Vancouver Summer Program

Mechanical Engineering VSP Packages

We offer three exciting packages as part of UBC’s Vancouver Summer Program (VSP) in the summer of 2020. The June 6 – July 6th program will feature our popular Intro to Robotics and Roboethics package, and then from July 11-August 11 2019, this package is available again, joined by our two Foundations in Mech packages which introduce students to the cornerstones of mechanical engineering. VSP is a four-week program for international students from cooperating post-secondary institutions, which provides the opportunity to take two focused academic courses while learning about Canadian practices and culture.

June 6 – July 6

Introduction to Robotics

Introduction to Robotics will provide an overview of common robotic devices and their classifications, and discuss industrial and home robotics applications. Major technical challenges in robotics will be considered, including dynamics related to trajectory and path planning. Through lectures, group activities, and hands-on lab work, students will explore both how robots sense their surroundings and gather information, and how they can interact with their environment. Although this course is technical in nature and will include a hands-on component, no experience in robotics is required. Knowledge of programming is encouraged in order to follow the material.

Roboethics: Challenges from Computational Intelligence

This seminar-style course will provide students with an awareness of the current state of thinking about the design of robots that are meant to co-exist with people (service, therapy, military, sentry, etc.). The course will provide insight into how sociology, psychology, law, literature and design can contribute knowledge to arrive at a safe and effective co-existence between humans and machines that have some autonomy from their computational intelligence, i.e., robots. The course will examine the taxonomy of collaborative robots, the underpinnings of bioethics applied to technology, and several controversial robot application areas.

July 11 – August 11

Introduction to Robotics

Introduction to Robotics will provide an overview of common robotic devices and their classifications, and discuss industrial and home robotics applications. Major technical challenges in robotics will be considered, including dynamics related to trajectory and path planning. Through lectures, group activities, and hands-on lab work, students will explore both how robots sense their surroundings and gather information, and how they can interact with their environment. Although this course is technical in nature and will include a hands-on component, no experience in robotics is required. Knowledge of programming is encouraged in order to follow the material.

Roboethics: Challenges from Computational Intelligence

This seminar-style course will provide students with an awareness of the current state of thinking about the design of robots that are meant to co-exist with people (service, therapy, military, sentry, etc.). The course will provide insight into how sociology, psychology, law, literature and design can contribute knowledge to arrive at a safe and effective co-existence between humans and machines that have some autonomy from their computational intelligence, i.e., robots. The course will examine the taxonomy of collaborative robots, the underpinnings of bioethics applied to technology, and several controversial robot application areas.

Introduction to Mechanics of Materials

Introduction to Mechanics of Materials reviews core issues necessary for engineering design, answering the question: when applying forces and moments to an object, how much will it deform and when will it break? Subjects covered include: statically determinate frames and trusses; both normal and shear stresses and strains; shear force and bending moment diagrams; the theory of beam bending; torsion of circular rods; the transformation of stress and strain in two and three dimensions; stress in thin-walled pressure vessels; yield and ultimate failure criteria; and stress measurement techniques using strain gage, as well as other fundamental topics.

Introduction to Dynamics

A fundamental subject core to Mechanical Engineering, this course will explore how forces act upon rigid bodies and the movements that are generated. Classes will cover the dynamics of systems of particles, and then extend to rigid bodies in planar motion. Kinematics of rigid bodies will include relative and absolute motion analyses. Looking at the kinetics of rigid bodies in two dimensions, students will learn how to use Newton’s second law equations of motion as well as work-energy and impulse-momentum principals, while gaining a practical understanding of their engineering applications. Advanced topics such as gyroscopic motion and its practical applications will also be covered. Students will be introduced to how engineering software is used to model, analyze and simulate the dynamics of rigid bodies and simple mechanisms.

Introduction to Fluid Mechanics

This course introduces the fundamental concepts of how fluid moves, and provides an introduction to the engineering applications of fluid mechanics, from nautical to aerospace. Topics covered will include fluid properties, statics, and the force, energy, and momentum principles used for control volumes. It will also review dimensional analysis and similarity, as well as laminar and turbulent flow, and pipe flow. Students interested in how planes stay in the sky, how drag is reduced on a vehicle, or how to move water through a building will need the principles covered in this course.

Introduction to Thermodynamics

A key topic in engineering is understanding how to convert energy stored in the environment into usable mechanical work. Through lectures and hands-on activities, students will learn about energy conservation and entropy transport in closed and open systems. These concepts will be applied to analyze refrigeration and power cycles, including the Otto (internal combustion engine) and Brayton (jet engine) cycles. Students will explore course principles through fun and practical demonstrations, including making their own ice cream!

Fees & Registration

To register for VSP, please contact your university’s International Office, and visit vancouversummerprogram.ubc.ca for further details.

The fee per student for each 2019 program package is $5,250 CAD, which includes:

  • Course materials
  • Medical insurance
  • Group airport transfer and city tour
  • Shared accommodation on UBC campus
  • Orientation and farewell events
  • Social activities (optional trips may require an additional fee)

Students are responsible for the cost of food, transportation, and personal expenses.

Application Deadlines

June Program: March 2, 2020
July Program: March 30, 2020

Accommodations

Accommodations are in UBC’s on-campus residences and feature:

  • Easy access to classrooms, recreation and campus amenities
  • Free Wifi in lobby; wired high speed Internet in guest rooms
  • Laundry on site

Read more about the VSP accommodations here and go on a virtual tour of the UBC residences and student amenities.

Social Activities

We will be organizing social activities for our VSP students in addition to those offered by the wider program. These will provide a chance to learn about Canadian culture and society, as well as engage with students from Vancouver and around the world.