Lomax awarded Quatrano Prize, Switzer Leadership Award, Kral Prize

She led WURocketry, was active in other student organizations

Rob Levy 
Pictured: Lomax
Pictured: Lomax

Maeve Lomax, a candidate for a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, is on an upward trajectory. She has been chosen to receive a trio of honors: the 2024 Ralph S. Quatrano Prize, the Harriet K. Switzer Leadership Award, and the Linda Kral Prize. 

The Quatrano Prize is given in tribute to Ralph Quatrano, the Spencer T. Olin Professor Emeritus, dean of engineering from 2010 to 2015, and former chair of the Department of Biology at Washington University. Established through a donation by Katherine Day Reinleitner, the prize is sponsored by the Mindlin Foundation, which presents two prizes annually, one in engineering and another in biology. Both acknowledge Quatrano’s leadership as Engineering dean and his work as a researcher in biology.

Presented by the Women’s Society of Washington University, the Harriet K. Switzer Leadership Award recognizes outstanding graduating senior women who have made a significant contribution to Washington University and have demonstrated potential for future leadership. 

The Linda Kral Prize for outstanding accomplishments in aerospace engineering, presented by the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, honors Linda Kral, who joined WashU’s mechanical engineering department in 1997 as its first woman professor. After Kral passed away unexpectedly in 1999, WashU and The Boeing Co. established the award in her memory.

Throughout her academic career at WashU, Lomax took on roles that required deeper learning and increased commitment, gaining important leadership lessons.

Her innumerable contributions to the McKelvey School of Engineering and Washington University include serving as an unofficial student leader of the Langsdorf Fellowship Program, an academic fellowship that provides funding opportunities for students who have high academic potential. 

She was also an active participant in the Society of Women Engineers and served as a McKelvey Engineering laboratory student researcher and member of the university’s swim club.

As president of WU Rocketry, Lomax created a program that allows less experienced members to build and launch a small rocket. While piloting the organization, she created new teams to work on graphic design, community outreach, research funding, financial planning and grant proposals. 

She also reimagined Engineering Test Kitchen, a student group that brings together customers with specific needs and WashU students who have the knowledge and skills to fulfill those requirements.

Her sky-high achievements also include serving as the vice president of finance of Kappa Delta sorority, secretary of the Pi Tau Sigma honor society, student advisee to the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science and a teaching assistant at machine shops in Henry A. & Elvira H. Jubel Hall and Hugo & Ira Champ Urbauer Hall.

“Maeve is responsible, accountable, thorough and detail-oriented with her work,” noted LaVeasey Carter, assistant dean and engineering undergraduate student services liaison to WURocketry. “She exudes a quiet strength and confidence that puts others at ease.”

Phil Bayly, chair of mechanical engineering & materials science and the Lee Hunter Distinguished Professor, has known Lomax since she began as a WashU student.

“Maeve did research in my lab in her first and second years here,” Bayly said. “She made important contributions to upgrading our MRI-based system to measure brain motion and exceeded expectations for an undergraduate researcher, especially so early here.”

Finishing her matriculation as a highly decorated student, Lomax reflected on her accomplishments.

“Winning the Quatrano Prize and other accolades means a lot to me,” she said. “I feel very fortunate to have been considered for the awards, and I am grateful to have some awesome faculty and staff members who advocated for me not only for these awards but also for my various other endeavors throughout my entire four years at WashU.

“Having these faculty and staff members as mentors and supporters reminds me how important it is to reach out for help and ask for advice. After I graduate, I know I will be keeping in contact with my mentors at Washington University as their advice and support has been, and will continue to be, invaluable as I continue my career.”

After graduation, Lomax will join the F-35 flightline for Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas.


Click on the topics below for more stories in those areas

Back to News