Research Opportunities

Research Opportunities

There are four main research and teaching groups in the Department: Applied Mechanics and Design, Biomedical Engineering, Manufacturing and Control, and Thermofluids.

Research is generally associated with graduate students in the department, but for undergraduate students who wish to get involved, there are technical electives offered in the areas of certain professors’ specialties. Availability of these courses will depend on student interest and may change from year to year. For information on the various research groups our faculty members are part of, and the projects our faculty members are working on, visit the Research Section of our website.

MECH 493 is an undergraduate course specifically designed to introduce fourth-year students to academic research. To apply for this course, students submit a research proposal, typically related to the work of a supervising professor. They then use this course, and the guidance of their supervisor(s), to prepare a research thesis. For more information on MECH 493, please visit their wiki: MECH 493: Introduction to Academic Research

NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards

The NSERC USRA program is an excellent way for undergraduate students to gain exposure to university research. It can also help students decide if they want to pursue research in the future, whether through graduate studies or industrial research positions. The program is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have completed all required first year engineering courses, hold a cumulative average of at least 68% (note that the competitive average is usually above 80%) and who have not started graduate studies (although you can hold a USRA for the term directly after your graduation requirements are met). Students do not need to be in mechanical engineering to work with a mechanical engineering professor.
Important: For information about undergraduate student research awards, and the application process, please look at these documents:

Application packages for Summer 2018 – Spring 2019 awards are due to Mechanical Engineering Student Services (students@mech.ubc.ca) by March 9, 2018

When applying, please be advised of the following points:

  1. All applications must first be submitted electronically directly to NSERC, including the upload of transcripts. A copy of your Form 202 (Parts I and II),  transcript, cover letter, and resume are also required to be submitted to the Mechanical Engineering Student Services Office electronically as a PDF addressed to students@mech.ubc.ca
  2. Student-faculty pairs should apply to the department of the faculty member.
  3. International Students – Summer 2018 Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Award Program may also be available. For more information, please refer to http://students.engineering.ubc.ca/research-opportunities 

The following links are also useful during the USRA application process:

NSERC’s website

NSERC USRA Information Page

NSERC USRA Openings

Openings will be posted as they are received.

Faculty member  Dr. Steve Rogak
Preferred contact method Interested applicants should send a cover letter and CV to rogak@mech.ubc.ca
Deadline to apply  February 26, 2018
Open to Co-op students  Yes
Special Requirements  Interested students should be enrolled in a related undergraduate program, with a strong preference for
students eligible for the NSERC USRA program. Students at any level of the program will be considered
provided that they have strong math and computing abilities.
Position name  Air Pollution Particle Sampling and Analysis using UAVs
Position description  The Energy and Aerosols Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of
British Columbia is seeking a summer student to work on the FlareNet project. FlareNet is a network of
researchers working to provide a quantitative understanding of pollutant emissions from oil and gas
flares. The aerosol group at UBC is developing methods to measure emissions in the field with the use of
a UAV.
The student would aid in transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and high‐resolution transmission
electron microscopy (HRTEM) image analysis, participate in collecting laboratory emissions samples, and
collecting samples with the UAV in the Vancouver area.
Total pay including NSERC USRA award  $4,500 NSERC award + top=up dependent on experience of student
Will the position still be offered to the selected candidate if an NSERC USRA cannot be secured?  Yes
Total pay without NSERC USRA award  Dependent on experience of student

Faculty member  Dr. Steve Rogak
Preferred contact method: Interested applicants should send a cover letter and CV rogak@mech.ubc.ca
Deadline to apply  February 26, 2018
Open to Co-op students  Yes
Position name  Analysis and improvement of an engine controller for a heavy duty engine
Position description  Hydra Energy Inc. and the Clean Energy Research Center at UBC are seeking a summer student to work
on the engine controller unit (ECU) of a heavy‐duty truck running on hydrogen and diesel. This
innovative fuelling system involves the original OEM diesel controller, and an additional ECU for control
of the hydrogen fuelling. The project involves logging and analyzing data from the ECU (and other
sensors on the truck) in order to find improved control strategies for the dual fuel approach.
Total pay including NSERC USRA award   $4,500 NSERC award + top=up dependent on experience of student
Will the position still be offered to the selected candidate if an NSERC USRA cannot be secured?  Yes
Total pay without NSERC USRA award  Dependent on experience of student

Faculty member
Preferred contact method
Deadline to apply
Open to Co-op students
Position name
Position description
Total pay including NSERC USRA award
Will the position still be offered to the selected candidate if an NSERC USRA cannot be secured?
Total pay without NSERC USRA award