Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships

Each year, the Department hires a limited number of Teaching Assistants to support its undergraduate courses. These positions play an integral role in helping the Department fulfill its goal of offering its students superior undergraduate teaching and learning experiences. All undergraduate and graduate students (including non-research students) may apply for a TA position; please note that a separate application must be submitted for each course you are interested in. The TA application portal is open for the month of April each year for positions commencing the following academic year.

Although the precise duties will vary depending on the course for which an offer/appointment is made, in general TAs can expect to perform the following duties:

  • Laboratory Assistance – providing instruction, guidance, and supervision for laboratory experiments, maintaining a safe and professional laboratory, assisting students with troubleshooting equipment, ensuring laboratory equipment and supplies are used appropriately and put away at the end of each session, marking of laboratory reports.
  • Tutorial Assistance – assisting in or leading tutorial sessions, marking of assignments, preparing written solutions, reviewing of assignments with undergraduates.
  • Marking – marking of assignments.
  • Invigilation of Exams (Mandatory) – is required. All TAs must be available for the full exam period of the term in which they are hired as a TA. TAs may be assigned to invigilate course(s) other those for which they TA.
  • MECH Training (Mandatory) – New TAs and returning TAs must participate in the MECH TA training program and safety orientation. The training is designed to help ensure that TAs are as successful as possible in their roles and properly oriented to our teaching labs/spaces. More information on training will be provided with your offer letter.

Important Information About the Application Process

In order to be eligible to work as a TA, you must be available to attend the mandatory departmental safety and TA training, as well as the appropriate lab orientations, before the start of term.

  • MECH 220 (and all interested parties) TA Training for 2018W is scheduled for August 21, 2018
  • 2018W Term 1 TA training is scheduled for September 4, 2018
  • 2018W Term 2 TA Training is scheduled for January 2, 2019 (available only if you are away during Term 1 Training, as there are no make up sessions)
  • Additional, course specific training may also be required

NOTE: If you have not completed the Lab Orientation segment of MECH TA Training in the last academic year, you must attend this year if you are applying to TA positions that include lab portions. We suggest that anyone interested in working as a TA attend the entire MECH TA Training session (including the Lab Orientation) as there may be additional TA opportunities that become available throughout the year. There will be no further training sessions beyond those scheduled, nor is there the opportunity to have individual training.

TA offers will be sent out as early as June 2018 and will continue until all positions are filled (which can extend into the start of the academic year). You must respond to TA offers in a prompt manner. Failure to accept an offer within one week of receiving the offer via email will be seen as a decline on your behalf, and will result in the position being offered to the next most qualified candidate.

TA positions in our department are employment opportunities, and we expect applicants to act professionally and treat it as such. Withdrawing from a TA position after you have previously formally accepted the post is not an acceptable practice.

Application Requirements

  • Must be a full-time student currently registered in a BASc, MEng, MASc, or PhD program, or must have been unconditionally accepted into one of these programs to begin in September.
  • Must be a full-time, registered student during the period of their TA appointment. If you will be defending your thesis or completing your program before the end of the term you are not eligible to be a TA for that term.
  • Cannot be on financial hold or on leave during their graduate program.
  • Must hold an active study permit for the entirety of their TA appointment at the time of their application.
  • Mastery of the course academic material and subject matter.
  • Ability to help students learn actively, and explain course content in a clear and logical manner.
  • Have an understanding of and will agree to comply with WorkSafe BC, UBC  and Departmental Safety Regulations.
  • Possess excellent oral and written English communication skills.
  • Must be available to complete the mandatory departmental safety and TA training, as well as the appropriate site-specific lab orientations, before the start of term. Please see training dates listed in the above section.
  • Must have the approval of their Research or Program Supervisor to engage in an employment contract in addition to their academic program. Your supervisor must be made aware of your intent to apply to TA positions and must approve of the total number of hours (especially for students that would like to accept multiple positions).
  • If you cannot follow the naming conventions required for the CV upload and Safety uploads, your application will not be considered. Please ensure that you follow the instructions for each upload or your application will be discarded.

All candidates wishing to be considered for a Teaching Assistant position will need to submit a new application for each course they wish to TA. Although we appreciate the interest of all applicants, only the successful candidates will be contacted with further details during summer (typically June-August).

Complete Mandatory Departmental Training Courses

Before applying, you need to complete the following courses per UBC employment requirements, and save a copy of your certificate for upload during application. Please ensure that you have saved your certificates using the required naming convention or your application will be discarded.

  • "Workplace Violence Prevention" Course
    Take the online course here:  http://rms.ubc.ca/training-and-general-education-courses/mandatory-training-for-all-ubc-workers/#Workplace Violence Prevention Training.
    Completion of this course is required to be eligible to TA courses in Mechanical Engineering. Note that if you have previously completed the course you do not have to repeat it, but you must upload your completion certificate as proof of completion. Certificates can be found by logging into the online course.
    Save your certificate as a .pdf file. Your file should be named as follows (the ######## should be replaced with your student and/or employee ID number):
    Last,First-########-WVP-YYMMDD.pdf
    e.g. Doe,Jane-11111111-WVP-180401.pdf

 

  • "Privacy Matters Fundamentals" Course
    Take the online course here: https://privacymatters.ubc.ca/content/training. Completion of this course is required to be eligible to TA courses in Mechanical Engineering. Note that if you have previously completed the course you do not have to repeat it, but you must upload your completion certificate as proof of completion. Certificates can be found by logging into the online course.
    Save your certificate as a .pdf file. Your file should be named as follows (the ######## should be replaced with your student and/or employee ID number):
    Last,First-########-PM-YYMMDD.pdf
    e.g. Doe,Jane-11111111-PM-180401.pdf

  •  "Preventing and Addressing Bullying & Harassment" Course
    Take the online course here: http://rms.ubc.ca/training-and-general-education-courses/mandatory-training-for-all-ubc-workers/#Prevention of Workplace Bullying & Harassment Training. Completion of this course is required to be eligible to TA courses in Mechanical Engineering. Note that if you have previously completed the course you do not have to repeat it, but you must upload your completion certificate as proof of completion. Certificates can be found by logging into the online course.
    Save your certificate as a .pdf file. Your file should be named as follows (the ######## should be replaced with your student or employee ID number):
    Last,First-########-B&H-YYMMDD.pdf
    e.g. Doe,Jane-11111111-B&H-180401.pdf

 

  • "New Worker Safety Training" Course
    Link to online course can be found at http://rms.ubc.ca/training-and-general-education-courses/mandatory-training-for-all-ubc-workers/#New Worker Safety Training. Completion of this course is required to be eligible to TA courses in Mechanical Engineering. Note that if you have previously completed the course and have had uninterrupted employment with UBC since completion, you do not have to repeat it, but you must upload your completion certificate as proof of completion. Otherwise, applicants must have completed the course within the last 4 years.

    Save your certificate as a .pdf file. Your file should be named as follows:
    Last,First-########-N&Y-YYMMDD.pdf
    e.g. Doe,Jane-11111111-N&Y-180401.pdf
  • "WHMIS" or "Chemical Safety" Course

    Link to online courses can be found at http://rms.ubc.ca/training-and-general-education-courses/mandatory-training-for-all-ubc-workers/ under "Research Safety Training". Completion of one of these courses is required to be eligible to TA courses in Mechanical Engineering. Note that if you have previously completed a course you do not have to repeat it, but you must upload your completion certificate as proof of completion.
    Your file should be named as follows:
    Last,First-########-CODEHERE-YYMMDD.pdf
    CODEHERE should be replaced with the following codes, depending on which RMS course you took to fulfill this training requirement:
    - WHMIS - for WHMIS training
    - Chem - for Chemical Safety Training
    e.g. Doe,Jane-11111111-WHMIS-180401.pdf
    e.g. Doe,Jane-11111111-Chem-180401.pdf

Review List of Available Courses

Please note that the following list is subject to change based on course enrollment and availability. Courses with asteriks (*) beside their name have specific application instructions or requirements. Please see the next accordion (below this text) for more information.

  • APSC 100 - Engineering Case Studies (T1)
  • APSC 101 - Engineering Case Studies (T2)
  • APSC 172 - Differential Calculus (T1)
  • APSC 173 - Integral Calculus (T2)
  • APSC 366 - The Art of the Possible: An Introduction to Engineering for Non-Engineers (T2)
  • VANT 150 - Sustainability and Engineering Design (T1)*
  • VANT 150 - Sustainability and Engineering Design (T2)*
  • MECH 2 - Connect Management (T1&T2)*
  • MECH 220 - Drafting (T1)*
  • MECH 220 - Instrumentation (T1)*
  • MECH 220 - Software (T1)*
  • MECH 221 - Dynamics Labs (T1)*
  • MECH 221 - Solid Mechanics Labs (T1)*
  • MECH 221 - Circuits Tutorials (T1)*
  • MECH 221 - Dynamics Tutorials (T1)*
  • MECH 221 - Materials Tutorials (T1)*
  • MECH 221 - Solid Mechanics Tutorials (T1)*
  • MECH 221 - Invigilation and Grading*
  • MECH 221- Field Trips (kayaking and rock climbing) (T1)*
  • MECH 222 - Fluids Labs (T2)*
  • MECH 222 - Thermodynamics Labs (T2)*
  • MECH 222 - Fluids Tutorials (T2)*
  • MECH 222 - Thermodynamics Tutorials (T2)*
  • MECH 222 - Vector Calculus Tutorials (T2)*
  • MECH 223 - Mechanical Design (T2)*
  • MECH 224 - Community Service Learning (T1)*
  • MECH 226 - Technical Communication (T1)
  • MECH 260 - Introduction to Mechanics of Materials (T1)
  • MECH 280 - Introduction to Fluid Mechanics (T2)
  • MECH 305/6 - Mechanical Engineering Laboratories (T2)
  • MECH 325 - Mechanical Design I (T1)
  • MECH 326 - Mechanical Design II (T1)*
  • MECH 327 - Thermal System Design (T1)
  • MECH 328 - Mechanical Engineering Design Project (T1)
  • MECH 329 - Materials for Mechanical Design (T1)
  • MECH 360 - Mechanics of Materials (T1)
  • MECH 360 - Mechanics of Materials (T2)
  • MECH 366 - Modeling of Mechatronic Systems (T1)
  • MECH 368 - Engineering Measurements (T1)
  • MECH 375 - Heat Transfer I (T1)
  • MECH 375 - Heat Transfer I (T2)
  • MECH 380 - Fluid Dynamics (T2)
  • MECH 386 - Industrial Fluid Mechanics (T1)
  • MECH 392 - Manufacturing Processes (T1)
  • MECH 420 - Sensors and Actuators (T1)
  • MECH 421 - Mechatronics System Instrumentation (T2)
  • MECH 423 - Biomedical Instrumentation (T2)
  • MECH 431 - Engineering Economics (T2)
  • MECH 457 - Mechanical Engineering Design Project (T1&T2)*
  • MECH 462/514 - Finite Element Analysis (T2)
  • MECH 463 - Mechanical Vibrations (T1)
  • MECH 466 - Automatic Control (T2)
  • MECH 467/589 - Computer Control of Mechatronics Systems (T1)
  • MECH 468/522 - Modern Control Engineering (T1)
  • MECH 479 - Computational Fluid Dynamics (T1)
  • MECH 484 - Aircraft Design: Aerodynamics (T1)
  • MECH 488 - Introduction to Ship Hydrodynamics (T1)
  • MECH 489/582 - Experimental Thermofluids (T1)
  • MECH 491 - Computer-Aided Manufacturing (T2)
  • MECH 495 - Industrial Engineering (T1)
  • MECH 550C/575A - Software Engineering for Mechatronics Application (T1)*
  • MECH 550E/575B - Mechatronics Instrumentation (T1)*

Course-specific Information & Requirements

The following courses have specific instructions, descriptions, or requirements for their TAs, please read each carefully.

 

VANT 150

We are looking for two graduate students to help us lead tutorial sessions, mark written assignments and record marks for VANT 150. The turotial commitment is for 4 hours per week per TA (weeks 1-3) and 2 hours per week per TA (weeks 4-12). Tutorials are scheduled for Monday 2-4pm and 4-6pm, and Thursday 10am-12pm and 12-2pm. Most written assignments are short and involve no calculations. Some assignments involve simple sketching (isometric and ortographic projections) and dimensioning.

VANT 150 is an introductory course in engineering design. All students in VANT 150 are first-year international students in the Vantage One program (vantagecollege.ubc.ca). They take English-language courses that are closely integrated with their engineering courses.

For more information, please contact Dr. Abelló (abello@mech.ubc.ca) in KAIS 1132.

 

CEEN 550

The course is designed to provide Master students an introduction to engineering concepts of demand side management (DSM), energy auditing, and analysis of buildings equipment and industrial equipment, measurement and verification, and system data analysis. In addition students will learn about energy efficient technologies for green buildings and industrial processes.

Job Description

The TA role can be cast into the following:

  • Running the tutorials; mostly problem solving. Problem sets will be provided by the instructor
  • Marking the Midterm exam, and the weekly assignments
  • Facilitating and coordinating the building audit projects
  • Setting office hours for meeting and helping students

Qualification

The TA has to be enrolled in a Master or PhD degree in Mechanical or chemical engineering with a good background in fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and heat transfer. Experience in building sciences, HVAC, or energy analysis of buildings is an asset.

 

MECH 2

This document is meant to give TA applicants a guide to when their scheduled duties would take place.  The hours listed below are for scheduled student contact time – the student schedule is complex and full, and we typically cannot move tutorials, labs, etc. to accommodate TAs’ schedules. Please be aware of this when applying for or accepting TA positions within Mech 2. There will be additional duties not listed here (e.g. marking, orientation meetings, etc.) that will be scheduled separately, and may be more flexible in terms of timing.

 

MECH 220:

Dates:
Starts 1 week prior to regular start of classes.
No classes on Labour Day or Imagine Day.
Ends Friday 3rd week after regular start of classes.

Hours:
Variable depending on the specific module, but expect to spend 4 hours per day, everyday, in the lab space

MECH 221/222:

221 Overall Dates:
Starts 4th week of regular classes term 1
Ends last week of regular classes (except for variable exam review session scheduling, invigilation, and marking)

222 Overall Dates:
Starts 5th week of regular classes term 2
Ends 13th week of regular classes (except for variable exam review session scheduling, invigilation, and marking)

Tutorial TA:

For 222, see Invigilation/Marking TA for additional duties
Typically deliver 4 tutorials per week, one each day

Tutorial times include:
MWF 8-9
T 11-12
MTWF 2-3

(Tutorials may be moved to Thursday in weeks where Monday [or another day] is a holiday)

Office hours 12-1 pm

 

Lab TA:

Typically deliver 4 lab lectures and 4x2 lab sessions each week, for 1 or 2 weeks

Lab lecture times include:
MWF 9-10
T 2-3

Lab times include:
MTWF 2-4 and 4-6 pm (two groups)

(Labs and lab lectures will be moved to Thursday in weeks where Monday (or another day) is a holiday)

 

Invigilation/Marking TA: (221 separate position, 222 part of tutorial TA position):

Exam slots Thurs 8-10 am or Fri 8-9 am each week (occasionally on Wed due to Remembrance Day) – need to arrive early to help with set-up.

 

Field Trip TA: (221 only)

Thurs 9-6 (all day)
Weeks 5, 6, 9, and 10 of term
Attend lab lectures Th 10-11 week prior to field trip set.

 

MECH 223

Not all TAs are scheduled for all of the following activities, but TAs must be free for many of them – e.g. TAs run tutorials and design meetings and competitions, OR tutorials and computer labs and competitions, OR …

Dates:
First 4 weeks in January
First 3 weeks in April

Times:
Tutorials:
MWF 8-9
T 11-12

Design meetings:
MW 9-10
OR
T 2-3 and F 9-10

Computer labs and demos:
MTWThF: 2-4 pm

RAP quiz invigilation:
Various (could be any of MWF 10-12, 1-2, TTh 8-11)

Special events:
Design Competitions (all TAs needed): Fourth W in Jan, third W in April

Other miscellaneous duties

 

MECH 224:

Dates:
Starts 1 week prior to regular start of classes
No classes on Labour Day or Imagine Day
Ends just after Thanksgiving

Times:
Orientation on the first day (often afternoon)
Variable timing, with most site visits on Thursdays 12 pm onwards and Saturdays.
Pre- and post-sessions variable days, 12-1 pm during the course period
Some variable timing activities (e.g. pre-visits to partners – TA can schedule independently)

 

Mech 2 Admin
Variable hours – often looking for short response times to emailed request related to learning technology systems

 

MECH 326

TAs in MECH 326 are each responsible for one course module during the term.  A module lasts for 2-3 weeks.  During this time, the TA will cover tutorials for four sections.  The tutorial times are as follows:

  • Tuesday/Thursday 9:30-11:00
  • Tuesday/Thursday 11:00-12:30
  • Monday/Wednesday 3:00-4:30
  • Monday/Wednesday 4:30-6:00

If you anticipate a conflict with one of these times, please speak to Peter Ostafichuk (ostafichuk@mech.ubc.ca) before applying – it may be possible to work around those conflicts.  It may also be possible to arrange to have a module at a particular time during the term (e.g. early September, late November, etc.).

The balance of hours in the appointment are flexible in terms of schedule, and those duties include assistance invigilating quizzes and exams, and assistance marking exams and assignments.

The course modules include:

  1. Review of stresses
  2. Fracture
  3. Fatigue
  4. Shaft design
  5. Weld Design
  6. Introduction to FEA

 

MECH 45X

The Mech 45X TA acts as a lab space manager, safety compliance monitor, and general assistant supervisor for the Capstone Design Room (RH 118) and Capstone Salvage Room (RH 104).

As the position has a large monitoring component, TAs who work in Rusty Hut are strongly encouraged to apply.

Total position is 96 hours.  Specific duties include:
September:
Complete space orientation; assist facilities staff and course instructors with lab preparation (5 hours)
Assist with space safety orientations for Capstone students (4 x 1 hour orientations + 1 hour prep + 10 hours mark / scan / return = 15 hours)

October / November / December:
Drop by lab regularly to ensure that safety practices and lab standards are being followed.  Contact students / leave notes about non-compliance matters, and immediately address any serious safety concerns (lock out / cordon off / confiscate and report).  Restock common supplies from the cupboard, and notify instructor of any needed supplies / equipment that are not in the regular stock cupboard.
Act as a resource for safety questions, directing students to their instructor, facilities staff, RMS, or other resources as appropriate. (On average 1 hour a week, divided into shorter visits (minimum twice / week), but there is very little prototyping work this term and we do not expect any issues that would need to be addressed = 10 hours).

January – April:
Continue as for October – December, with increased frequency.  Engage with students where appropriate.  (On average 3 hours a week, divided into shorter visits (minimum three times / week, daily from mid-March – first week of April) = 48 hours).

May:
Work with the instructors and facilities staff to remove any remaining project materials from the lab, including identifying and handling any hazardous goods, and ready the room for the following year.  Clean the salvage room, dispose of unusable components or unsafe items, and sort / organize remaining components.  (18 hours).

 

MECH 550C/575A

  • Suggested background: Degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering
  • Mandatory: Experience with a high level programming language - C# preferred, but also acceptable C, Objective C, C++ or Java.
  • Lab course; TA should have experience using Visual Studio and Git - optionally Atlassian SourceTree
  •  Topics taught in this course: Introduction to C#; Object-Oriented Design; Data Structures; User Interface Design; Multi-Threading; Software Engineering: specifications, design principles, agile development; Software Testing and Maintenance; Internet APIs and Cloud Computing

 

MECH 550E/575B

  • Suggested background: Degree in Electrical Engineering or Mechatronics
  • Lab course; must be comfortable with a normal range of instrumentation equipment.  Experience with a Altera DE2 board an asset
  • Topics taught in this course: Information Theory and Communication; Sensors; Real Op Amps; Analog Filters/Buffers; ADC’s; Digital Filters; MCUs and FPGAs; Calibration.  Case studies.

 

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please email the MECH Student Services Office at admissions@mech.ubc.ca.

For questions regarding specific TA duties for a particular course, please contact the course instructor directly.

Be advised that Teaching Assistants at The University of British Columbia (UBC) are represented by the Canadian Union Of Public Employees Local 2278 (CUPE2278) and that a Collective Agreement between UBC and CUPE2278 is in effect. All TAs are required to join the Union as a condition of employment. The collective agreement applies to all TA contracts, and selection of TAs will be done in accordance with the requirements of the Union.

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply.

Please note that you should NOT consider Teaching Assistantships as a source for guaranteed income. The Department is not in a position to consider financial need in the process of TA appointments.

 

We are no longer hiring for 2018W. The application portal will re-open in January 2019 for the Summer term.