Victoria Schein is an automotive design engineer for Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan. She designs products that will be used in future Ford vehicles to keep drivers safe on the road. "Discovering You: Engineering Your World" is produced by NBC News Learn in partnership with Chevron, the American Society for Engineering Education and the National Science Foundation.
Discovering You – Engineering Your World – Victoria Schein
VICTORIA SCHEIN (Automotive Engineer):
My name is Victoria Schein. I am an automotive engineer. I grew up in Claremont, California. I'm a triplet, so I have a brother and sister. My dad, he works in the aerospace engineering field. And growing up, he was always working on different car projects around the house and it was really inspiring to me and showed me that engineering is exciting and there's a lot of great projects and impact you can have on the world.
My entire life I'd always loved cars and I wanted to become a car designer. But as I grew older, I doubted myself a lot and I thought, "I don't know if I can do this. I don't know if I can be a woman automotive engineer in that male-dominated industry." But I pushed through that and I really followed my passion.
When I’m coming up with a design process or going through a design process for a new solution or for a project, I usually start out with a lot of brainstorming and research. And then, when I have a solid topic or solution, I'll really try and understand how it'll bring value to the customer. First I'll do a lot of sketching of what I want it to look like and then I'll do a lot of work with prototyping. From there, it's really building that business case and marketing your product into something that can then go into a vehicle.
Here we have a prototype of one of the ideas that I helped develop. It's a Bluetooth wireless button and it is a remote device that you can activate certain functions on your phone. And while you're driving, you can do things on your phone without getting distracted.
I've worked alongside great teams and we've come up with amazing inventions that we hope to help shape the future. Engineering has always sparked my interest because of being able to build things and bring your ideas to life.
I want to change the world with my work. I want to be doing things that make an impact, that inspire others, that change the way that the world sees mobility and the automotive industry and I want to be someone who inspires the younger generation to also want to change the world.
CHICAGO — In 2014, Mary Barra became CEO of General Motors, making her the first female CEO of a major automobile company. Barra is among a growing number of women — like Jennifer Vuong, news anchor and multimedia editor at Automotive News, and Nancy Gioia, director of global electrification at Ford — who are making imprints in the automotive industry.
Despite the prominence of leadership roles, women hold about 25 percent of jobs in the motor vehicle and parts industry as of late 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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