Of course electric vehicles have opened up a whole new realm of career possibilities for Canadians with a passion for math and science. Soroush Nazarpour leads Quebec-based NanoXplore on a quest to use graphene powder to make batteries more energy dense and charge more quickly. Batteries form the new powertrain for vehicles and Canada has the raw resources and the talent to be a major player. For graphene, NanoXplore is in a joint venture with Canadian auto-supplier giant Martinrea. If successful, that could lead to the country’s first “megabattery factory.”
Nazarpour, 36, says, “Graphene is something that can actually change the way people live.”
And then there’s Philip Asante, who joined GM in 2018 after beginning his career at aerospace companies such as Lockheed Martin. He’s 32 and on a team at General Motors developing hardware and software for the automaker’s Super Cruise driver-assist system, which is expected to be on 22 vehicles by 2023.
He believes that if the technology gets to the point where a driver is no longer needed, “just imagine how that would change our lives.”
There are other Canadians to Watch, whom you can meet here, but the point is that a career in the auto industry can rival one in aerospace, and you can be a young female engineer in charge of a product revamp, such as the Pacifica. And you can be altruistic and try to make a better world with revolutionary technology that really matters to society.
In the auto industry today, you can be — or do — just about anything you want, and the challenge for companies is to shout it from the rooftops so the brightest and best Canadians from all backgrounds have a home they might not have otherwise considered.
As employers continue the critical task of narrowing the gender and race gaps, the 2021 Canadians to Watch show that it’s an incredibly exciting time to be part of the industry.