APSC members receive Killam Awards

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Several members of the APSC community have received Killam awards for excellence in teaching and doctoral research.

Killam awards and fellowships aim to support advanced education and research at five Canadian universities and the Canada Council for the Arts. Since 1965, more than 2,000 students, faculty members and others at UBC have received support from the Killam Trusts.

Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards

This year, three APSC teaching assistants were honoured with Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards for making contributions that “[resulted] in a high level of respect from undergraduate students and academic or course supervisors”:

  • Abdullah Al-Digs (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Roza Vaez Ghaemi (School of Biomedical Engineering)
  • Hassan Halawa (Electrical and Computer Engineering)

Recipients are selected based on several criteria, including whether or not they have demonstrated a broad knowledge of their field, incorporated new teaching skills and worked in a collegial manner with students, faculty supervisors and colleagues.  


Killam Doctoral Scholarship

A Killam Doctoral Scholarship was awarded to Rabe Arshad, a PhD student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, whose research aims to support user mobility in wireless networks by providing lag-less connections to mobile users.

Given to 15 to 20 of UBC’s top doctoral candidates each year, the scholarship is intended to recognize those who are "likely to contribute to the advancement of learning or to win distinction in a profession” and who have not only a “special distinction of intellect,” but also “sound character."

The Killam Doctoral Scholarship provides an annual stipend of $30,000 over two years, as well as a $2,000 allowance for research-related travel during the scholarship term. More information about Arshad and his research is available here.


Killam Teaching Prize

The Killam Teaching Prize recognizes excellence in teaching and is awarded annually to faculty nominated by students, colleagues and alumni. 

This year's APSC-affiliated recipients and their official citations are:

Sathish Gopalakrishnan (Electrical and Computer Engineering)

Dr. Sathish Gopalakrishnan’s sustained dedication to the continual improvement of the Computer Engineering program is remarkable. From large-scale curriculum reform and production of comprehensive open source teaching materials to creating student advising resources, Dr. Gopalakrishnan does it all with infectious enthusiasm. Teaching across all levels of the curriculum, he strives to support learners in developing both solid technical skills as well as problem-solving and independent learning skills. Though his courses are challenging and his expectations are high, Dr. Gopalakrishnan’s vast knowledge and commitment to his students has resulted in transformative learning experiences.


Jonathan Holzman (School of Engineering)

Dr. Holzman’s passion for teaching has significantly impacted our School of Engineering and community at large. His innovative approach to teaching complex concepts and exceptional care for students’ growth and learning has empowered many students at a young age to join our school and become talented scholars in the field. In his own student’s words, Dr. Holzman “turns students into stars”.  Dr. Holzman created the Stewards in Engineering Education Program, which has become a signature UBCO program. He takes community-engaged learning to a new level by regularly welcoming young learners to his laser and optics lab, including the GoENG Girl national program. Not surprisingly, Dr. Holzman is recipient of numerous awards including the Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education from Engineers Canada, the highest national honour in the profession.


Patrick Kirchen (Mechanical Engineering)

Although thermodynamics is often considered a difficult topic, Dr. Patrick Kirchen’s carefully-balanced combination of fundamental theory and state-of-the-art applications frequently leaves students keen to register for his advanced electives. He is known for his articulate presentation materials, use of varied teaching styles and tools, and ability to motivate students to develop problem-solving skills through novel projects and assignments. Beyond the classroom, Dr. Kirchen mentors the Formula UBC racing team and also actively sponsors student capstone projects. His generosity with his time and enthusiasm for sharing his expertise with students of all levels is widely acknowledged and appreciated.  


Blair Satterfield (Architecture and Landscape Architecture) 

After leaving industry to join UBC in 2010, Mr. Blair Satterfield set out on a mission: To transform design education in the Architecture and Landscape Architecture programs. Through initiatives such as a wide-spread curriculum redevelopment and creation of a makerspace, Mr. Satterfield has exposed students to the rapidly evolving fields of digital media and fabrication processes, including the use of novel building materials, as they apply to modern architectural practice. Mr. Satterfield’s contributions have impacted virtually every student in the School, and both students and colleagues alike have expressed gratitude for the knowledge he has shared and the opportunities and resources he has created for the benefit of all.