like Lepp, Schimmels will teach in Poland during her Fulbright year. Both women hale from Washington State. Fulbright winners are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, a record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

Schimmels had seen Lepp go through the application process a year earlier. “Nina was an informal mentor and friend to me throughout my collegiate experience,” Schimmels says.

Schimmels credits her bright future to such friendships as well as the range of opportunities available to her at LMU. The Spokane, Wash., native studied abroad in Germany her sophomore year and was treasurer for the LMU Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. She was also a resident advisor for the Program for an Engineering Education Community, a living-learning community for first-year freshmen engineering students. Through those activities, Schimmels says she was able to pursue her desire to mentor younger students and help others.

 “I wanted to go to college somewhere where I could be in a more diverse environment, that’s big and very international. That was Los Angeles,” she says. “I loved my Jesuit high school, and I wanted to continue a Jesuit education because I loved the bridge between academics and service.”

A busy future awaits her. She will work for Boeing for two months before taking a leave of absence and departing to Poznan University of Technology to teach STEM courses.

She’ll then return to her “dream job,” one that LMU helped prepare her for, she says. Schimmels spent two years as part of the SAE Aero Design West advanced class aircraft team where students work together to design, build and fly an aircraft.

“I’ve been very interested in planes and flight since I was little,” she says. “But it didn’t fully develop until I was at LMU. Being at LMU, the exposure to aerospace in LA and the aircraft team experience with my peers was very helpful.”