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

Students asked to make infrastructure greener
The Kelowna Daily Courier
Mon, Feb 24, 2014
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UBCO Engineering professor Kasun Hewage is encouraging his students to integrate sustainable life-cycle thinking within infrastructure management. Whether an engineer is building a road, bridge, high rise, or house, Hewage wants students to look at the whole process from the starting point of each piece of material right through the material being disposed of.

Artificial muscle could solve muscle loss problem for Mars travelers
The Space Reporter
Sat, Feb 22, 2014
Author: Max Sonnenberg
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One of the problems with space travel is muscle loss. While any colony on Mars is going to start off small, and Mar’s surface gravity is only 38% of that on Earth, astronauts are still going to need to lift heavy objects. One possible solution is using the artificial muscles created by University of British Columbia engineers to construct space suits.

Artificial muscles easy to make by twisting fishing line
CBC News
Thu, Feb 20, 2014
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Researchers at UBC have created artificial muscles 100 times more powerful than human muscles.

“The advantage is that these can be made extremely compact,” said John Madden, UBC electrical and computer engineering professor. “One of the reasons this is going to be such an interesting discovery is that it’s so easy for people to make.”
The artificial muscles can be made by twisting and coiling nylon fishing line, and then applying heat.

A similar story appeared in Reuters, Vancouver Sun, Red Orbitt, UBC Reports, Popular Mechanics, The Engineer, Toronto Sun, Business Standard, Austrian Tribune, Guardian Liberty Voice , The Almagest,  Ordoh News, International Business Times, India Times, Times of Malta, The World Science, The Age, Auto World News, Nature World News, University Herald, Independent Online, Science 2.0, UBC This Week, CBC

CNC chooses new president
The Prince George Citizen
Thu, Feb 20, 2014
Author: Frank Peebles
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The College of New Caledonia has named Henry Reiser the new president. Reiser, a UBC alumni who holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, will “bring more than 25 years of applied research experience to CNC.” He assumes office June 1, 2014.

Opinion: What does Freedom to Read mean in B.C.?
Vancouver Sun
Thu, Feb 20, 2014
Author: Jocelyn Fraser

Jocelyn Fraser, a UBC Mining engineering doctoral student, has written an op-ed piece in theVancouver Suntitled, “Opinion: What does Freedom to Read mean in B. C.? When many people don’t know how to read, how can they be free to read?” On the topic of Freedom to Read Week Fraser notes that many people in British Columbia do not have the freedom to read because they are illiterate. Fraser argues that this not only leads to personal struggles but also limits our future workforce.

“As we celebrate Freedom to Read Week this year, let us put a new twist on the event by pledging to invest in essential skills,” Fraser says. “So we can ensure our citizens are truly free to read.”


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