PIERO AVERSA: THE DRIVER BEHIND FIESTA POWERSHIFT TRANSMISSION
- Piero Aversa is engineering manager for the PowerShift transmission, a critical component helping Fiesta deliver its projected 40 mpg highway
- Originally from Ontario, Canada, Aversa has been with Ford his entire career
- The father of four active children, Aversa spends a lot of time at hockey rinks, soccer fields and music recitals
Piero Aversa has shifted through numerous responsibilities in the powertrain development process from manufacturing through advanced design. But since college, Ford is the only place he has ever worked.
Aversa has been with Ford since 1985, starting as a co-op student tooling engineer in the Essex Engine Plant in Ontario, Canada. After four working terms in the Essex plant, Aversa hired on full-time upon graduating from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario.
“I believe that I was destined to work in the auto industry, specifically for Ford,” said Aversa, the engineering manager for Fiesta’s innovative PowerShift transmission. “My father started with Ford at the Windsor Foundry in 1965, the year I was born. When I decided to pursue a career in mechanical engineering, my sights were always on Ford.”
Aversa went on to earn a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan.
“My career has covered the full spectrum of powertrain responsibilities,” said Aversa. “I’ve experienced the daily adrenaline rush of production and ‘sweated every detail’ in the strategic aspects of engine and transmission planning.”
As a co-op student, Aversa’s first assignment required a great deal of time making blueprint copies. He advanced to manufacturing process engineering, and ultimately became a production supervisor for 3.8-liter V-6 engines at the Essex plant.
At this point, Aversa’s engineering career took a turn toward engine design. As an intake manifold design engineer, he worked on the 3.8- and 4.2-liter V-6 engine, notable for its “split-port” intake configuration. He was later assigned to 4.6- and 5.4-liter V-8 3-valve advanced engine design before being named powertrain planning analyst for Ford F-150, Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator vehicle lines. He then served as engineering supervisor on the five-speed 5R110 transmission that helped power F-Series pickups and E-Series vans.
In addition, Aversa worked as the engineering manager of Advanced Engine Design and in an operational position as total cost and value engineering manager for Powertrain Operations.
Aversa led the automatic transmission programs for the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ before leading development on Fiesta’s new transmission. “Our team takes great pride in these transmissions,” said Aversa. “We introduced two new gearboxes with that platform program. Both were flawless launches, recognized for best-in-class quality.”
Aversa is proud of his team’s work on Fiesta’s PowerShift.
“The goal for PowerShift was delivering a fuel-efficient, smooth-shifting transmission that makes Fiesta fun to drive,” he said.
The Fiesta’s PowerShift transmission is unique from several perspectives.
This innovative transmission employs dual, electronically controlled mechanical clutches, one for odd gears (one, three and five) and one for even gears (reverse, two, four and six). In normal driving it exhibits the behavior of a traditional automatic gearbox.
“With six forward gears, it can quickly adapt to changing situations,” said Aversa. “An enthusiastic driver will find the shift quality to be responsive and accurate. Customers interested in maximizing fuel economy will also appreciate this new transmission due to the high mechanical efficiency of the gearbox.”
Fiesta with PowerShift is projected to deliver up to 40 mpg highway pending EPA certification.
“Traditionally, B-segment fuel economy leaders have been manual-shift models,” Aversa said. “PowerShift is a key component in Fiesta’s fuel efficiency.”
Personal Insights and Fun Facts
- Aversa is a second-generation Ford employee
- He began at Ford as a co-op intern during college
- Aversa’s career has encompassed a wide variety of powertrain development positions
- Aversa is married and the father of four active children
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 198,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and, until its sale, Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com
April 19, 2010