But while Cossarin was splitting her time between class and Project Arrow, Genovese focused on the project full time beginning last summer as part of the university’s co-op program. With the CES deadline looming, that often meant 12-hour days.
“Bay 3, that’s my home,” he said.
Genovese grew up in Burlington, west of Toronto, and was passionate about cars from a young age. Project Arrow was the “greatest opportunity” an auto-engineering student could hope to get, he said.
But as parts began filtering in, it became clear that Project Arrow was no “Lego set,” he said.
“There’s no instruction manual. The parts don’t fit perfectly, and you have to make them fit.”
For many components, this meant getting creative, especially for the rear-hinged doors.
“From changing the hinge material because of strength and rigidity, to the actual alignment of the door skins and the door frame was, for me, the biggest challenge,” Genovese said.
The process took “weeks and weeks, but we got it.”
BUILDING A CAREER
Throughout the build, Genovese and Cossarin worked with a core team of about 12, headed by Fraser Dunn, the APMA’s chief engineer for the project. From the Automotive Center of Excellence, Paula Ambra, the project’s assistant chief engineer, Gord Koehne, the lead machinist, and Kevin Carlucci, the lead mechanic, were integral. APMA Chief Technology Officer Colin Dhillon was also a perennial presence in Bay 3.
APMA President Flavio Volpe has pointed to Project Arrow as a showpiece for Canadian suppliers. While its main aim has been to drum up the business for the parts companies transitioning to the electric era, equipping students at Ontario Tech University with the technical backing and a broad set of opportunities has been a welcome by-product.
Cossarin, for instance, found herself pulled into impromptu job interviews on the show floor at CES. She returned to Canada with two full-time offers. After wrapping up her mechatronics degree this spring, she jumped directly from Project Arrow into the workforce as an automation engineer with heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar Inc.
Genovese has another year before graduating but he’s hopeful that the depth of experience gained — along with the long string of contacts he has made while traveling across Canada and the United States with Project Arrow over the past several months — will pay dividends once he has his degree in hand.
The one big question, he said, is deciding exactly what part of the auto sector he wants to work in.
“This project has been a mix of everything. It has been manufacturing, it has been design, it has been project management, and I’ve enjoyed every aspect of it.”