New roster of ‘superstar’ research chairs reflects equity rules

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Meet Alexander Harmsen, B.A.Sc. '16, Engineering Physics

What has made your time at UBC the most memorable?

Being one of the first people on UBC Orbit, a Satellite Design team, joining the UBC Cryogenics and Life Extension Club, going on exchange to the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, traveling across the country with a drone strapped to our van, starting up UBC Unmanned Aircraft Systems and being President of Engineers Without Borders. But, most of all, just getting to meet so many other awesome people and making so many memories!

Why did you choose Engineering?

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UBC Engineering alumni develop software to create safe airspaces

In October 2015, Alexander Harmsen (BASc '16 Engineering Physics) and co-founder James Howard (BASc ’15 Mechanical Engineering) launched their start up, Iris Automation, a company specializing in autonomous drone software that is going to revolutionize the drone industry and create immeasurable applications for creating safer skies in Canada and around the world.

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UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The story also appeared in Langley Advance.

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UBC seismic study points the way to disaster resilience on Vancouver campus

A team of UBC staff, leading earthquake faculty experts and engineering consultants has produced a study examining how to protect lives, research programs, infrastructure and assets on the university’s Vancouver campus in the event of a catastrophic earthquake.

The report presented to the UBC Board of Governors Feb. 12 was more than two years in the making, said Jennifer Sanguinetti, mechanical engineer and managing director of infrastructure development at UBC.

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Search engine-enhancing research from UBC and Microsoft wins best paper award

Rabab Ward, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UBC, has received a 2018 Best Paper Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Signal Processing Society. She shares the honour with her co-authors at Microsoft Research, including Hamid Palangi, her former doctoral student and the paper’s lead author.

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Emeritus APSC prof receives top engineering award

W.D. Liam Finn, professor emeritus in the UBC Department of Civil Engineering, has received the George W. Housner Medal from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI).

Considered the EERI’s most prestigious award, the medal is granted to one individual, if any, each year and only upon the unanimous vote of the Institute’s Board of Directors. It aims to recognize those “who have made extraordinary and lasting contributions to public earthquake safety through the development and application of earthquake hazard reduction practices and policies.”

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From adversity to innovation

In the summer of 2017, Michael Ko received some heartbreaking news. His older brother, Daniel, who has muscular dystrophy (MD), had gone into cardiac arrest. After he was rushed to the hospital and stabilized in the ER, Daniel spent four months in intensive care, slowly recovering from the ordeal. But it left him bedridden and with impaired speech due to a tracheostomy. 

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UBC engineering students tasked with designing safer donation bins after series of deaths

This story also appeared in Yahoo Canada.

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Co-directors of Digital Learning Factory Initiative announced

Dr. Anoush Poursartip (UBC Vancouver) and Dr. Rehan Sadiq (UBC Okanagan) have been named co-directors of the Digital Learning Factory Initiative. As co-directors, they will develop the overall vision, define its broad activities and associated benefits and responsibilities, and integrate learning (in the form of research and education) and industrial activities into a series of Digital Learning Factory projects starting with a Composites Digital Learning Factory.

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