Engineering science graduate ('14) Scott Malfesi completed a four-month co-op work term as a firmware engineer intern with Tesla Motors in California in summer, 2014.
Why were you interested in doing a co-op placement with Tesla?
Tesla is a really exciting company that makes amazing products. I believe in their goals with electric vehicles and their approach of rethinking a lot of the industry standard way of doing things. They have created a culture which I wanted to experience and a product which I wanted to help build.
How did it feel when you heard you got the job? Were you excited about living in California for a few months?
I was a bit shocked, though the whole process I guess it just hadn’t sunk in that this could really happen. I was obviously very excited, but at the same time a bit nervous about the prospect of moving so far away.
Tell me a bit about the project you worked on? Why is the work you were doing important?
I was a part of the Body Controls Firmware team. I got exposed to many different parts of their system but the biggest contribution worked on was the LIN (Local Interconnect Network) driver, schedular and code generation tool. This framework allowed LIN modules such as headlights, windows, or windshield wipers to be developed more easily.
What did you enjoy most about the work, and what was your greatest challenge?
It was a great feeling to be sitting in a Tesla car, loading my own code onto it and watching as everything worked. Overall, I really enjoyed the responsibility, and interesting challenges that I got to work on through the term.
If you had to sum up your experience in three words, what would they be?
engaging, rewarding and inspirational
What's your dream job in the future?
I would like to continue developing embedded systems and especially focus on image or signal processing. I enjoy the challenges that come with embedded systems and find the idea of a device making inferences, and reacting to the world around it fascinating.