Engineering in the News

UBC Engineering faculty, staff, students and alumni are often featured in in the news, researching innovations, making a difference in their community and achieving exceptional status in professional or community organizations.

A summary of the latest news articles are provided below for your interest. For complete stories, contact ErinRose Handy at 604.822.1524 or

Wiles Magazine 2014 Hot List
Wiles Magazine
Fri, Aug 22, 2014
Author: Camille Sarabia
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Elizabeth Croft, UBC Engineering associate dean and professor, is one of ten women highlighted in the 2014 Wiles Magazine’s Hot List for female engineers. In the feature, Croft talks about her robot research and her intent behind founding Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WWEST). 

UBC research recognized at Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society Conference
UBC This Week
Thu, Aug 21, 2014
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A paper titled ”Self-assessment of insulin sensitivity” co-authored by UBC Chemical and Biological Engineering researchers won third place prize at the 37th Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society Conference held in Vancouver. The team of Melissa Barazandegan, Fatemeh Ekram, Ezra Kwok and Bhushan Gopaluni received a $200 prize. 

'Age doesn't matter': Prestigious scholarship helps 15-year-old begin studies at UBC
The Province
Tue, Aug 19, 2014
Author: Cheryl Chan
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Cheng Xie, a 15-year-old future UBC Engineering student, is one of 40 students who have won the 2014 Schulich Leader Scholarship. He is the youngest recipient of this $80,000 award, which is given to 40 star students who intend to study science, technology, engineering or mathematics in university.

Xie graduated from the UBC Transitions program, a two-year fast-track program for academically talented high school students. He will begin studying at UBC this fall.

“I’m really looking forward to the environment there,” the 15-year-old said. “Age doesn’t matter. It’s an environment of creativity and innovation where really smart people in a field come together and say, ‘We can do this.’”

See similar stories in Global BC, The Ubyssey, KelownaNowHuffington Post CanadaUBC This Week and UBC Alumni and Development.

Will the mine of the future be a mine at all?
The Globe and Mail
Mon, Aug 18, 2014
Author: W. Scott Dunbar
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As mining faces increasing constraints, such as challenges finding new deposits and a growing recognition of environmental, social and political costs, a “radical shift” is needed for the industry, writes UBC professor Scott Dunbar, head of the department of mining engineering, in an op-ed.

He describes innovations which could be put into practice, such as using microbes that can dissolve minerals containing gold to release the precious metal, and phyto-mining involving plants that absorb metals through their roots.

“Canada has the expertise to pursue these ideas or similar ones,” he writes. “It should do so to remain a leader in resource extraction.”

BC orders independent probe of mine disaster
Seattle PI
Mon, Aug 18, 2014
Author: Joel Connelly
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The B.C. government on Monday ordered an independent investigation of the August 4 tailings dam breach that sent huge quantities of water and metal-contaminated sand into important-salmon spawning waters.

Three independent experts will probe why the dam at the Mount Polley mine ruptured, as the public has grown doubtful of official assurances of the water’s safety.

One of the three investigators appointed, UBC engineering professor Dirk van Zyl, has described the tailings dam failure as “a dark day for the mining industry not only here in British Columbia but worldwide.”

Similar stories in The Globe and Mail, CBC, Vancouver SunMining.com24 Hours Vancouver, The Tyee and Global News.


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