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Gianluca Arcari, B.Eng. '97

(Electrical Engineering) | Helping to Keep Canadians Safe

Will that new smart appliance, LED light fixture or high-tech device really revolutionize your life? Maybe not, but thanks to Gianluca Arcari and his colleagues at CSA Group, it also shouldn’t put you at undue risk when you use it.

Arcari, a 1997 Electrical Engineering grad, has spent nearly two decades focused on keeping Canadians safe. He joined CSA Group as a senior engineer in 2001, and has moved through a variety of positions with the organization, which provides safety testing, inspection and certification for a wide range of products.

Currently Vice President of the Home & Commercial business unit at CSA Group, Arcari and his global team work with manufacturers of high tech, appliance, HVAC, lighting, wiring, plumbing and construction products to help them meet the compliance requirements to gain access to markets in the U.S., Canada and around the world.

“Essentially, CSA Group helps ensure that product prototypes meet applicable requirements for both domestic and international markets, allowing qualified products to bear the CSA mark, and allowing customers to buy those products with more confidence,” he explains.

While this isn’t a job he ever expected to be doing, Arcari says his McMaster internship placement with Nortel (BNR at the time) kicked off his career.

“I trained as an Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Engineer at Nortel, while also learning about product safety, which launched me into a lifelong career in product integrity and standards,” he says.  

A key highlight of his Nortel time was receiving a patent with two of his peers for a device and methodology in testing the effectiveness of electromagnetic shielding, a topic he had explored in his fourth-year thesis at McMaster.

Arcari advises young people to keep an open mind when it comes to job possibilities.

“Back in my university days, I never thought for a second that my career would lead me to where I am today,” he says. “I was lucky to have great mentors who taught me all I know post-university, and to have managers who really cared about my development, allowing me to broaden my knowledge and experience so that I could be a better engineer and leader.”