Rebuilding a ’89 Ford Mustang’s Transmission to Rotor System Design Engineer: Q&A with Bell’s Women Engineers

From fixing a 1989 Ford Mustang’s transmission to exploring NASA’s Space Center Houston, Diana Tinlin and Melissa Turner began to question how things worked at an early age. Now, as Bell engineers, this trailblazing duo share the same message for women looking to take the leap into the engineering field: make your voices heard.

Hear from Diana and Melissa on why it’s important for women engineers to make their mark in the industry.

Diana Tinlin, Principal Engineer, Rotor System Design

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Q: What made you consider a career in engineering?

A: Like many of my peers, I was one who was always investigating how things worked from an early age. When I was in high school, the transmission broke on my first car (1989 Ford Mustang), and I was told we were going to fix it ourselves. I remember working on it with my dad to rebuild the transmission and was amazed by the drawings and instructions in a manual he gave me.

Q: How can the engineering field welcome more women to consider this career path?

A: [Like] my first employment with my mentor, we all should share the common goal of mentoring and growing the skills of the younger employees in our groups. It can be difficult and overwhelming to confidently speak up in a large meeting. Everyone should be allowed to have a voice, [and] sometimes it takes an ally to grow that confidence.

Melissa Turner, Senior Engineer, Manufacturing Innovation

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Q: What is your favorite project to work on?

A: I’d have to say getting to be a part of the team developing the future manufacturing processes at the Manufacturing Technology Center. I’ve really enjoyed getting to be on the floor and interacting with so many people. Every day is dynamic, and we are constantly learning from developing new machining strategies for new materials to heat treating with cutting edge technology to the industry.

Q: What resources would you provide to women interested in pursuing a career in engineering?

A: I would recommend visiting museums, airshows, exploring the outdoors, and even just point out engineering aspects in everyday life. Growing up in Houston, my parents took me a couple times to Space Center Houston (NASA Visitor Center), which blew my mind as a kid and piqued my interest in science. In college, I got involved with various engineering organizations on campus: Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Mechanical Engineering Women (MEEN) Girls, and Christian Engineering Leaders (CEL). These opportunities provided me with a community of women in engineering.

Click here to learn more about starting your engineering career with Bell.

Gianna Messina

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About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit:

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