Molly poses during a visit to the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Molly Grimme

Molly Grimme


Molly Grimme


“Consulting engineers play a broad and transformational role in our communities.”

Math lover. Musician. Penn State grad. As an early-career professional, intern-turned-mechanical design associate Molly Grimme brings a blend of analytical expertise and creative talent to Gannett Fleming, where her collaborative yet steadfast approach to engineering solutions is making an impact when it comes to integrated design solutions for the firm’s clients.

We asked Molly a few questions to get to know her better.

What brought you to Gannett Fleming, and what is it about the firm that makes you want to stay?

My career journey with Gannett Fleming started in 2020 when I joined the team as a mechanical design intern. The internship gave me insight into being an engineer. Everything is different from day to day. One day, you can be in the office writing a report; the next, on the roof of a building.

I love working at Gannett Fleming because there is always room for questions and advancing my knowledge. My colleagues are incredibly encouraging and supportive and always pause to indulge my curiosity. My employee experience has demonstrated the firm’s commitment to employee growth and development from the start.

How has your career evolved since your first day on the job?

I am still relatively new to the full-time workforce, but if I look back to the start of my internship, I have taken on a lot of new responsibilities since that time. I applied knowledge and skills relevant to my field, developed new skills and software knowledge, gained a better understanding of qualifications and duties for an engineer, and networked with many industry professionals in other disciplines. Starting my career during the COVID-19 pandemic made it challenging to do these things, so I have grown significantly since then.

Tell us about your engineering focus and describe a typical day at work.

Consulting engineers play a broad and transformational role in our communities. When infrastructure or facilities are built or updated, we impact the people who will eventually use those resources. On top of that, all communities have challenges, but they sometimes need more resources to solve them. That’s where we come into play; we’re the people who do that work and figure out how we can solve problems, meet new guidelines and regulations, and improve quality of life.

Each day is different for me, but my main engineering focus is HVAC, plumbing, and fire protection design, as I have a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering. Sometimes, I manipulate Autodesk Revit models to match project drawings. Other times, I aid in designing ductwork and piping, performing calculations to place and size the right components. I also work on reports, format documents, and perform calculations to size mechanical equipment.

My position is very collaborative, as I usually work with more senior team members to support their work in building system solutions.

What advice do you have for emerging professionals in the field?

As you near the end of your college journey, prioritize real-life work experience. I strongly encourage job shadowing and completing an internship in your field as you think about your professional development plans. As you consider options for full-time employment, seek out an organization that will invest in employee development. Don’t hesitate to ask about the company culture, development programs, and career paths.

Finally, never stop challenging yourself. Sometimes, no matter what type of job, people lose that spark when it comes to their careers, and they end up feeling restless. You can keep that passion by continuing to learn new skills and challenging yourself with new ideas.

To succeed in engineering, you need a blend of hard and soft skills, what are the ones at the top of your list?

Both hard and soft skills are important to career growth and development.

Hard Skills:

CAD Software Proficiency: Familiarity with basic AutoCAD is beneficial for using other programs like Revit despite the variety of CAD software used across companies.

Microsoft Office Suite Skills: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint proficiency are a must. Knowledge of other software, such as Bluebeam Revu® for PDF management, is also advantageous.

Soft Skills:

Social Confidence: Recognize that you don’t know everything. As an engineer, it’s vital to ask questions and voice uncertainties. Always be bold, ask questions, and speak up if needed.

Effective Communication: Express needs clearly, like requesting additional materials for problem-solving. Good communication is essential, as your progress can impact others.

Organizational Skills: Being organized is key. Efficient file management and document retrieval are often overlooked but critical aspects of project management.

Why is it important to have diversity around the table when working on projects?

Emerging professionals, team members who are recent graduates or new to the field, bring fresh, innovative ideas and up-to-date knowledge, especially in areas like technology and contemporary practices. These individuals might see solutions or approaches that more experienced professionals may overlook. As emerging professionals, younger engineers can bring new perspectives on approaching things that have been done the same way for years.

As a recent graduate, you had the opportunity to work on a senior capstone project. Tell us about it.

I graduated in May 2023 from Pennsylvania State University. My capstone project was a climate battery greenhouse. A climate battery isn’t a conventional battery but a system of pipes underneath a greenhouse. During the day, when hot air fills a greenhouse, temperatures can become extremely hot. The user may vent this hot air out so the plants inside do not die. A climate battery utilizes this excess heat by running fans. These fans push the hot air into the pipes. When the greenhouse cools at night, the fans activate again to push the hot air in the pipes back into the greenhouse.

Climate batteries aid in extending growing seasons, utilizing the heat already captured, and decreasing the usage of supplemental heat like electric heaters. This can reduce costs for users like farmers and extend growing seasons by almost a month. It also increases the opportunity to grow exotic products that do not usually thrive in the Pennsylvania climate.

My project focused on the design of the pipes. My group consisted of three other young women who worked with me to alter the pipe system’s design, diameter, and shape to find ways to improve it. We ran countless simulations to make comprehensive recommendations for our sponsor.

We also researched the topic extensively, developed a detailed report, presented the project to the Central Pennsylvania American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers chapter, and 3D printed the climate battery. We successfully identified changes to the system that would increase the heat transfer rate, decrease the friction met inside the pipes, and save energy.

What are your favorite hobbies?

I love to play video games, read, travel, and participate in anything related to music. If I have time, I can read a book in a day. I also play piano, violin, and viola. If you find your way to my workspace, I am most likely listening to music, as math is best done listening to Elton John.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?

I am the youngest child of six, and I am adopted! Shoutout to my brother Ben for inspiring me to become an engineer.

Let's keep the conversation going.

Are you considering joining our talented group of building infrastructure engineers? Check out the opportunities to join Gannett Fleming’s diverse and inclusive team!


Ready to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our communities? Join the team that’s leading the charge.

635 635 Linda Smith
What are you looking for?
Privacy Preferences

When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

Our website uses cookies, mainly from third-party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.