Magna International

Heading Into the Future at Warp Speed

Growing up in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, Todd Deaville devoured the Foundation science-fiction book series by Isaac Asimov, tried to build humanoid-looking robots in his garage, and spent Saturdays watching reruns of Star Trek.


No surprise that his childhood heroes included Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci and Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, the ingenious chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise.
Deaville’s passions range from naval architecture to the Napoleonic wars – and “engagement with interesting people.”

“I was interested in inventions and people like Edison, who was brilliant but extremely practical,” Deaville recalled. “He was always asking, “How do we make this work?”

And Scotty?

“He was always getting yelled at and had to make things work,” Deaville said with a laugh.

Since then, Deaville, the director of corporate engineering and R&D at Magna, has moved at warp speed into the future of mobility.?

Armed with more than a dozen patents related to automotive products and manufacturing methods, Deaville now counts himself among the ranks of auto industry inventors who are commercializing new technologies.

His resume includes a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto, but Deaville’s passions range from naval architecture to the Napoleonic wars – and “engagement with interesting people.”

Today, he helps to lead teams drawn from academia, industry and startups as they delve into wide-ranging projects that include artificial intelligence, smart factories, LED lighting and industrial robots.

“The common theme is how do we move people more efficiently without damaging the environment,” Deaville said.? “That’s the high-level need. It’s an exciting time to be part of that, and there is a lot of room to explore new things at Magna. It’s all about taking a concept and making a real product.”

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