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Project Arrow

Why Ontario Tech for Project Arrow?

Ontario Tech attracts the brightest research and academic minds in areas including additive manufacturing, automotive engineering, aerodynamics, electrification, energy storage, battery chemistry and cybersecurity. The university was chosen as the build partner due to its global reputation for excellence in energy, automotive, smart mobility and engineering research expertise. Most of all, Ontario Tech was chosen because of the reputation of its people to get things done.

The university was also selected for its exemplary track record with industry partners and its ACE core research and testing facility that features world-class automotive prototype build capacity and a Climatic Aerodynamic Wind Tunnel with unique capabilities for concept development, including the capacity to simulate extreme cold and powerful windstorms. The Arrow development by Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science professors, undergraduate and graduate students, and engineering technical staff helped prepare the Arrow for the full range of harsh Canadian weather conditions.

Project Arrow progressed from initial supplier meetings all the way to part design, fabrication, and full build on-site in the ACE climactic wind tunnel at Ontario Tech. Whereas today’s cars are typically built on assembly lines, every design and fabrication detail of the Arrow, from the decision on type and placement for every bolt, to the full installation and build, was completed on campus by a team of experts and future talent from the university’s engineering programs. The team collaborated with the APMA’s many partners, including industry leaders, startups and large Tier-1 suppliers across Canada to contribute and collaborate on Project Arrow.


Thanks to Aviva Canada’s sponsorship of Project Arrow, Ontario Tech students are gaining invaluable hands-on experience at ACE, helping design, test and manufacture Canada’s first all-Canadian zero-emission concept vehicle. In addition, their support will provide seed funding for student entrepreneurial experiences that help promote the next generation of road safety and climate responsive startup companies through Brilliant Catalyst. 

For more information about AVIVA click here: AVIVA

Meet the Ontario Tech Project Arrow team

Ontario Tech led the build of the Arrow and will conduct all of the aerodynamic testing inside its ACE Core Research Facility. Under the leadership of APMA Chief Engineer Fraser Dunn (recruited from the U.K.’s Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.), and Ontario Tech Assistant Chief Engineer Paula Ambra, the powerhouse team of faculty researchers, senior engineering experts, skilled industry tradespeople, and engineering students worked alongside the APMA leads. Project Arrow exemplifies the university’s commitment to advancing women in STEM.

As part of the ACE technical staff, Ambra is responsible for offering technical and business advisory services to Ontario-based companies to assist in the testing, validation and prototyping of new connected and autonomous vehicle products and technologies and supporting faculty members’ research projects. Before joining the ACE team, she held progressive engineering positions within the automotive industry, most recently as Engineering Group Manager for Lower Body Structures at General Motors Canada.

A group of Ontario Tech faculty researchers, led by Dr. Ahmad Barari, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS), worked closely with students and the ACE engineering team to create significant efficiencies in vehicle development processes, using emerging technologies such a digitalization in design, manufacturing, and inspection, multi-physics simulations, and additive manufacturing."

Project Arrow also created hands-on work and learning opportunities for a group of more than twenty FEAS students. Among them: 

  • Fourth-year Automotive Engineering student Andrew Genovese worked on the installation of body panels, subframes, suspension systems, brake lines, motors, and more. He was also involved with the manufacturing of parts, as well as the logistics of shipping parts for the project. 
  • Fourth-year Mechatronics Engineering student Izzy Cossarin was involved in almost every element of the Arrow’s development, including writing copy for the vehicle’s interface, project management, ordering and co-ordinating the logistics of many of the vehicle components, and working closely with the machine shop to manufacture components for the vehicle. 
  • Genovese and Cossarin attended the official unveiling of the Arrow at CES.

  • Audio link: Listen to Ontario Tech engineering students interview with Metro Morning host Ismaila Alfa (CBC Radio One; January 9, 2023)

What the legacy of Project Arrow means for Ontario Tech

Through its proven and extensive track record of world-class industry and research partnerships, Ontario Tech offers the ideal ecosystem for driving innovation and commercialization.  

With the Arrow being built on-site by Ontario Tech’s expert team of engineers, faculty researchers, and exceptional engineering student talent, this demonstrates ACE as a key solutions provider and innovation hub that brings together industry and academic partners in the energy and automotive sectors to accelerate economic growth.

Ontario Tech’s research strengths and priorities relevant to Project Arrow 
  • Energy, applied bioscience and environmental sustainability
    • Canada’s energy and environmental future
    • Electric battery and fuel cells
  • Advanced manufacturing and materials
    • Intelligent manufacturing and materials innovation
  • Automotive engineering, transportation and electrification systems
    • Autonomous vehicles and systems
Ontario Tech: A home for development of future engineering talent
  • Ontario Tech is developing the industry’s future talent: The university offers Canada’s only accredited Automotive Engineering program in addition to a full suite of engineering programs that will also include Energy Engineering in Fall 2023.
  • Ontario Tech is committed to giving students quality career-developing experiential learning opportunities.
  • Aviva Canada’s sponsor role in Project Arrow provides experiential learning opportunities (e.g. co-ops) for students as well as seed funding for road safety and climate-responsive student startup companies at Ontario Tech.

“Ontario Tech’s role in this ambitious undertaking is a trailblazing example of our exceptional competencies and faculty and student talent in world-class research and engineering projects. We know how to get things done collaboratively at Ontario Tech. Our DNA contains the ideal ecosystem to drive innovation and commercialization forward that will better our planet.”
- Dr. Steven Murphy, President and Vice-Chancellor, Ontario Tech University

“Project Arrow is an all-Canadian initiative, and we are very happy that APMA partnered with Ontario Tech for its capabilities, both in terms of the university’s innovative ACE Core Research Facility, and the passion and experience of our faculty and students. It’s a special feeling to know that we are making a vital contribution to support innovative lab-to-market projects in our country in the critical fight against climate change.”
- Dr. Les Jacobs, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Ontario Tech University

“I am grateful to have been given this opportunity to utilize my automotive background to be part of such a talented and hard-working team. To see this vision of a Canadian electric vehicle prototype being designed and built right here in Canada, with some of the most incredible academic talent, skilled trades talent, supplier technology and like-minded people, is truly a once-in-a-career opportunity.” 
- Paula Ambra, Ontario Tech ACE Project Arrow Engineering Lead

“Working on this project has been an incredible experience and I have learned so much. Being hands-on and developing almost every Arrow component has helped me further understand the challenges faced when designing and building a vehicle, and the purpose each part serves. I have learned how to use and operate many new tools and machines, and have advanced my soft skills such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving.” 
- Andrew Genovese, fourth-year Automotive Engineering student, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Ontario Tech University

“Over the past few months, the whole team has been working on building Canada’s first zero-emission electric vehicle concept car. Working with different suppliers and learning the entire vehicle design and build process firsthand has been such an amazing learning opportunity.”
- Izzy Cossarin, fourth-year Mechatronics Engineering student, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Ontario Tech University