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The 2024 Chrysler Pacifica PHEV is an Example of How Diversity Makes Vehicles Better

The latest Chrysler Pacifica PHEV is an engineering marvel. One of the engineers who worked on it just won the title of "Most Promising Engineer by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)."

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Chrysler created the minivan segment and continues to lead with the 2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. The Pacifica Pinnacle  offers the most standard safety and security features in its class, and the Pacifica Hybrid is the most technologically advanced minivan in America. The family hauler has inventions that other automakers haven’t been able to match like the class-exclusive Stow ‘n Go seating and storage system, Uconnect Theater, dual hands-free sliding doors, and the first electrified powertrain in the segment. One of the reasons that the Pacifica keeps innovating is that Chrysler stresses diversity when hiring.

Chrysler PhotoMechanical Engineer Aurora White

One of the engineers on the extensive Stellantis and Chrysler team is a woman named Aurora White. In her current role as a torque security calibration engineer, White works on testing vehicles and collecting data, including testing the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV. “I test our vehicles to determine that they will respond as expected to ensure the safety of our customers,” White said.

“But I’m not just crunching numbers, my voice is heard,” she added. “With so many different people working together from diverse backgrounds, we each are encouraged to offer are own unique perspective, and that leads to the creation of a better, safer vehicle.”

White was recently honored as the Most Promising Engineer by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES).  

 

The award is given annually to a professional engineer with less than five years of workforce experience after earning a professional degree. Candidates are nominated for the award, and their technical contributions must indicate a promising career. White is a member of the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.

 

“I am deeply humbled by this honor from AISES,” said White. “Ever since I was a child, I’ve enjoyed building and fixing things, which eventually led to my career choice in engineering. I am also especially passionate about my culture, and I hope my achievements might help inspire younger members of the indigenous community to pursue a future in STEM fields and make the world a better place through their work.” 

Improving Vehicles Through Diversity

White received her master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2020. White has worked in a variety of engineering roles with Stellantis, including instrumentation and diagnostics. She has received numerous awards for leading projects in vehicle testing and analysis. In 2022, she graduated from the company’s Leaders Embracing All Diversity (LEAD) leadership program that focuses on training and growing multicultural talent for future leadership opportunities.  

 

“We are so proud to see Aurora’s impressive work and efforts recognized by AISES,” said Greg Hawkins, Stellantis North America Diversity and Inclusion Business Resource Group Manager. “This honor is well deserved for all that Aurora has done to elevate awareness of her culture both in the company and the community. This is why we are so strongly committed to our efforts in recruiting and maintaining support for a diverse and inclusive talented workforce.” 

White also serves as the treasurer for ICON – the Indigenous Cultural Opportunity Network. ICON is one of 11 employee-directed business resource groups at Stellantis, representing an array of communities within the company, providing members with mentorship, leadership opportunities and career connections. White helps coordinate Indigenous education activities within the company through ICON, while also conducting STEM outreach in the community. 

 

Drive Toward Electrification Sparked White’s Interest

White says that the company’s drive toward electrification was one of the things that really interested her about joining Stellantis.

 

“I am excited about working on vehicles such as the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV that will make the world a better place, and at Stellantis we’re striving toward that goal with our Dare Forward 2030 plan,” White said. Dare Forward 2030 is Stellantis’ strategic plan to become a carbon net zero company by 2038. Stellantis’ commitment to diversity is central to the company’s Dare Forward 2030 business strategy, contributing to the company being an extraordinary place to work and a magnet for people with the talent and drive to improve the lives of customers today and in the digital and electrified future.

 

“Aurora is truly an inspiration, not just for her commitment to her work, but also for her leadership in the indigenous community,” said Kaitlyn Mulkey, the president of ICON and a community outreach and marketing analyst for the Jeep® brand. “I am so happy she won this award and am excited to witness her future accomplishments.” 

 

Chrysler Photos

 

Mary Conway is a professional automotive journalist and has decades of experience specializing in automotive news analysis. She covered the Detroit Three for more than twenty years for the ABC affiliate, in Detroit. Her affection for the Motor City comes naturally. Her father ran a gas station while Mary was growing up, in Wisconsin.

 

Follow Mary Conway at @MaryConwayMedia and send her car news tips for future stories.

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