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.
Please see the following research opportunities for undergraduates:

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

Undergrads interested in research should consider our exciting new CREATE-U program!  Combining Research Experience and Technical Electives for Undergraduates (CREATE-U) is a new immersive, cohort-based experience featuring research education opportunities in Mechanical Engineering.

Open to undergraduates from all engineering departments, CREATE-U is a unique opportunity to complete 6 credits of course work + a research project in the summer. Students are paid $6000 for the summer work term and can count it towards co-op. The applicants are chosen based off a diverse selection criteria – it’s not just about grades. There are up to 10 spaces available for the summer of 2020!

CREATE-U has the following elements:

  • Course 1 (3 credits): MECH 410G Research Skills and Data Analysis;
  • Course 2 (3 credits): MECH 410H/550U Research Communication;
  • A paid research project work term within a Mech research lab that can count as a co-op work term, with support from graduate student mentors;
  • A supportive structure, including welcome events, networking lunches, and a fall poster session.

CREATE-U is unique as it integrates and coordinates coursework with individualized, authentic research lab experiences. A supportive structure and courses with modern pedagogical practices help students bring together technical skills and knowledge with communication skills, interpersonal skills, ethics, equity, diversity and inclusion, and other key competencies. Classroom topics can be immediately applied, and course learning outcomes (including a research poster presentation) encourage students to disseminate their work.

Need more information?

Information Session: October 24th at 12:30 PM | CEME 2202
Can't make the information session? Read the slides here for the detailed program description, application and matching process, course descriptions, program timeline, project examples, and more!

If you have further questions, please email jen@mech.ubc.ca.

How to apply

Applications for 2020 have closed. Please check back here for details on our 2021 program.

Your application should include:

  • Your answer to these four questions:
    1. What motivated you to apply for CREATE-U?
    2. What is something you are (or have been) curious about? How have you explored this interest?
    3. Describe a challenge you have faced - academically, professionally, or personally - and how you overcame it.
    4. Describe a problem you had that did not have an obvious path to a solution. What did you do?
  • Your unofficial transcript,
  • A ranking of the available projects in order of your preference. View 2020 CREATE-U Project postings.

The minimum GPA required is a 76% average in 200-level and higher courses, with the exception of students in Year 2, whose GPA will include 100-level courses.

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 2020 - Spring 2021 awards are due to Mechanical Engineering Student Services (students@mech.ubc.ca) by Sunday, March 8th.

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 - Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Award Program may also be available. For more information and the deadlines, please refer to https://students.ubc.ca/career/campus-experiences/undergraduate-research/work-learn-international-undergraduate-research-awards

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.

Work Learn International Undergraduate Research Awards (WLIURA) allow undergraduate international students to gain relevant work experience in the research field by working a full-time paid term from May to August.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is looking to hire two full-time WLIURA positions for the summer term for the following research project: Experimental and computational investigation of primary cementing of oil and gas wells. Students will work 35 paid hours/week with a 1-hour unpaid lunch break for 16 weeks (May to August 2020) at the UBC Vancouver campus.

WLIURA Openings

Oil & Gas Well Data analysis Summer Student: https://ubc-csm.symplicity.com/students/app/jobs/detail/145802da1d4031e1fd03bdd0899c31c2

Gas Wells Experimental Investigation Summer Student: https://ubc-csm.symplicity.com/students/app/jobs/detail/e2c87e55803201315c3804a942ac30e3

Apply with your resume, cover letter and transcript on UBC CareersOnline using your CWL. The deadline is Monday, March 23, 2020.

Please note that this position is for eligible UBC-Vancouver international undergraduate students. For more information about student eligibility requirements, please visit www.students.ubc.ca/wliura

If you have questions about how to apply or need help with your resume and cover letter, please email apsc.pd@ubc.ca.