An engineer that has experienced joy and hardship in her personal life, maintains focus on the job to make a better automobile. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Mar. 17, 2017 Meet Melissa Vance, Senior staff engineer for the Technical Development Center at Honda North America's Honda Heritage Center. She leads Honda's innovative effort to use virtual reality to improve technical training and reduce costs. Through a "virtual" world she created, maintenance and equipment service technicians can practice their welding techniques before entering the weld booth, allowing them to hone their skills without the expense of using real materials. In her spare time, Vance enjoys coaching her three children in a variety of sports. Having lost her husband unexpectedly in 2013, Vance says that having a strong support system has helped her provide the childhood her kids deserve and handle the challenges of being a solo parent.