Aaron MacDonald is a senior mechanical engineer at MistyWest, well known on the team for his Squamish lifestyle that includes mountain biking, skiing, rock climbing, and camping adventures with his family. He also likes working on vehicles, like installing a suspension lift kit on his truck for a fun weekend project.
While he’s been working in the field of product development for 19 years, Aaron has been figuring out how to design, build and fix things his whole life. “I played with Lego and Transformers, and took almost everything I owned apart and put it back together at some point” he says, certainly on trend for the typical behaviour of a child Westie.
Aaron spent his grade 12 year in Tokyo as a Rotary exchange student, where learned to speak Japanese and encountered a lot of new high-tech electronic devices. He earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Victoria, and after finishing university, “I had the opportunity to work in a machine shop in Auckland, New Zealand, where I did all sorts of metal fabrication projects.”
On returning to Canada, he landed a job at Nokia, where he eventually advanced to the position of senior mechanical engineer, designing the main structural body of mobile devices and overseeing the integration and placement of smaller sub-systems and components. When Nokia closed down shop, Aaron worked for a micro-hydrogen fuel-cell development company until they too closed their doors in 2015.
Through his friend Hugh Patterson, who did work for the company when it was still sharing 2 desks at the HiVE Coworking Space, Aaron knew of MistyWest and the types of projects that the company worked on were very intriguing. “The people seemed very passionate, there was a priority on work-life balance, and I was allowed to purchase any Nerf gun that I wanted for in-office battles.”
At MistyWest, Aaron works closely with clients to determine their project/product requirements, provides scopes and estimates for projects, conceptualizes and creates early-stage designs and prototypes. This leads to his favourite part: “I perform some 3D CAD wizardry in SolidWorks to design complex parts and assemblies that take into consideration all the functional requirements outlined for the product.”
Aaron’s long term goal for MistyWest is to help design and develop as many cool projects and technologies as possible that have a positive global impact. “I want to enable humans to live healthier and happier lives. As a father to 2 boys, I want to help clean up and improve our environment, for my kids and future generations to come.”
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