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Powertrain Research Technologist

Date: November 10, 2015
Reports to (Job Title): Executive Director, WatCAR
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Department: Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research (WatCAR)


E3 2108


37.5 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

Day-to-day operation of the Green and Intelligent Automotive (GAIA) powertrain research facility. Execution of multidisciplinary research projects led by Engineering faculty and involving graduate students as well as external industry clients. Support research in: i) hybrid & electric powertrain systems, ii) energy storage, charging and vehicle-to-grid systems and iii) intelligent vehicle technologies. Work seamlessly with four Engineering departments; Chemical, Electrical & Computer, Mechanical & Mechatronics and Systems Design as well as WatCAR

Key Accountabilities:

1.  Set-up, preparation and safe operation of all equipment, to be maintained as a showcase facility




2.  Testing and evaluation in real-time of stock and supplied products for research projects




3.  Design, build, calibrate, modify, assemble and repair both equipment and supplied product in support of research projects

Position Requirements


A degree in mechanical engineering or similar engineering program is required. Must be, or capable of becoming a Professional Engineer registered in Ontario.


2-3 years of relevant, hands on experience is required. Chasis and powertrain dynamometer operational expererience preferred. Strong working knowledge of combustion engines, electric motors and hybrid powertrain systems.


Functional, operational understanding of chasis and powertrain dynamometers, including set-up and modification. Experience working with computer controlled and operated equipment, with a proven ability to diagnose and troubleshoot.


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Proficiency required Proficiency required Required MatLab

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Effective communicator to varying levels of expertise including faculty, graduate students, external industry clients and prospective partners. Provide technical and analytical support when required, contribute to report preparation, lead demonstrations for clients. Ability to work independently with limited supervision and in a team environment with numerous projects undertaken simultaneously from various departments and clients. Well organized, self-motivated with a skill set that includes strong problem solving and proven multi-tasking.

Level of Responsibility:

Supervises day-to-day operation of entire facility. Ability to undertake multiple projects in the strictest confidence, often concurrently to separate external industry clients. Independently advises faculty and direct graduate students in conjuction with supervising research activities of the facility. Manages equipment, ensuring proper operational capacity and maintenance. Manages equipment inventory and supplies.

Decision-Making Authority:

Assess options and pursue courses of action consistent with the efficient operation of the facility’s equipment, including development of new powertrain mounting systems. Ability to prioritize facility operations consistent with timely delivery, meeting varying deadlines for numerous research projects simultaneously.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Work involves heavy equipment and at times oily, soiled powertrain systems. Physical effort will be required in equipment preparation and the mounting of systems (vehicles, powertrains) for testing and equipment operation.

Working Environment:

Predominantly heavy lab based with equipment, including four dynamometers and control rooms. Liaise with WatCAR staff in scheduling project workflow in the facility, including tracking and reporting progress of projects. Limited travel for training and external client support.