Sam Charles

Communications Manager

School of Engineering
Office: EME4242
Phone: 250.807.8136


Sam started at the Okanagan campus of the University of British in 2013 as a Senior Media Production Specialist with UBC Studios Okanagan.  After four years in that role, he transitioned into the Communications Manager role with the School of Engineering.

At the School of Engineering, he is responsible for developing strategic communication materials that highlight the innovative research and experiential learning on the Okanagan campus.  Sam is energized by telling the endlessly inspiring stories of the School’s researchers, students and staff.

With over twenty years of experience in communications, film, television and radio production, Sam is a seasoned professional communicator focused on generating dynamic and engaging content.

Sam has represented Canada three-times at Summer World University Games as Team Canada’s videographer documenting the Games for international audiences.  On Friday nights during the varsity season, he is the play-by-play voice (and technical advisor) for UBC Okanagan Heat basketball and volleyball webcasts on


Integrated strategic communications including social media; Develop, design, and maintain communications content; Media relations; Issues Management; Develop and prepare faculty awards nominations


UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering won’t confer Bachelor of Applied Science degrees for another two years, but this year graduate student Carl Wong is on track to receive the school’s first Master of Applied Science degree.

As he finishes his master’s thesis on wireless positioning systems, Wong couldn’t be happier to hold the distinction as the school’s first graduate.

Dr. Michael Isaacson, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science at UBC since 1997, announced his intention to end his term effective June 30, 2008. He will step down after 16 years of continuous administrative service—11 as Dean of Applied Science and five as Head of the Department of Civil Engineering. Isaacson plans an administrative leave following his term and will continue as Professor of Civil Engineering at UBC. The university has initiated a search for his successor.

Engineering students at UBC Okanagan will benefit directly from a new scholarship initiative created this week by CTQ Consultants Ltd., an engineering, planning and design firm with headquarters in Kelowna.

CTQ Consultants is helping students pursue engineering education at UBC Okanagan with two $5,000 scholarships a year for the next three years. One scholarship will be awarded to a student entering the first year of the engineering program. The other scholarship will go to a student entering third-year civil engineering.

Dr. Michael Isaacson, a founder of UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering and Dean of UBC’s Faculty of Applied Science, has received the BC Innovation Council 2007 Chairman’s Award for Career Achievement.

Isaacson is recognized around the world as a leader in the field of offshore and coastal hydrodynamics research. The BC Innovation Council honoured Isaacson with the achievement award “for his continued contributions to the advancement of British Columbia’s scientific and engineering communities.”

UBC Mechanical Engineering students are helping FormaShape – one of North America’s largest manufacturers of composite fibreglass and fibre-reinforced plastic – find innovative ways to make manufacturing simpler.

Partnering with UBC’s Faculty of Applied Science and the UBC University-Industry Liaison Office, FormaShape has invited five students enrolled in UBC’s fourth-year Capstone Design Project course to help their manufacturing engineers develop new techniques for manipulating high-pressure molding gear.

Hovercraft will race across the floor and cable-suspended inventions will travel through the air at the UBC Okanagan Gymnasium next Wednesday (April 11), as the UBC Okanagan School of Engineering holds its second-annual student challenge — the Engineering Design Awards.

Faculty of Applied Science, the University of British Columbia – Stantec Inc., one of North America’s largest professional design and consulting companies, has recently donated $9,000 to scholarships for UBC Okanagan Engineering students. Stantec, which specializes in planning, engineering, architecture, surveying, and project management, has a strong presence in the BC Interior, and wanted to help ensure that students entering engineering at UBC Okanagan had the support and encouragement they needed to pursue their educational goals.

The first Stantec Inc., Scholarship in Engineering will be provided in Spring 2006, and will award $3,000 each year for three years to a top engineering student who has an interest in sustainability and who has demonstrated good communication and leadership skills.

This is the first scholarship that has been set up for students at UBC Okanagan Engineering, and the Faculty of Applied Science would like to thank Stantec for their generosity and commend them for supporting the program.

Faculty of Applied Science, The University of British Columbia—First-year engineering students at UBC Okanagan have been learning what it’s really like to be an engineer.

The end-of-term design project for Engineering Fundamentals (APSC 170) consisted of a team-based competition in which students designed a machine to transport a ball through a multi-challenge course. The challenges included rolling up a curved ramp, floating in water, ringing a bell and defying gravity. The machine might typify those engineered for fruit-packing, packaging, assembly or bottling.

“I think you learn a lot by doing something—that’s part of our program here,” said Professor Andrew Labun, who teaches APSC 170 and established the rules for this end-of-year project. “The assignment was to build a machine, and students have been advancing their projects every week.”

Through the challenge, each team—consisting of three or four students—developed and evaluated multiple conceptual designs, prepared drawings for the chosen concept, purchased the parts and supplies, built the machines over the course of the spring term and demonstrated them for judges.

Students were evaluated on their oral presentation, visual aids and teamwork, as well as the machine’s functionality, design and workmanship. Penalties were assessed for going over budget and omitting parts of the machine in the budget analysis. Awards for best project design and best presentation were given.

Warren Anderson, Scott Ghomeshi and Jon Holland won the best Project Design Award for their Beagle II entry. Beagle II performed flawlessly through the multi-phase course. Its utilitarian design included a lift made from a car belt and rare earth magnets to elevate the ball. The project was made almost entirely from scrap wood, scrap metal and discarded bits of household appliances keeping the project well within budget.

“More complex ideas seemed easy on paper,” said Jon Holland, “but often required rethinking.”

“The event was a tremendous success,” said Bruce Dunwoody, Associate Dean and Acting Director of the UBCO School of Engineering. “Our students—18 teams—rose to the challenge and performed brilliantly for the very supportive crowd.”

More than 100 people—including representatives from businesses, other colleges and universities, as well as friends and parents—attended the inaugural competition. Students took advantage of the networking opportunity, with several securing interviews for summer employment.


For more information, please contact:

Teija Wakeman
School of Engineering
Phone: 250.807.8723

ErinRose Handy
Communications Officer
Faculty of Applied Science
The University of British Columbia
5000-2332 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
Telephone: 604.822.1524
Fax: 604.822.7006

KELOWNA — Engineering starts at UBC Okanagan in September 2005, when the first 60 students enter the innovative new Engineering One first-year program that will eventually lead to four-year degrees graduating up to 180 students per year, Deputy Vice Chancellor Barry McBride announced today.