Tesla lost engineering director Joseph Mardall, who has helped produce “some of the best engineering work” Elon Musk has seen in a long time.
Tesla Model Y heat pump
With Model Y last year, Tesla introduced several new design improvements, and the new heat pump is one of the most important.
A heat pump is a unit that transfers heat energy from a heat source to what is called a thermal reservoir.
It is a device that was not in Model 3 at the time, and it can make the vehicles much more efficient in colder climates, which can affect the range of all vehicles ̵
After Tesla introduced the same heat pump in model 3, owners were able to compare the efficiency of climate control with and without Tesla’s new heat pump, which showed that the latter is much more efficient.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk commented on the heat pump design on Twitter and praised the team that designed it:
Model Y heat pump is some of the best engineering work I have seen in a while. The team did work on the next level.
Musk elaborated on the design of Model Y’s heat pump:
PCB design techniques used to make a heat exchanger that is physically impossible in the usual way. Heat pump also has a local heat loop to quickly wind up and expand usable temperature range. Octavalve is also quite special. The team did a great job. No honor to me.
Now Tesla has lost the leader of the team that delivered “some of the best engineering work” he has seen.
Tesla Engineering Director Joseph Mardall
Mardall is a Cambridge and MIT-trained mechanical engineer who cut his teeth as an aerodynamicist at McLaren Racing before joining Tesla.
He spent the last 10 years at Tesla contributing to a long list of really important projects at the carmaker, including Model Y’s heat pump, according to patents and his LinkedIn profile:
- (2018-2021) Led 3 teams of 60+ engineers with responsibility for HVAC & Thermals, Vehicle Integration and Vehicle Structural Analysis (from 2019) for the development of Model Y, Semi and Roadster.
- Highlights included the groundbreaking Model Y heat pump system and leading Tesla efforts to develop a fan.
- (2014-2018) Led 25 engineers to develop thermal / HVAC systems for Model X & Model 3, including simulation, HW design, supplier selection, testing, reliability and production ramp.
- Highlights included Model 3 Air Vent and SuperBottle, and Model X HEPA filter
- (2014) Led team of 5 for layout, design, simulation, sourcing and validation of Model X Powertrain Thermal System.
- (2011-2014) Elected by Elon Musk to lead Tesla Hyperloop concept development resulting in Hyperloop-Alpha white paper. Led aerodynamic development, route planning, structural design of pipes and pylons, budgeting, human factors, maglev research.
- Led aerodynamic development for Model S thermal system including all HVAC ducts, heat exchanger ducts and grille including surface, CFD simulations and vehicle testing.
- Developed industry-leading battery thermal run-away simulation tool and led design development to optimize vehicle and Tesla Energy battery pack design results in 3 patents.
The engineer has now announced that he is leaving Tesla to join Zipline, a start-up-driven drone for medical product deliveries.
Mardall announced on LInkedIn:
After ten fantastic years at Tesla, I am very excited to start my next chapter as an engineering manager at Zipline, working with a team of talented and dedicated engineers to give every human on earth instant access to vital medical supplies. The next 5 years are going to change everything and I look forward to it! We hire for all roles in engineering, and I would like to hear from you – come with me!
With a decade in Tesla, Mardall was among the top executives in the carmaker.
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