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Natalie Schaal - Loyola Marymount University. Los Angeles, CA, US

Natalie Schaal Natalie Schaal

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering | Loyola Marymount University


Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering


Contact: Phone: 310.338.2836 Email: natalie.schaal@lmu.edu Office: Pereira 129 Natalie Schaal joined the Mechanical Engineering Department as an Assistant Professor in 2018. She teaches courses within the fields of solid mechanics and vibrations, and strives to foster an inclusive and active learning environment. Her research efforts are in the areas of solid mechanics, geophysics, and STEM education. Two of her projects are (1) the mechanics of failure of heterogeneous interfaces, and (2) improving persistence and retention in STEM. The first research project has applications ranging from wear in mechanical systems to frictional sliding on faults in an earthquake, and the second explores both in-class and out-of-class interventions that can increase students’ sense of belonging to their chosen field of study.

Dr. Schaal received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Portland, with minors in Physics and Mathematics. She spent the following year at the University of Stuttgart in Germany on a Fulbright research grant, experimentally investigating wave propagation in multi-wire cables for damage detection methods. At the California Institute of Technology, she completed both her M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, with a minor in Geophysics. Her research focused on developing models of nucleation and dynamic rupture on heterogeneous frictional interfaces and numerically simulating their long-term behavior, with applications to foreshocks.

Dr. Schaal is also the Director of the newly-developed GAIN Peer Mentoring Program for Mechanical Engineering undergraduate students at LMU. For more information, please visit: www.gain.lmu.build.

Education (3)

California Institute of Technology: Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering

California Institute of Technology: M.S., Mechanical Engineering

University of Portland: B.S., Mechanical Engineering

Areas of Expertise (9)

Applied mechanics

Mathematical Modeling and Simulation

Earthquake nucleation

STEM Education




Frictional interfaces

Nondestructive evaluation

Affiliations (4)

  • American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
  • Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • Society of Women Engineers (SWE)