College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Madalyn Moline: A power and machinery engineer following a dream to improve ag systems and make a difference

Madalyn Moline in the lab
Madalyn Moline in the lab

“Throughout high school, there were always people that said I wasn’t smart enough to do engineering or saying I couldn’t do it. But my parents always said I could do engineering, and their support really is one of the reasons I pursued this. And for everyone else, it’s just the cherry on top if you can prove them wrong.”

Madalyn Moline has always been one to trailblaze new paths and follow her dreams no matter what others might say. Now, she is a sophomore in agricultural engineering with a power and machinery focus. Moline has a drive to not only create more efficient and sustainable agricultural methods, but to inspire others that want to pursue engineering, as well.

“Initially coming into Iowa State, I wrote off studying power and machinery at first,” Moline said. “I grew up around tractors and farm machinery, but I didn’t really have a good understanding of it. And sometimes if you don’t understand something, it is hard to be passionate about it, so I didn’t think I would like it. But now I’ve discovered that I was completely wrong and I am really glad I switched.”

Moline grew up on a livestock and row crop farm in Northwest Iowa. She loved being surrounded by agriculture, and excelled in math and science, so agricultural engineering was the path she chose. Now, she is in her second year at Iowa State after switching from a focus in animal production systems to power and machinery.

vertical headshot of madalyn in the lab

Along with her natural interest and inclination towards agriculture and engineering, Moline says that her parents’ support played a big role in where she is today.

“I started looking into engineering and realized, I actually think I could do this,” Moline said. “And then I asked my dad if he thought I could do it and without hesitation he said absolutely. I think from that point on I was set on it.”

Moline hopes to use her role as a power and machinery engineer to inspire other women to follow their dreams, especially women working in male-dominated fields. Moline spends a lot of her time volunteering at activities inspiring younger women to learn more about STEM fields.

“My family has always been so supportive of my dreams and goals, and I have never felt like being female has held me back because of that. But I know that some girls don’t have that in their lives, and that’s why I love participating in volunteering activities for younger girls,” Moline said. “I love being a female in a male-dominated field and showing young girls that they can do anything.”

Throughout Moline’s life, challenges have risen and she has taken them all by storm. Whether it is learning a new concept or starting a new life path, Moline is up to the challenge.

“I just needed to go for it, so I did,” Moline said. “And now as I am getting further into my degree, there are more options than I could have ever imagined, and that’s one of the reasons I am so glad now that I stuck with engineering.”