Research Chairs & Directors

The faculty researchers at the School of Engineering at UBC Okanagan currently hold 1 Canada Research Chair (Tier II); 1 Industry-Sponsored Chair (FortisBC Smart Energy Chair); NSERC-Metro Vancouver funded Senior Industry Research Chair; and 10 Principal’s Research Chairs.


Professor & NSERC/Metro Vancouver Industrial Research Chair (IRC)

Dr. Eskicioglu leads the UBC Bioreactor Technology Group where researchers collaborate with government agencies and industry to investigate solutions related to waste reduction and resource recovery.

Learn more about Dr. Eskicioglu’s research


Assistant Professor & CRC (Tier 2) in Advanced Materials & Polymer Engineering

Dr. Arjmand leads the Nanomaterials and Polymer Nanocomposites Laboratory (NPNL) where researchers develop and shape nanofiller/polymer nanocomposites for multifunctional purposes.

Learn more about Dr. Arjmand’s research

Industry and institution sponsored Researcher Chairs play an important role in supporting research and development.

The UBC Okanagan Principal’s Research Chairs (PRC) program provides internal funding support for top-tier researchers engaged in outstanding research scholarship.


Assistant Professor & Principal Research Chair (Control Systems – Tier 2)

Dr. Al-Dabbagh’s will contribute to advancing manufacturing engineering training and pedagogy; develop innovations in artificial intelligence, machine learning, big
data with applications in manufacturing processes and systems, and build a culture that embraces under-represented groups.

Chen Feng

Assistant Professor & Principal Research Chair (Blockchain-Empowered Digital Technology -Tier 2)

Dr. Feng will directly support the School’s research clusters with integrating blockchain as a trusted mechanism for storage and transfer of information and assets.  In particular, his research will provide secure digital infrastructure for advanced manufacturing, digital health and power generation research.

Ian Foulds

Associate Professor & Principal Research Chair (Indigenous Reconciliation in Engineering – Tier 1)

Dr. Foulds will create frameworks for preparing engineers to engage with Indigenous communities, establish models and best practices for incorporating Indigenous knowledge and perspectives in engineering curricula, including through consultation with Indigenous communities.


Professor & Principal Research Chair (Resilient and Green Infrastructure – Tier 1)

Dr. Alam provides global leadership towards developing resilient and green infrastructure components and systems that survive multiple hazards ensuring safety and serviceability with minimum intervention. His research fills a worldwide gap in innovative, easy-to-build, energy-efficient, reliable construction, and retrofitting solutions for infrastructure.


Associate Professor & Principal Research Chair (Energy Storage Technology – Tier 2)

Dr. Liu will continue to play an integral role in establishing the School of Engineering as a hub for clean technology. He will develop energy storage technologies, such as batteries, play an essential role in the adoption of renewable energy, the deployment of electric vehicles, the decarbonization of our economy, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Lisa tobber

Assistant Professor & Principal Research Chair (Women in Engineering – Tier 2)

Dr. Tobber will focus on building and fostering initiatives related to the recruitment, retention, and future success of female students at UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering. By developing and distributing best-practice frameworks for engagement and consultation with prospective and current students and faculty in engineering contexts.


Professor & Principal Research Chair (Resilient and Sustainable Built Environment – Tier 1)

Dr. Tesfamariam’s research develops safe and sustainably built environments that can withstand
multiple hazards, such as earthquake, wind, deterioration and climate change. He also leads outreach initiatives geared towards African and Caribbean countries while attracting and mentoring students through the Indigenous and Black Engineering & Technology (IBET) program chapter at UBC.



Assistant Professor & Principal Research Chair (Solar Energy Conversion – Tier 2)

Dr. Uhl provides global leadership in developing innovative solar energy conversion tools and processes that incorporate photovoltaics, solar fuels, and PV system design and integration. With a focus on materials and technologies for solar energy conversion, his group leverages low-cost printing methods to meet global demand for affordable, clean, and renewable electricity and storable fuels.


Professor & Principal’s Research Chair (Sustainable and Smart Manufacturing – Tier 1)

Dr. Milani is a leading expert in the field of textile composite and biocomposite materials and advanced manufacturing, including Industry 5.0. His interdisciplinary projects link theoretical concepts to real-world applications thereby enabling innovations for industries in manufacturing
high-quality and cost-effective composite products.


Assistant Professor & Principal’s Research Chair (Sensors and Microelectronics – Tier 2)

Dr Zarifi’s research focus includes design of high-speed and low-power analog circuits, analog-to-digital converters for biomedical and communication applications, and microwave planar structures for sensing applications. Dr. Zarifi received CMC-NRC first place award, on industrial collaboration, for the innovative microwave sensors in 2015.

The FortisBC Smart Energy Research Chair, a five-year appointment supported by FortisBC, Mitacs and UBC, was established in 2019 to optimize energy use in BC and reduce the province’s greenhouse gas footprint.

“We appreciate the work that UBC Okanagan is doing to advance research and education around energy-efficient buildings as well as the opportunity to be involved,” said Danielle Wensink, director of conservation and energy management for FortisBC. “We’re committed to helping our customers manage their energy use and these findings will have real-world benefits as we incorporate them into our many energy management programs.”


Professor & FortisBC Smart Energy Chair

Dr. Hewage co-directs UBC’s Life Cycle Management Laboratory where he develops decision-making tools based on life cycle management of built assets, green construction, and smart energy options.

Research Institute & Centre Directors

Research collaboration is pivotal to the success of inter-disciplinary efforts that are the foundation of many innovations with the key research clusters at the School of Engineering.  Partnering with fellow UBC Okanagan researchers, industry, government, and other institutions, Research Centres and Institutes play an important role in building and fostering these collaborations.


Professor & Centre Co-Director, Green Construction Research & Training Centre

The Green Construction Research and Training Centre was established through a partnership between UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College. It provides new research options and create hands-on practical training opportunities while generating and expanding knowledge in the areas of green (environment-friendly) construction including materials, structural components and systems, and construction management.



Professor & Institute Director, Materials & Manufacturing Research Institute

Materials and Manufacturing Research Institute is a multidisciplinary, interdepartmental research hub at UBC fostering collaboration between local, national and international R&D sectors. Its mission is to build on UBC’s existing strengths in materials and manufacturing research and create new opportunities for multidisciplinary research in emerging areas through shared knowledge and network-based funding.

Learn more