A passion for cars and motorcycles is what led Joseph Schwall of Salem, Wisconsin to pursue a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Small class sizes and high job placement rates are what helped him choose to do it at MSOE.

Schwall was a student at Westosha Central High School when he was first introduced to engineering through drafting and metal working classes. He wanted to learn more, so he participated in an MSOE summer program geared toward high school students interested in engineering.

“Besides learning about different majors, I got to see what it would be like to attend MSOE,” Schwall said.

When it was time to choose a college, Schwall toured his top schools, conducted research and did the math. Scholarship, financial aid, and grant opportunities were important considerations. “Grants and financial aid are the only way I could have afforded going to college,” he said.

Schwall came to MSOE with the values of hard work and determination that he had learned at home. “My father is the most determined, hardworking individual I have ever met,” Schwall said. “He works seven days a week, 12-16 hours each day so he can provide for his family. Seeing my father work so hard has had a huge impact on my life and made me aspire to be as hardworking and determined as he is.”

Schwall was a member of MSOE’s Formula Hybrid Competition team – a group of students in MSOE’s Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE) organization who collaboratively design and build a formula-style electric or plug-in hybrid racecar and compete in a series of international events. This educational competition emphasizes drivetrain innovation and fuel efficiency in a high-performance application.

“I designed the hybrid control strategy,” Schwall said. “The goal was to find the optimal way to run the car to provide the horsepower while also providing the most efficient solution for dynamic events.”

While his participation on the Formula Hybrid team may be the pinnacle of his MSOE education, it is only one of many ways Schwall has challenged himself academically. Schwall studied systemic engineering design in Germany during his junior year, through a study abroad program. In 2017, he received both a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MSOE and the Diplom-Ingenieur from the Lübeck University of Applied Sciences in Lübeck, Germany. Schwall was also an active member of MSOE’s InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

Schwall prepared himself for life after graduation with two summer engineering internships at Rockwell Automation, where he was able to apply what he learned at MSOE in a real-world setting. After graduation, Schwall began his career as an associate manufacturing engineer with Tesla Inc. in Sparks, Nevada.

“I am so fortunate to have received scholarships,” Schwall said. “I was able to focus on my studies without having to worry about finding other means of paying for my education.”