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DEI Chats with Women in Mobility: Holly Olson, Bradley University ’23

Posted: March 16, 2022

Holly Olson is a builder.

As a student at Bradley University, Holly is putting together her classes, experience with mentors, and involvement with SAE to create her own platform to success.

But before all that, she was inspired by another strong woman.

“[My sister] is three years older than me, and she earned her bachelor’s in mechanical engineering with a concentration in aerospace and is now going for a masters in material engineering. I saw and heard all the cool things she was working on, and it inspired me to do the same,” Olson said.

She’s certainly keeping pace. Olson is the vice president of Bradley University’s collegiate SAE chapter, is heavily involved in the Collegiate Design Series, serves as captain of her Baja Vehicle team, is currently acting as one of three team leads for Supermileage, and is attending Formula SAE meetings where she occasionally makes parts for their car.

Her involvement with SAE allowed her to connect with women professionals in mobility at all points in their career, and to learn from and be inspired by these women.

With the role that role models have played in her development, Olson is keen to offer advice to the next generation of women interested in STEM.

“The biggest advice I have is simply to keep asking questions. Ask why. Ask how,” she said. “I know a lot of times people—including myself—can be too shy or embarrassed to ask a question, because we assume everyone else knows the answer, but that is how you learn and grow. At the end of the day, that’s the most important. Stay curious.”


Holly Olson is one of the many women members of SAE International making a difference in mobility. Want to get involved? Check out SAE Membership and Community Engagement for opportunities to get involved with like-minded engineers who are pushing the world of mobility forward.