Monthly Archives: March 2016

T-minus 2 Weeks

We are approaching that time of year once again – midterms are wrapping up and final assignments and projects are rolling in. The last two weeks of school are an interesting time. You’re in that place where you’re not incredibly overwhelmed with work and studying, but you know that you should be preparing for finals that are coming up in two weeks, buuuuut, the sunshine, warm spring weather and dwindling motivation make that so difficult.

My final exams are fairly spread out throughout the two weeks and I finish up on April 25th (perks of only having 4 courses this semester). It’s also crazy to think that this will be my last summer before graduation – it feels like it has been a long time coming. For all you first year readers out there, enjoy your time in university. It goes by way faster than you’d think!

Anyway, just to update you guys on some of the things happening in the Mech Department…

  • Club Mech just finished up their elections for the executive and ex-officio team. I’m happy to announce that I’ll be the president of Club Mech next year. I’m really looking forward to working with the student community and department next year. One of my main goals is bringing the MECH spirit back during E-Week! Two years ago, our department placed 3rd overall and this year, we placed 10th out of 12. If you read my blog post about a month ago, you’ll know that the spirit was lacking this year. For this next year, I plan on bringing us back to the top 5, atleast! (As a side note: the neat thing about next year is that the EUS Council will be mostly comprised of girls! Our incoming EUS president is female along with a couple other EUS VPs, and the CIVL and IGEN presidents. Woo, go girls!)
  • Club Mech is also hosting a Networking 101 Workshop this Thursday, March 31st from 6-8:30pm at the ESC. If you’re interested in learning about how to prepare for a networking event or how to turn a network contact into a future job, this workshop is not one that you want to miss! Click here to RSVP for the Networking 101 Workshop.
  • Don’t forget about our First Year MECH Networking Event at the ESB on Wednesday, April 6th! If you want to find out more about our department, come to this event and speak with our senior students, alumni/grads, and faculty! Click here to RSVP to the MECH First Year Networking Event.

  • Cheers,

    Calling all UBC First Year Engineers…

    It’s coming to that time of year when first years need to decide what specialization they want to go into. On the last Wednesday of the semester, April 6th, the Mech department is hosting a First Year Networking Event. The event will run from 5:30pm-7:30pm at the Earth Sciences Building (2207 Main Mall). Here at Mech, we are giving the first years an opportunity to meet with our current students, alumni, and faculty members in a speed-networking setting. Students will be in groups of 4 and matched with a Mech representative. The rotations will last probably about 10 minutes which gives each student a decent amount of time to ask a question.

    If you are thinking of attending, make sure you prepare a list of questions to ask our Mech representatives. Here are some to get you started:

  • What made you pick mechanical engineering?
  • What is/was MECH 2 like?
  • What kind of courses can I expect to take throughout my degree? What were the best ones? What were the worst?
  • In your opinion, why do you think I should select MECH over other departments?
  • What is your background/experience in Mechanical Engineering?
  • What advice would you give to someone who wants to be successful in your line of work?

  • There are so many more questions you can ask and it all depends on who you get to network with and speak to. My best suggestion is to bring an open and curious mind and listen. It’s a really cool feeling to be apart of a department that does so much outreach with first years and potential future Mech students. You don’t want to miss this event. It’ll be your key to getting the inside scoop on being a Mech student. If you want to attend, please make sure you RSVP as there are limited spots!

    Click here to RSVP to the MECH First Year Networking Event

    Hope to see you guys at some future events!

    Networking, networking, and more networking!

    MECH is having a crazy month of networking events!

    On Wednesday, there was a Mech Alumni Networking event at the EDC which included a tour of the Clean Energy Research Centre lead by our own faculty member, Pat Kirchen. There was a good mix of students and alumni from over the years and it seemed that the event was well received by all. Our department head, Sheldon Green, made an appearance and made his way through groups of students asking for feedback regarding the Mech curriculum. I feel really fortunate to be in a department that cares so much about student feedback and wants to improve the Mech student experience. On top of the scheduled feedback sessions the Mech department hosts each semester, Dr. Green still finds the time to attend events such as the networking event to ask for further feedback. At the end of the event, Dr. Green gave some closing remarks and revealed the winners of the door prize draw. The prizes were pretty awesome too – they included a MEL (Masters of Engineering Leadership) backpack, Moleskin notebook, padfolio, mechanical pencil and a UBC Engineering umbrella!

    Later this month, on March 31st, Club MECH will be hosting the president of Vancouver’s Social Butterfly, Alice Zhou, at the ESC. The event is free and is open to ALL undergraduate engineering students. It’ll be a two-hour interactive presentation and workshop where students can learn: how to prepare before a networking event, who to approach at a networking event, how to effectively approach someone at an event, elevator pitches and business card fundamentals. It should be a really interesting and we hope students will learn alot from it. Also, there will be beverages and food provided (which is always a plus).

    Finally, our department is hosting a First Year MECH Networking Event to help all you first years decide if MECH is the department you want to apply to or not! Stay posted for details early next week….


    Mech cares

    So nothing much is actually going on this week besides the awesome feedback session that Mech put on today. This is a great opportunity to give the department some feedback on how the term is going and what changes would make it better. This is really cool because it shows that Mech cares about how classes are being run and that they want their students to have the best experience possible. We discussed a lot of issues and the Mech department assured us that our concerns will be addressed. Issues can range from professor complaints to material being too difficult to follow. This session not only gives the students the satisfaction of being heard but makes the education process much better. All voiced concerns are looked into and addressed accordingly. I am happy to be in a faculty that constantly tries to make itself better.

    Planes, robots, and granola bars

    Hey guys! These last two weeks have been crazy – especially with finalizing the details of an awesome trip that my friends and I organized through ASME.

    So, this past Saturday, ASME UBC took 40 people down to Mulkiteo, Washington and Everett, Washington to visit MTM Robotics and the Boeing Assembly Plant, respectively. Of the 40 people, there was a great mix of undergraduate mechanical students, some materials engineering students, and a bunch of first years! On top of that, we also had the Board of Executives representative from the ASME BC Chapter join us aswell. It was really fantastic to see how the event reached more than just mechanical students.

    The day started at 7:30am on Saturday, March 5th. All of the students met us at the EDC atrium to sign in and find their spot on the charter bus. As 8:00am rolled around, we were on our way towards the US border. We were fortunate enough to have a beautiful, sunny day for our trip. Once we got to the border, we were greeted by a super friendly border guard who directed our group towards the other less-friendly-looking border guards. Once we all made it across the border, we all got back on the bus and we were on our way to MTM Robotics (formerly known as Mobile Tool Management/MTM).

    For those of you who didn’t catch my last post, MTM Robotics is a supplier of robotics and system software that aids aerospace manufacturing. Some of their big clients include Boeing and AirBus. One of the cool robots we got to see is called the Mini Flextrack. It’s a robot that travels along vacuum rails (Venturi effect) which are positioned onto the fuselage of an aircraft. This allows the robots to drill holes and insert fasteners autonomously. These robots replace the traditional labourers that would otherwise have to manually locate the hole, drill and insert the fasteners themselves. Having this automation allows for a quicker manufacturing/assembly time for big companies like Boeing and AirBus to keep up with the demand for airplanes. Click here to see the Mini Flextrack

    At MTM Robotics, we were greeted by Eric, the Senior Systems Engineer and also a UBC Mech alumnus! He gave our students an incredibly comprehensive tour of the MTM facilities. I visited MTM last spring, and it was amazing to see how much they had expanded and grown within the last year. Last year, they had a large chunk of their basement workshop devoted to material storage and now, they have converted it into a full work-space/test station for their outgoing robots. They are also discussing potential expansion into a larger facility within the next year! There were some very thoughtful and enthusiastic questions from the students and Eric answered all of them with great detail.

    After MTM, our group stopped at a nearby strip-mall area and grabbed lunch before heading off to the Boeing Everett Factory. When we arrived, the students spent about 45 minutes walking through the Future of Flight Museum which included life-sized models of the Boeing 747 stabilizer, Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engine and the G.E GEnx engine. There was also a cross-section cut out of one of the Boeing fuselage’s with MTM’s Mini Flextrack attached to the side! The tour of the actual factory floor was really neat too – unfortunately, no cameras were allowed. The first part of the tour focused on the Boeing 747 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Outside of the factory floor, we were fortunate enough to see one parked 787 Dreamlifter and another landing on the runway. The second part of the tour was on the other end of the plant and focused on the Boeing 777 and 777-x. The 777-x features all composite wings and new engines. Needless to say, the students were overwhelmed by the size of the Boeing factory and all of its rich history.

    After Boeing, we began our trip home. One of our tour organizers bought waaaay too many granola bars to give out to the students as a pre-dinner snack. I’m talking like atleast a hundred granola bars. So, we gave those out and some juice boxes and water bottles. Shortly after, most of the students fell asleep on the long trek home. I spent a good 45 minutes talking to some first years about Mech and how it all works and encouraged them to apply to Mech as their specialization! Seriously, after a trip like this one, I don’t think it takes much convincing that Mech is the way to go!

    All in all, it was a fantastic and super educational day. We hope to expand our trip into a 2-day trip next year to cover more potential companies. It would also be great to see if we could get a more technical tour from Boeing. Now, I’m back on that school grind with assignments and labs due, and a quiz coming up next week.

    UBC Engineering students at MTM Robotics on a tour hosted by ASME UBC.

    UBC Engineering students at MTM Robotics on a tour hosted by ASME UBC.

    Another week, another struggle

    Hey guys. Another week another struggle. So I have this CPEN exam coming up and I’m really nervous. This exam is on Saturday, so I have enough time to actually be well prepared. For those of you that don’t know CPEN, it means computer engineering. I am taking CPEN 312. This course is all about microcomputers. I know it might seem weird for a Mechanical engineer to take this course but I’m in mechatronics so I have to take it. Frankly, I like the course. I think it’s really fun aside from the labs. There’s just so much material to cover. Most courses in engineering always build on previous topics, so if you don’t understand something you better understand it quick or else you won’t understand the next section. This is the same deal with my CPEN course. I have to understand every single thing before I can actually do a question. The problem is that there are so many things to understand it feels impossible to get it right. Yeah it’s a struggle but then again I chose this life.

    On top of this, I still have to apply for jobs. The worst part about job searching is that companies often get you to fill out everything about yourself every time and then re-write everything that’s already on your resume. So if you’re applying outside of UBC Co-op be prepared for a long and boring application process.

    Luckily, though, MECH is hosting a networking event on March 16th for students, faculty, alumni, and other people from industry. This means I’ll get to meet lots of potential employers and grow my professional network which should help me, if not now, then at least in the future. MECH is even going to feed us. And for any first-year Engineering students out there, there will be a separate networking event specifically for you next month, on April 6th, where you can meet current MECH students, faculty, and alumni (and also get fed). You don’t want to miss out. More information on that coming to Mech’s Facebook page soon—check it out.

    Key to success: Be patient