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The End to a Crazy Week!


Hi guys, its Diana again; and yes, I am alive!

If you read my last post, you know that I just had reading break. The first two of days were great because I had the chance to get a good amount of sleep. Throughout the break, I studied and did assignments almost every day. They were very long so, I had little time to study the material for the three midterms I had this week. Anyway, I know I put a lot of effort and tried my hardest, so I am sure they will be okay.

My crazy week started by writing a midterm almost every day. Things went okay and by 12 pm Thursday I was finally free to focus on WiSE 2017; my networking event. I have to say I am extremely proud of the amount of effort and work my amazing committee and I put into making this event a success. The feedback from it has been very good. It was definitely the happiest point of my week. Organizing an event for more than a hundred people really requires a lot of responsibility, but knowing that all of your attendees enjoyed it makes all the effort worth it.

Since finishing Mech 2, I haven’t had that many super busy weeks, so the past week was a bit of a surprise. I can’t say I miss it! On the bright side, I learned a lot about myself during that week, and for the most part I managed my time effectively. This is one of the invaluable skills you learn in Mech.

Reading Week is finally here

I am very excited about reading break. I look forward to sleep and taking a well-deserved rest. So far this week has been great, but tomorrow is my first Mechanical Engineering Lab Tour. For this tour, I will be taking the students to some of our awesome labs:

The Anechoic Chamber: The Anechoic Chamber is a fundamental test facility for acoustical research. It is quite unusual both physically and acoustically.  Its surfaces are made of highly sound absorptive glass-fibre wedges, creating an almost completely sound-reflection-free environment. Currently, the chamber contains two microphone-array acoustical antennas being used to localize sources of sound — in particular, on musical instruments.

MAL (Manufacturing and Automatization Lab): conducts research in the mechanics and dynamics of metal cutting operations, spindle design and analysis, micro-machining, virtual simulation of machining operations and CNC machine tools; design and digital control of high speed feed drives; precision machining, sensor assisted intelligent machining; and chatter stability of cutting processes. The academic articles published out of this lab receive the highest citation in the world in the field of manufacturing.

Although I consider myself a pretty “easy to talk to” type of person, I have to admit my strength isn’t necessarily public speaking. So, even though I am a bit scared, I am excited for this opportunity because I have the chance to learn something new and take on a challenge. I know it will be a good tour – I should know, I prepared all the logistics of the tour to make sure it is a success.

If you are interested in attending one of our future lab tours send an email to: to save a spot. Our next tour will be on March 24th from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, and includes an academic advising session.

Once this tour is over, I am going to relax for a week. . . because the week after my life is going to be crazy! I have three midterms and two assignments during that week. But wait there is more… I will also be the MC for the Women in Engineering Networking Event, for WiSE 2017! This a yearly event for which I am also the chair this year. WiSE 2017 is an amazing opportunity for female students to network with well experienced female professionals in industry and academia. So as you can see, I really need a couple days off!

See you next time!

1st Year Networking Event


If you like interesting stuff, have a passion to learn more about how the world works, and love things that move, then Mechanical Engineering is for you; and we want you!

The Mechanical Engineering Department hosts a first year networking event every term. This event gives student the opportunity to connect with Alumni, Professors and current students and talk about their great experiences. This event is a great chance to learn more about things you wouldn’t find in a recruitment brochure, such as student teams, research opportunities, and the industry at large. When I was in first year, I didn’t have the chance to attend these types of events because I wasn’t aware they existed. I have to say I really wished I had because it would have helped prepare me for my second year of mechanical engineering at UBC.

As a transfer student from Langara College, I can say that there is a big difference between college and university education. Classes, professors and grading are very different. It took me a while to get used to this, and get familiar with the kinds of different study methods to become the student I am today.

The students who come to these events really get firsthand knowledge and the inside scoop on the program from current students, professors and alumni. So, if you are in first year engineering in UBC or other colleges, then keep an eye out for opportunities like these.

You can check out the mechanical engineering website for future opportunities, such as Networking Events, Lab Tours, or Student Blogs.

If you have any questions, email me at:

Mech 223 and Mech 2 Taco night

It is true that Mech 2’s curriculum is intense, especially during that time of year when you are hungry,  tired and trying to complete your design project “on time” – but it is a good experience to go through. For example, last week Mech 2 students had the opportunity to apply their engineering skills to a real world project. Their project consisted on the creation and design of a prototype vehicle that can successfully deploy a set of “landers” on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Students worked long hours for about month (while taking classes) to have a prototype vehicle ready for competition day. During the competition, the prototypes were tested in five different rounds. The team who had the best prototype won the competition.  The reward you may ask? Bragging rights! Yeah, that’s pretty cool!

The whole process is part of Mech 223, a design focused course with a new challenge every year. I would say that the most rewarding part of taking a course like this is making something that works and moves. I had a great time during my Mech 2 design challenge. When I was in Mech 2, we created a completely autonomous vehicle that had to move through different paths (straight, curved or sloped). To be honest, it was very challenging because it required programming, gear boxes, electrical sensors, and more, but I feel like I learned a lot of things I had no idea about.

Apart from being able to learn about the design process and build something cool from scratch, you also get refreshments from Club Mech the night before competition. This year in particular, Club Mech made soft tacos! As you can see by the pictures, the Mech 2s look very happy.

Hopefully you too have the chance to go through this experience. I assure you that you will learn so much about yourself, design in mechanical engineering and how to work with others.

E-week has Come and Gone! MECH Rocked!

Original photo from: UBC Engineering Undergraduate Society Facebook Page

This week was super fun, but also busy. The life of a Mech student sometimes makes you wish that days can actually be longer than 24 hours. Most Mech students are involved in extra-curricular activities. Some are part of Club Mech or student teams such as, Baja, Formula, Thunderbots, AeroDesign, etc.; others are part of ex-officio clubs, such as Alpha Omega Epsilon (AOE), Sigma Phi Delta (SPD) and Women in Engineering (WiE). There are a lot of positive things that come out of joining groups like these at UBC. In my opinion, the most valuable skills you can learn from these activities is the ability to work with people and effectively succeed in the accomplishment of a project. Whether your interest is related to technical skills or group management, these groups really give you the opportunity to explore your abilities. This is what Club Mech does for me, and that is why E-WEEK is an important time for our Club.

Original photo: UBC Club Mech Facebook Page

Our goal for this year was to win first place in E-WEEK. As the week went on, we participated in all the activities, but sadly we didn’t get enough points to win 1st place. Mech placed 5th out of 12 engineering teams that competed. Although we did not win, the experience and memories of friendship that were created that week will last a life time.

I think we are lucky that UBC engineering has a good Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS). They organize so many events during the academic year, so undergraduate students from every department have a chance to relax, enjoy and socialize through their university experience. So, thank you to the EUS for organizing such a fantastic E-WEEK! You can find out more about the EUS here.

The sense of community at UBC Engineering is great. By participating in events, clubs and teams, you will meet great people from different departments that can potentially teach you interesting things about their lives and careers.

Until next time,


E-week is Coming

Original Photo from: UBC Engineering Undergraduate Society

This week in particular has been rather crazy for me. I have been trying to organize my schedule to make sure I have enough time for my extracurricular activities, classes and work. Time management is a key skill in the life of a Mech student. We usually get pretty good at this during Mech 2; after all it is a busy program.

Anyways, the reason why life is so busy right now is because E-week starts next week! As Vice-President of Club Mech I have to participate in as many events as possible. For those of you who don’t know, E-week is an undergraduate “Engineering faculty” competition week during the second term of classes and is hosted by the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS). They plan a lot of events such as opening ceremonies, cooking with beer, true engineer (participants build a structure made out of materials from the dollar store in a short period of time), new red old red (a fun undergraduate and alumni casual networking event), etc. and give participants points for their attendance. The department that has the most points wins the competition.  If you want to know more, you can check out some of the events here. This is an important time for us undergrads to represent the Mechanical Engineering department and show our pride.

In the past, Mech has won the competition many times, but that hasn’t been the case in the last 2 years. Our Club Mech President Ashley Mak wants us to win, so we will do our best to beat the other departments! With all the events going on, I have to make sure I have time to complete my assignments, study and participate in activities. So far, I have managed to set up a schedule that allows me to do everything for that week, but I have to say it will require dedication, long hours and tons of reminders and alarms… I will let you know how it all goes. Fingers crossed that we win E-week!

Hope your week is going great. Thanks for reading.


And We Are Back!

Another term has started! This is the first week of classes, and so far things are in line, stress levels are low and Mech students are rested and happy. A common topic these days is: which technical electives should we take as part of 4th year? Mech offers a wide range of technical electives that you can choose from based on your interests. Some examples include: Thermofluids, Biomedical, Mechatronics, Acoustics, Fuel cells, Aerodynamics, etc. You can find more about this in the Mechanical Engineering website. Personally, I like topics related to robotics, manufacturing, solid mechanics and thanks to a great professor I had last term, I think I also like thermodynamics. I have decided to take:

  • Mech 491 – Computer-Aided Manufacturing: this course got my attention the very first time I was looking at all the courses in Mech. It aims to teach the theory and applicability of numerical computer programming together with CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided manufacturing) systems. The labs seem okay so far, but from what I have hear from previous students is that the projects take a lot of your time. So more on that later on.
  • Mech 495 – Industrial Engineering: Aims to teach you how engineering connects to other fields in the industry, such as management, maintenance, quality control, coding and classification, manufacturing systems, etc. If you ask me, it seems pretty interesting.

I mention the topic of electives because I noticed a lot of my friends have been attending different courses during the first week of classes to determine what subjects they like the most. Their decision making is based on: topics covered, lecture schedule (many students don’t really like 8 am classes) and the prof who is teaching the course. This is something you can do as well once you get to 4th year. This way, you will really choose something you like in every aspect.

I think this term has been interesting. I hope it is full of fun!

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have regarding my life in Mech. Hope you have a good week.


Diana N.

Hey there!

I can’t believe we’re nearing the end of the term already – I guess time flies when you’re having fun! Or really busy.

I’ve been both these past couple months, what with courses, working at MECH Student Services, working as a TA, and volunteering for my favourite groups, Thunderbots, Club MECH, and EngCite! I got so caught up in all the homework and events that this is my first blog post! So, I’ll start with an introduction:

Hello, my name is Khashina, I’m a 3 ½ year mechatronics student, and Two Truths and A Lie about me are:

  • I’ve roasted marshmallows on an active volcano
  • I can do a backflip from standing position
  • I took a job working outside in -20°C weather just to see if I could

If you think you know which one of those is false, leave a comment or send me a message at and I’ll let you know!

Alright. So the big theme in my life this week is that I have my very last midterm on Friday (!) and then I just have Final Projects and Final Exams! Often, classes will have projects as a large part of the work you do, which is really great because it distributes your grade (no 80% finals for us!) and you get to learn about the material in a more hands-on way. For example, for my manufacturing processes class, I have to choose an object and, through observation, think about how it was made (which might sound boring but did you know water-bottles are made by blowing up hot plastic into water-bottle shaped balloons?)

Well, back to work for me, and please leave a comment or send me an email if you have any questions about being a UBC Mech student or about this post!

Here We Go…

Happy Wednesday all!

So, here we are 3 weeks into the school year. Classes are in full swing, projects and student teams are underway, and midterms are fast approaching. The first two weeks were slow and then it feels like everything started happening all at once this week. How are you all getting along?

This semester, I have 4 courses and capstone for a total of 16 credits. Sad to say, this is probably one of the easiest semesters I’ve had over my entire degree. Plus, it helps that the courses I’m taking this semester are pretty interesting! Do you ever wonder what kind of things mechanical engineers learn in school?

MECH 327: Thermal Design. So far, this course has been a refresher on thermodynamics that we covered in MECH 2 (blog post debunking MECH 2 myths coming soon…). We have talked alot about first law, second law, and cycles. Thermo isn’t my favourite subject, but I’m fortunate enough to have an awesome prof this year teaching the course. Shoutout to Pat Kirchen for being being organized, efficient, and having the neatest notes out of any prof I have ever had.

MECH 329: Materials for Mechanical Design. This class is exactly what it sounds like – learning about the materials needed for engineering design. In all honesty, I was most excited for this course because…well, materials is my jam. However, it has been the most disappointing course this semester so far. I was expecting to learn about the actual material selection process for design (ie: 1010 steel vs 1045) steel but instead, we are learning about the chemistry fundamentals (ionic bonds, covalent bonds, etc… Think CHEM 11 or CHEM 12). So, not super impressed so far but hoping that will change!

ELEC 344: Applied Electronics and Electromechanics AKA your “4th year motors course”. As a not-so-avid fan of electrical, I was not excited about this class. I expected more circuit analysis which we already do alot of in our curriculum. The course started off covering the fundamentals of electromagnetism, which was a nice refresher because I don’t think I’ve touched that stuff since PHYS 153 in first year. I just completed the first lab yesterday and it was analyzing the relationship between the position of a metal plunger within a solenoid and the resulting effects on inductance and electromagnetic force. So far, so far. 10/10 would continue going to lectures and labs.

MECH 463: Vibrations. Springs. So many springs.

MECH 45X: Capstone. MECH has a design project component in every year of your studies which is unique to our department. Capstone is just the 4th year design project and it’s year round. My project this year will be to design circuitry housing for a product called Reveal. All I can say about Capstone and any other design project: what you get out of the project is 100% dependent on how much you put into it.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for a post debunking all the myths about MECH 2…

Until next time,

Welcome back!

Welcome back to another year at UBC! For all the new readers in the audience: Welcome to the UBC Mech Ambassadors Blog!

This blog was created for the purpose of showing students, who are interested in joining UBC Mechanical Engineering, the daily life of existing current MECH students. We will talk about courses you can expect to take as mechanical engineering student, ways to get involved and connected with the department, and events throughout the year. You will get complete transparency into all things MECH!

We were fortunate enough to receive great questions and feedback on our blog posts last year and would love to continue seeing questions and comments from you all! If you have a request for a blog topic or have a question in general, please feel free to email:

So, bookmark this blog and join us as we continue our journey to become UBC Mechanical Engineers.

Until next time,