Tyler Finley

(He, Him, His)

Communications Manager

School of Engineering
Office: EME4241
Email: tyler.finley@ubc.ca


 

UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering is looking for real-world problems in need of creative solutions. 

From now until August 6, the School of Engineering will be accepting project proposals for its year-long engineering design course, ENGR 499. The School is inviting engineering industry partners, UBC faculty and current students to submit proposals online. 

Small teams of final-year students will then tackle the selected projects throughout the coming academic year. Their goal? To apply the knowledge and skills they’ve gained throughout their undergraduate degree to design feasible and innovative solutions. 

Navigating real-world engineering issues is a significant part of the Capstone course which looks to provide students with insight into what they can expect once they enter the engineering industry, notes Dr. Kenneth Chau, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at UBCO and one of the two Course Coordinators for ENGR 499. 

We would like Capstone to be one of many gateways for industry partners to play a role at the School and engage with our students. We would like to see more real-world industry projects appear in the courses we offer at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,” says Dr. Chau. “Over time, we would like to see these industry projects grow into research collaborations with our professors, graduate students, and research associates.” 

In addition to fostering long-term partnerships with the UBC academic community, Capstone project partners have the benefit of working with the next generation of engineers, exploring design solutions, products and services that may be outside their current initiatives, accessing world-class research facilities, faculty support, and an enthusiastic group of students dedicated to solving their problem. Capstone project partners will also be presented with design models and potentially a working prototype at the culminating event in April. 

Not all successful project proposals originate from industry. Last April, the top team at the Capstone Design Project Showcase & Competition, was a student-led project initiative. The winning project focused on designing an efficient and affordable way to place and organize electrical cables into trays. 

Capstone team 2024

The winning team from the 2024 Capstone Design Competition and Showcase.

Promoting entrepreneurship is a part of engineering education as well. The Capstone course provides the opportunity for students to realize their ideas and potentially scale them further. 

To be considered, Capstone project proposals must involve elements that pertain to at least two of the School of Engineering’s programs: Civil, Electrical, Manufacturing and Mechanical, and demonstrate relevance to real-world engineering issues. 

The School of Engineering is accepting project proposals now until August 6 through their online form.

Capstone timeline

The application is open to industry, government organizations, UBC faculty and current students in ENGR 499. The selected projects will be announced in August, with client consultation to begin in September when the academic year begins. Students will work closely with their capstone project partners and faculty advisors throughout the year until April, when the culminating presentation event will be held.

More information can be found on the undergraduate capstone website 

June 23 is dedicated to recognizing and honouring the invaluable contributions of women engineers. International Women in Engineering Day highlights their relentless efforts, the challenges they have faced and their remarkable achievements.

Meet four inspiring women from the UBC Engineering Class of 2024 who are already making contributions to the field of engineering and paving the way for future generations. Read the full story by UBC Engineering.

Featured in the story is Megha Desai, a recent graduate from UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering.

Read Megha’s graduate profile.

Megha Desai

Read other School of Engineering Faculty and Student profiles – celebrating female-identifying leaders

Graduate Profile – Megan Ali (BASc, Electrical, Computer Science Minor, ‘24)

Faculty Spotlight – Dr. Qian Chen Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering

Graduate Profile – Lydia McIntyre (BAsc, Civil Engineering, ‘24)

Graduate Profile – Madison Smith (BASc, Mechanical ‘24)

The Canadian Society of Civil Engineers (CSCE) recently honoured UBC Okanagan Civil Engineering Professor Dr. Shahria Alam.

Dr. Alam was named a fellow of CSCE at the organization’s annual conference held in Niagara Falls on June 7.

Dr. Shahria Alam

CSCE fellowships are bestowed to members who have demonstrated civil engineering excellence and who have contributed actively towards the progress of their profession.

“My journey with the CSCE began in 2006 as a student member. Over the years, I’ve taken on various roles, gaining valuable leadership experience, making lifelong friends, and contributing to the betterment of our society. Starting small, I’ve accumulated a wealth of experiences, and I encourage fellow students, EITs, and professional engineers to get involved with CSCE. It offers a great sense of belonging and countless opportunities for growth,” says Dr. Alam.

Over the years, Dr. Alam has served as Chair, Co-Chair and Vice-Chair of numerous CSCE committees, as well as Vice President of the Technical Program from 2022-present:

  • Student Member: 2006-2008
  • Associate Member: 2009-2013
  • Full Member: 2014-present
  • Chair, Concrete Structures Sub-committee: 2013-2021
  • Vice-Chair, EMM Division: 2014-2017
  • Chair, Engineering Mechanics and Materials Division: 2018-2022
  • Chair, Casimir Gzowski Medal, CSCE Award Committee: 2019-present
  • Vice President (Technical Program): 2022-present
  • Chair/Co-Chair (7 times), Engineering Mechanics & Materials Specialty Conference: Vancouver, 2017 & 2019; Engineering Materials Specialty Conference, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • CSCE Fellow: 2024

At UBC Okanagan, Dr. Alam is Principal’s Research Chair, Resilient and Green Infrastructure (Tier 1), Director of the Green Construction Research Training Centre and leads the Alam Research Group.

For further reading:

Dr. Alam and his research team were recently featured in a UBC Okanagan “All In” story on the topic of Building better infrastructure for climate resilience.

Loic Markley

Dr. Loïc Markley, Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Associate Director, Undergraduate Studies for the School of Engineering (SoE) is the recipient of the 2024 Faculty of Applied Science Dean’s Service Award.

The Award for Excellence in Service is designed to recognize faculty who through leadership, service and administrative activates make substantial positive high impact contributions to their Departments, Schools and the Faculty as a whole. It is through these efforts that we are able to provide our students with the highest quality educational experience.

“Thank you for this incredible honour. I have been lucky to work with some very talented people here at the School who have been instrumental in making it all happen,” said Dr. Markley.

“Congratulations and job well done, Loïc. Your dedication to students elevates our School. Thank you for modeling the way for us all,” said Dr. Will Hughes, Director and Professor, School of Engineering.

Congratulations to all of this year’s Faculty of Applied Science Dean’s Faculty and Staff Award recipients and nominees. Read more about all of this year’s honorees in the news article by Faculty of Applied Science.

Trudy Chimko

Trudy Chimko, Administration Manager for the School of Engineering is the 2024 recipient of the Faculty of Applied Science Dean’s Staff Award for Excellence, in Early Career Excellence.  

This award recognizes individuals who have provided outstanding service and contributions to the Faculty of Applied Science, promoting and advancing its mission and vision. It recognizes those who consistently demonstrate a commitment to lead by example, drive new ideas with creative solutions and contribute to a positive, respectful and inclusive environment. 

“Thank you so much for this award,” said Chimko. “It is both exciting and humbling. My professional joy comes from supporting staff and faculty, watching the administration and leadership teams develop and thrive, and being part of this incredible journey at the School of Engineering.” 

Chimko joined the School of Engineering in mid-2022 and has been instrumental in the implementation of new systems and processes to enhance administration for the school. She leads and supports a talented, committed, high-performing administration team and is known within the school as someone who is always ready to pitch in, and who leads by example.  

“Trudy has made a transformational impact upon the SoE during her time with the school,” said Dr. Will Hughes, Director and Professor, School of Engineering. “Her efforts have helped to set us up for success and growth, also resilience and capacity for change and continual improvement. Congratulations, Trudy, on this well-deserved award.” 

Congratulations to all of this year’s Faculty of Applied Science Dean’s Faculty and Staff Award recipients and nominees. Read more about all of this year’s honorees in the news article by the Faculty of Applied Science.  

2024 NSERC DISCOVERY Grant Awardees announced

Today the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) announced more than $554 million is being invested in research over five years through the Discovery Research Program. Over $480 million of this funding provides new awards to researchers through the 2024 Discovery Research Program. An additional $72.4 million was awarded in one-time, one-year extensions with funds to existing Discovery Research grants held by more than 1,800 researchers across Canada impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

UBC AWARDEES

A total of 157 new programs and projects led by UBC researchers were awarded more than $36 million through the 2024 NSERC Discovery Research Program competition.

Nineteen UBC Okanagan researchers — including nine individuals from the School of Engineering — received more than $3.5 million in grants. Read more in the announcement from the office of the UBC Okanagan Vice President Research and Innovation (VPRI).

2024 DISCOVERY GRANTS

The NSERC Discovery Grants program supports ongoing programs of research with long-term goals rather than a single short-term project or collection of projects. These grants recognize the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of all research advances.

School of Engineering Awardees

Congratulations to the following researchers who have been awarded 2024 Discovery Grants:

Dr. Wouter Bam

Improving sustainable industrial development decision support through novel computational approaches and re-conceptualisation*

Dr. Md Jahangir Hossain

Holographic-MIMO empowered next-generation wireless networks

Dr. Thomas Johnson

Adapting wireless power system concepts to design efficient power combining networks for photovoltaic modules

Dr. Stephen O’Leary

Novel Semiconductor Materials for Future Device Applications: Materials Issues and Device Implications

Dr. Abbas Sadeghzadeh Milani

A Materials Informatics Approach for Intelligent Forming of Woven Fabric Composites

Dr. Rudolf Seethaler

Flexible and Wearable Electronic Devices made from Laser Induced Graphene

Dr. Liwei Wang

High power voltage source converter topologies, modeling, and analysis techniques for high voltage direct current transmission system

RESEARCH TOOLS AND INSTRUMENTS

The NSERC Research Tools and Instruments grants foster and enhance the discovery, innovation and training capability of university researchers in the natural sciences and engineering by supporting the purchase of research equipment.

Congratulations to the following researchers who have been awarded 2024 Research Tools and Instruments Grants:

Dr. Lisa Tobber

Advanced Data Acquisition and Feedback Control System for Resilient Infrastructure

Dr. Alexander Uhl

Optical Spectroscopic Characterization Equipment for Solar Energy Research

Abdirahman Hajj Salad

Where are you from?

I am from Nairobi, Kenya

What brought you to UBC?

I was drawn to UBC by its renowned engineering program, commitment to innovation, and the beautiful Okanagan campus. Additionally, the chance to study in a close-knit, diverse community and learn from distinguished faculty played a significant role in my decision.

Why engineering? What inspired you to pursue education in this field?

My interest in engineering began with a fascination for how technology drives our modern world. I was inspired by my curiosity about how electronic devices work and a desire to innovate and improve them. At UBC, I developed the ability to understand complex problems and the excitement of creating new technologies. This potential to contribute to advancements in areas like renewable energy, telecommunications, and automation motivated me to pursue this field.

What were some of the most rewarding experiences as a student? (What were some of the challenges you faced?)

One of the most rewarding experiences I had was applying theoretical classroom knowledge to real-world projects and problems. These opportunities gave me firsthand insight into how concepts learned in class could be practically applied, providing valuable hands-on experience and deeper understanding of the work involved. Collaborating within teams during these projects enhanced the fulfillment, offering diverse perspectives and enriching the learning process. I gained these experiences through both team projects in class and during co-op placements.

Certainly, alongside these rewarding experiences came challenges. Balancing the demands of rigorous academic commitments, co-op placements, personal development, social engagements, and self-care required meticulous time management and adaptability to new environments and project requirements. Effectively managing these responsibilities allowed me to enhance my technical skills and gain valuable insights into different aspects of the engineering profession.

Are there any club, design team, campus or school involvement you’d like to highlight?

During my time at UBC, one of my significant involvements was peer mentoring. I had the privilege of providing incoming students with timely orientation and transition support, helping them navigate academic challenges, select courses, refine study techniques, and manage their time effectively. This experience not only enhanced my communication and leadership skills but also taught me how to personalize support based on individual needs. Overall, peer mentoring was a deeply meaningful aspect of my campus engagement, enabling me to positively influence others while honing essential skills for my future as a leader and an engineer.

What is your proudest moment at UBCO?

My proudest moment at UBCO will undoubtedly be at graduation. This milestone represents years of hard work, dedication, and overcoming challenges both academically and personally. It signifies not only my academic achievement but also the growth and development I’ve undergone during my time at UBCO. Standing among my peers, faculty, and loved ones, I will reflect on the journey that brought me here and look forward to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in my engineering career.

Congratulations on winning the Donald A. Wehrung International Student Award! How has it helped you in your studies?

The Donald A. Wehrung International Student Award has been instrumental in supporting my studies at UBCO. This prestigious award alleviated the financial pressures of tuition and living expenses, enabling me to concentrate fully on my academic pursuits without financial concerns.

The support from the ISP team has been invaluable, providing guidance on academic, personal, and career matters that has significantly contributed to my success. Access to workshops, treats, and conferences through the award has been particularly beneficial. These opportunities have enhanced my skills in leadership, public speaking, and career development, equipping me with essential capabilities for my future endeavors in engineering.

What was your Convocation experience like?

The convocation was a truly memorable experience for me. It was a culmination of years of hard work and dedication, and it felt incredibly rewarding to walk across the stage and celebrate my degree in Electrical Engineering. Being surrounded by my friends, family, and peers who have supported me throughout my journey made the moment even more special. It was a significant milestone that I will cherish as I embark on the next chapter in my career.

What is next for you? What are your future goals / plans?

Next for me, I am excited to begin my career in electrical engineering. My immediate goal is to secure a position where I can apply the knowledge and skills I’ve acquired at UBCO to contribute to innovative projects and solutions. I am particularly interested in areas such as renewable energy and microelectronics where I hope to make a meaningful impact through technological advancements.

In the future, I intend to pursue professional development opportunities to continually expand my expertise and remain up-to-date with industry trends. This will involve specializing in specific areas of interest, which I believe will pave the way for leadership roles and research opportunities down the road.

Ultimately, my goal is to build a successful and fulfilling career in engineering, where I can continue to learn, grow, and contribute to creating positive changes in society through innovative engineering solutions.

Anything else you’d like to share about your story?

Reflecting on my journey, I am grateful for the invaluable experiences and growth opportunities I’ve had at UBCO. From challenging academic projects to meaningful campus involvements and the support of mentors and peers, each has shaped me into the individual I am today. These experiences have not only equipped me with technical skills but also instilled in me a passion for innovation and a commitment to making a positive impact in my field of work.

Lastly, I want to encourage future students to embrace every opportunity that comes their way, whether it’s academic, extracurricular, or personal growth. Each experience is a stepping stone toward achieving your goals and making a meaningful impact in your chosen field. Always remain curious, resilient, and open to learning, as these qualities will be your greatest assets on your journey to success.

Sabine Weyand, Jacob Sol, Will Hughes

Dr. Sabine Weyand (L) and Dr. Will Hughes (R) present the award to Jacob Sol (Centre).

When Jacob Sol stepped into his first engineering class at UBC Okanagan he had no way of knowing that five years later he’d be off to one of the top grad schools in his field, having kickstarted a research project that is inspiring people near and far to protect our fragile, interconnected water systems.

On Friday, June 7, Sol crossed the stage to pick up his Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering. He was among the more than 430 of his engineering peers to earn credentials last week, and one of the more than 2,000 new graduates of UBC Okanagan.

In addition to his parchment, Sol also received another incredibly important catalyst for his future on graduation day: the 2024 Dr. Gordon Springate Sr. Award in Engineering.

The Dr. Gordon Springate Sr. Award in Engineering is annually bestowed on a student completing their Bachelor of Applied Science degree in the School of Engineering who has demonstrated a material contribution to their community outside of their program. The $15,000 award – the single largest donor-funded award through endowment for an undergraduate student in the School of Engineering at UBC Okanagan – is named for Dr. Gordon Springate Sr., an electrical engineer and educator who was deeply committed to giving back to his field and his community. This year marks the 10th year (and 10th recipient) of this award – which was initiated by the generosity of UBC alumnus (’81) Gordon Springate (his son).

For Sol, the award is powering his dream of graduate studies at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), the oldest and largest Dutch public technical university, located in Delft, Netherlands.

“TU Delft is one of the top schools in the world for water engineering,” explains Sol, who moved to the Okanagan from Langley to attend UBCO. “For me, it’s a life-changing opportunity, and one I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pursue without this award. I’m incredibly grateful to the Springate family for this support, which is helping to make my dream possible. It’s going to make a huge impact on my life.”

True to the intentions of the award, Sol’s time at UBC has been spent making an impact.

During his first semester at UBCO in Fall 2020 – a time when the world was grappling with COVID-19 – Sol was laser-focused on another threat to our world.

“It dawned on me early in my studies that stormwater contamination is a hugely significant environmental issue, both in our local communities and worldwide. With our water systems being so precious in the Okanagan, and all over the world, I saw there was a need and a way for me to make a positive impact,” explains Sol, who credits his father – who worked at a marina – for inspiring him to take an interest in the ocean and aquatic environments from a young age.

He and his company developed the idea for a smart integrated stormwater decontamination and flood monitoring device which allows for real-time data collection to allow for informed decision making.

Sol and his classmates would go on to work with members of the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB), OVIVO, a water and wastewater treatment and purification company, Purppl, the City of Kelowna, and the City of Kelowna’s primary aquatic consultant, Larratt Aquatic, to curate a product that would be most beneficial to the community and meet all the project goals. In June 2020, Jacob’s team presented the GAPS System in the final AquaHacking pitch competition and were awarded second place in all of western Canada.

The reach and impact of the project has already been impressive.

Through the AquaHacking program, the program has reached and educated over 50,000 people about this important topic. Sol is currently in the process of patenting the design with the hopes of rolling it out to communities in the near future.

Along the way, Sol balanced keeping the research project afloat while maintaining outstanding grades and being a member of the UBCO Men’s Heat Soccer team.

“It’s not always easy juggling everything, but my time at UBCO has been rewarding because I’ve had these opportunities to get involved outside the classroom,” says Sol. “I’m very proud I’d been able to make an impact through the research project and I hope through my graduate studies I’ll be able to continue to build on the idea, and ultimately make an impact in communities around the world.”

Madison Smith

Where are you from?

Salt Spring Island BC

What brought you to UBC?

I chose UBC because it had a great reputation from those I talked to in my hometown. UBC offered engineering events for high school students to learn about their programs like Open House where I got to meet other students and see what going to UBC would be like. I also loved that UBC offered a smaller campus in the Okanagan as I prefer the smaller classes and more intimate learning environment. UBC is also within BC which is where I wanted to stay as I love the mountains, lake and ocean! It is a truly amazing and beautiful campus.

Why engineering? What inspired you to pursue education in this field?

I’ve always loved STEM stuff since I was a kid. I enjoy being creative and solving problems, and engineering lets me do both. Plus, it opens up tons of job opportunities after graduation. I also love how engineering impacts our daily lives, you can literally see the results of your work. It’s awesome to bring ideas to life!

What were some of the most rewarding experiences as a student? (What were some of the challenges you faced?)

First year of engineering was challenging to manage the workload and the jump from high school where teachers guide you along to where you need to be self-driven to ensure you excel in academics. Learning to study efficiently and stay on top of things was hard but super valuable. Engineering teaches you how to problem solve and the skills learned in the classroom have transferred into my everyday life. I believe engineering is a valuable knowledge base for any path in life which is why I am so glad I chose this program.

You had some major successes as part of teams! Are there any club, design team, or other campus / school involvement you’d like to highlight?

I’m proud of my involvement in both the Engineering Society and the Western Engineering Competition in 2022. Organizing the Western Engineering Competition was a highlight for me. It provided a great opportunity to work closely with my peers, lead a team, connect with students across Canada and contribute to our engineering community. Being part of the Engineering Society also played a significant role in my university experience. It allowed me to connect with driven students, gain valuable insights into different career paths, and create friendships with amazing people.

What is your proudest moment at UBCO?

My proudest moment came when my team got first place in biocompatible systems for our entrepreneurial capstone project. Over nearly a year, we dedicated ourselves to designing a cost-effective, innovative emergency cervical collar. It was a huge achievement and showed the power of teamwork and innovation.

What are you most looking forward to about Convocation?

I can’t wait to catch up with my classmates one last time before we all go our separate ways for our careers. It’s a chance to celebrate what we’ve achieved together and share some memories.

What is next for you? What are your future goals / plans?

I’m excited to start working at Trane Technologies. I’ll be focusing on making the world more sustainable through commercial and industrial HVAC solutions. I am excited to learn more about smart and eco-friendly approaches to building technology and energy solutions as I continue to progress in my career in mechanical engineering.Bottom of Form

June 23 is International Day of Women in Engineering.

Do you have reflections on women in engineering?

As a woman in engineering, I’ve found it both inspiring and empowering to be part of a field and community at UBC where diversity and inclusion are increasingly celebrated. While there are still challenges to overcome, I believe that women bring unique perspectives and strengths to engineering, contributing to more innovative and comprehensive solutions.

Any women in engineering who inspire(d) you?

Serena Auñón-Chancellor has been a significant source of inspiration for me. I had the privilege of meeting her during my senior year of high school at a speaker event. Her remarkable journey from a physician to an astronaut, and her contributions to space exploration as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station, have truly left a lasting impression on me. Serena’s dedication, perseverance, and commitment to pushing the boundaries of human achievement in the field of engineering serve as a constant reminder of the incredible impact women can have in STEM disciplines.

Any advice for women looking to pursue a career in Engineering?

My advice for women considering a career in engineering is to believe in yourself and your abilities. Don’t be afraid to pursue your passions and break down barriers. Seek out mentors and supportive communities, and remember that your unique perspective is valuable in shaping the future of engineering. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and never underestimate the impact you can make in this field.

Lydia McIntyre

Lydia McIntyre (BAsc, Civil Engineering, ’24)

Where are you from?

I am from San Francisco, California, USA.

What brought you to UBC?

I was drawn to UBC due its reputation and location. The natural playground that is the Okanagan attracted me as it is a place in which I could pursue many of my favorite outdoor activities including hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding and rock climbing. I appreciated that I could pursue my hobbies while studying at a smaller campus.

Why engineering? What inspired you to pursue education in this field?

I was inspired to pursue a degree in civil engineering to learn more about the interaction between the natural and built environment. I grew up in an area with many large bridges and have always been in awe of their ability to withstand heavy traffic, high winds, and seismic events. I have also had the privilege of visiting places like Teotihuacan and Machu Picchu and have marveled as to how different civilizations adapted to their natural environments.

Lydia McIntyre (BAsc, Civil Engineering, ’24)

What were some of the most rewarding experiences as a student? (What were some of the challenges you faced?)

My most rewarding experiences have come from various summer internships in which I have had the pleasure of seeing the real-life application of the content taught during the program. Academically, solving problems and completing work as a team to produce high quality deliverables was also very rewarding.

Are there any club, design team, or other campus / school involvement you’d like to highlight?

I really enjoyed working under Dr. Sumi Siddiqua and graduate student Mahmoud Babalar as a lab assistant. I learned a lot, and it was rewarding to contribute to current research efforts focusing on the removal of contaminants from the environment.

What is your proudest moment at UBCO?

I am most proud of my achievements as a whole at UBCO. I was able to reach my academic goals while taking the time to explore and enjoy BC.

What are you most looking forward to about Convocation?

I am looking forward to attending my graduation ceremony as I graduated high school in 2020 and therefore did not graduate in the typical manner. I am also looking forward to celebrating my achievements.

What is next for you? What are your future goals / plans?

My future goals are to continue learning and have fun throughout my career.

June 23 is International Day of Women in Engineering:

Do you have reflections on women in engineering?

When seeing classes that had predominantly women on campus, I immediately knew that was not an engineering class. While women are still a minority population within the field of engineering, I have never felt that I have been treated differently both academically and professionally. I have also have never been the only woman at any internships or class.

Are there any women in engineering who inspire(d) you?

I was inspired by my mother who has a chemical engineering degree and worked in predominantly male environments throughout her career.

Any advice for women looking to pursue a career in Engineering?

Go for it! It is a very interesting career to pursue. There are many different disciplines, and at least within civil, many pathways one can take. Positions can be field based, office based, or a mix of the two. There is something for everyone.