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How I Got Here: Lauren (Lobosky) Sullivan


Saint Louis University alumna Lauren (Lobosky) Sullivan is an engineer with Team Penske.

Headshot of Lauren (Lobosky) Sullivan)


Sullivan is born in Walnut, California.


Her mom and dad both have ties to racing. One notable moment during childhood is meeting racing legend John Force at a National Hot Rod Association race in California.

“Growing up, my family had a NASCAR race on TV every Sunday.”


Sullivan’s engineering journey begins: She builds a wind tunnel for a science fair project in fifth grade, winning a blue ribbon.


After her family started a NASCAR super late model racing team in 1999 at Irwindale Speedway, Sullivan joins the pit crew.

Sullivan poses with her pit crew team in front of a race car

Sullivan (front, left) and her father (front, right) on her first pit crew


She enrolls at Saint Louis University, majoring in meteorology and then physics before deciding on aerospace engineering.


Sullivan and her teammates work on the "frocket," a flat circular device
The "Frocket"

For a project in her differential equations class, Sullivan and her classmates build a “frocket,” a combination of a rocket and Frisbee. She earns an A in the process.

“That was probably my favorite math class ever. When it came time to make the frocket, I was the only one with shop experience. That was a pretty cool moment, seeing what you’re learning come to life.”


One of Sullivan’s favorite areas at SLU is the wind tunnel lab. She spends countless hours in the tunnel, both conducting tests and performing maintenance.

“Because I had access to the wind tunnel, I learned stuff faster and was able to hone my skills sooner. It put me in front of people at Boeing who saw what I was doing, and they were impressed.”

Sullivan stands near the plane in front of Parks Hall in her graduation robe.
Sullivan on her graduation day


Sullivan graduates from SLU and accepts a job with Boeing, testing fighter aircraft and weapons in wind tunnels.


She decides to pursue a career in motor sports, joining Team Penske’s NASCAR team as an engineer. Also this year, after meeting at SLU years ago, she marries Sean Sullivan (PC ’09) in St. Louis.

“In aerospace, I was just always looking forward to the point in my life where I wasn’t going to have to work anymore. Working in motor sports, I ironically don’t see a finish line I’m trying to get to. I’m just having fun and taking every opportunity as it comes my way.”


Supporting NASCAR driver Joey Logano, Sullivan wins her first NASCAR Cup Series Championship. She goes on to win two more championships, one in NASCAR and one in INDYCAR.


Sullivan is a part of the Paretta Autosport team, in a technical alliance with Team Penske, at the Indianapolis 500, which makes history as the crew with the most female members.

“For any females interested in getting into engineering, motor sports, any STEM-related career: Society is changing, and you don’t need to fight for a seat. Just take it. You are wanted here.”

Sullivan sits in front of a racecar near a trophy won at the Indy 500 across from a driver.

Sullivan (right) with driver Josef Newgarden and the winning Indy 500 car in May 2023