Ángeles Elena Van Ryzin
Performance & Drivability Development Team
Born in Zacatecas, México, Ángeles Elena Van Ryzin has left her mark as an engineer
on the most awarded vehicle for Kia Motors ever, the Kia Telluride, making sure it’s a
smooth ride for drivers everywhere. As cars are essential to mobility, she believed
that by working in the automotive industry, she would be helping people. "I joined
because I have always been fascinated by cars. I don't consider myself a car
enthusiast per se, but growing up, I saw my dad work on our family cars," shares Van
Ryzin."One of my favorite things about working in this industry is I get to see the final
product on the road.”
At the age of five, her family moved to Pomona, California, where she studied
and grew up with her brothers. She studied at Cal Poly Pomona University, and in
2009 graduated as a mechanical engineer. During that time, she was part of the
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the Society of Women
Engineers (SWE). Her senior year she joined the Society of Automotive Engineers
(SAE) where she built a racecar and competed in an international competition
"My parents have a lot to do with not letting the mindset of 'coches son para
niños' (cars are for boys). I have three brothers, and my parents always allowed me
to play sports and get dirty with my brothers regardless of how girls are supposed to
be. They supported me in what I wanted to become, and when I told them I wanted
to study engineering, they were nothing but supportive," says Van Ryzin.
In 2011 she joined the HATCI family (Hyundai-Kia Technical Center) in the
powertrain department. Since then, she has focused on Kia’s new and acclaimed
Telluride model, where she led the powertrain drivability design, transmission
scheduling and torque calibration for the Telluride; in other words, she helped achieve
the driving ease and fuel efficiency of the vehicle.
Since working with the Kia Telluride model, the Latina engineer became a
first-time mom. After becoming a mother, she asserts her driving style has changed,
and so has her vision for cars. "I now prioritize on smoothness; so that will probably
be more focused as I work on the next vehicle,” she shares.
Structural Body Test Engineer
General Motors Want to comment or have any questions on this article?
Growing up as the oldest woman in a traditional Mexican family, Nora Rincon was
groomed to become a wife and mother. She was unaware of the opportunities just
beyond the horizon until -- with encouragement from a school counselor -- she
attended a summer engineering program at the University of Notre Dame for high
school juniors. It was then that she realized her calling for engineering.
“It became my mission to make that dream come true,” she says.
Today, Rincon is Structural Body Test Engineer at General Motors. She focuses
on the structural integrity of the vehicle before it’s driven by a customer or on a road.
“My job is to try to break something on the body of a vehicle so it doesn’t break
during the time the customer will have that vehicle,” she says. “I test for durability,
tenure, and then some. We expect the look and the integrity of these body parts to
work as designed.”
Rincon learned to negotiate, multi-task and feel empathy from her parents ---
all traits that define her as a leader.
“My Latina roots have defined me in every way,” Rincon shares.
She found a support system in college through the Society of Hispanic
Professional Engineers where she took on leadership roles every year.
The multi-award-winning professional has dedicated four years to working as
program manager and 13 years to recruiting Latino talent.
Start considering yourself as a rare gem that companies are seeking
instead of having to overcome your look or your background,” Rincon advises
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24 www.latinastyle.com LATINAStyle V ol. 27, No. 1, 2021