UBCO School of Engineering graduate students staged their annual showcase of research in June through 16 poster presentations and 27 oral presentations. Seven awards were presented for the best posters and oral presentations.
Overflowing trash bins with garbage surrounding it are becoming common sights on Vancouver streets. But School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) Professor and Masters of Urban Design Chair Patrick Condon says city areas with bars and night clubs need to expect a certain amount of litter. Condon adds, “cleaning up after a night of revelry is just the cost of doing business, and certainly affordable by allocating a tiny fraction of the money spent there for this purpose.”
A Globe and Mail article features the late Engineering Physics alumnus Nick Sonntag. Sonntag is remembered as a world leader of sustainable development, dedicating his life to preserving the Earth’s resources. His extensive career included establishing the Environmental and Social System Analysts (ESSA) office in postwar Vietnam, taking part in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, and heading CH2MHill in Canada, China and the United States.
Research in the United States revealed that bisexual and gay teens are more likely to experience pregnancy compared to their straight peers. A British Columbian study in 2007 also found teenagers who identify as lesbian or bisexual were two to seven times more likely to fall pregnant.
A Maclean’s article features Mechanical Engineering alumnus Ed Melcarek who are among the 350, 0000 “solvers” of InnoCentive, a website where companies (the “seekers”) anonymously post problems to be solved with cash rewards.
School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) Adjunct Professors Scott Hein and Andy Yan were among the 2015 Advocates of Architecture Award recipient from Metro Vancouver’s Chapter of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). RAIC is Canada’s largest and oldest institute representing professional architecture, and the annual award recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to the industry in building sustainable and vibrant cities.
A carbon dioxide reclamation plant will start operation next month in Squamish – the first of its kind in the world. Director of UBC Clean Energy Research Centre and Mechanical Engineering (MECH) Professor Walter Mérida says, “What’s different about this plan is that this plant is actually actively removing CO2… [I]t’s not about reducing the emissions or finding ways to prevent them – it’s actually taking CO2 directly from the air.”
A CIO article discusses the threat posed by artificial intelligence. New Scientist recently reported that a robot became self-aware after it recognized the sound of its own voice in a test at a New York lab. Justin Hart, a post-doctoral fellow at the UBC Collaborative Advanced Robotics Intelligent Systems Laboratory says: “The test also shines light on what it means for humans to be conscious. What robots can never have, which humans have is phenomenological consciousness, the first-hand experience of conscious thought.”
A Vancouver Sun article discusses the housing affordability of families in downtown Vancouver. Thirty years ago, Vancouver city council wanted to promote inner city living, trying out ways to attract people of varying incomes to live downtown.
Chemical and Biological Engineering (CHBE) Professor James J. Feng is among researchers at UBC and Duke University whose studies on the self-propelling “dancing droplets” on spider webs and insects could lead to the development of new coalesce technologies for many industrial applications such as water purification and oil refining.