Engineering grad students share research

Inaugural graduate conference highlights work being done at UBC.

A group of graduate students at UBC’s School of Engineering did a bit of show and tell at the university recently.

The students organized the first-ever graduate symposium, a student-led event that allowed 38 master’s degree and PhD students to explain to the community, the university, and their peers exactly what their research entails.

UBC engineering students

The event consisted of three parallel sessions, each showcasing the work of graduate researchers. The students had no more than 12 minutes to make their presentations, and prizes were awarded in both the master’s and PhD categories.

“We organized the symposium as a means for graduate students to share their research with a wide audience both within and outside the School of Engineering,” said student Tim Hurley, a PhD candidate in civil engineering.

“We wanted students to have the chance to learn from each other as well as develop the skills needed to translate technical knowledge into information with broader appeal and significance.”

Hurley, and fellow organizer Nilufar Islam, said the students were judged on their presentation, the methods of research, progress or results, and professionalism.Islam, also a PhD candidate, said it was rewarding to see a mix of academic, industry and other local talent together and learning about the type of work that goes on in UBC’s engineering labs.

Organizers invited James Kay, regional manager at Kelowna’s Focus Corporation to speak to the group and he talked about how to develop your career during your first years after graduation.

“Student presenters shared their work on a variety of topics in civil, mechanical and electrical engineering,” said Islam. “I know that the students gained valuable experience and enjoyed the chance to share their expertise and passion with all those in attendance.”


The following UBC Okanagan engineering students were presented with awards at the symposium.

Master’s student winners

· Tim Abbott, civil. Utilizing metal salts to control odour, pathogens or orthophosphate during the anaerobic digestion of municipal waste sludge

· Yash Sharma, mechanical. High-resolution micro computed tomography and 3D image analysis of paper products

· Kader Siddiquee, civil. Seismic vulnerability assessment of wall pier supported highway bridges in British Columbia.

PhD student winners:

· Nilufar Islam, civil. Locating stations for booster chlorination in smaller water distribution networks: An index based optimization with risk-cost trade-off analysis

· Hamid Reza Zareie Rajan, mechanical. Dimensional simulation of the reaction forces acting on an aluminum 6061 semisolid weld pool

· Husnain Haider, civil. Performance-based asset management of small- to medium-sized water utilities.

Winners at the inaugural engineering graduate student symposium are: Yash Sharma, Hamid Reza Zareie Rajani, Kader Siddiquee, Nilufar Islam, Tim Abbott, and Husnain Haider.


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