The Glamorous Lives of UBC Mech Eng Grads

Hi there, reader!

Welcome to iMech – your one and only source into the glamorous lives of UBC Mechanical Engineering graduate students.

Is UBC grad life really that glamorous, you ask? Not in the sense of the word people normally use to describe the ‘bling bling’ lives of the characters in Gossip Girl, but in the same sense Dictionary.com defines it:

glam·or·ous [glam-er-uhs] –adjective

1. full of glamour; charmingly or fascinatingly attractive, esp. in a mysterious or magical way.

2. full of excitement, adventure, and unusual activity: the glamorous job of a foreign correspondent.

Yup, it’s definitely a life filled with ‘excitement, adventure, and unusual activity’, and I am here to share my account of the glamorous grad life with you. Some of the excitement comes from obtaining the knowledge that there’s free food somewhere on campus – and you have the right to be pouty if other grad students forget to share details of such events. Adventures start from the first day of MECH 598 seminar, where you learn about the mandatory seminar presentation you must give to the faculty members (your supervisor included) and a handful of fellow students within a few months of your arrival on campus.

Much unusual activity in grad school seem to happen when grad students resist going home on a Friday afternoon due to something that must be accomplished that night – of course, because we have self-set deadlines that we can’t let ourselves ignore. For example, I witnessed my lab-mates build a fully functional door opening mechanism for the lab on a Friday night (for fun, of course). Walking all the way from one corner of the lab to open the door for a visitor became an annoying job for those sitting nearest to the door. Hence, we identified the need to eliminate this source of annoyance in our otherwise-awesome lab. The mechanism consisted of a hanger, a paper clip, and a nail, all of which were cleverly tied together by strings to the lever-like door handle. When I urged them to go home for the weekend, they kept insisting that they were almost done and that it was going to be epic… Once an engineer uses the word epic to describe the future of his/her current project, and anticipate the ‘epic’ moment to happen in some immediate future, there is no going home… Unusual? To the lay, I think so.

So this blog is all about reporting on the glamour of life as a Mechanical Engineering graduate student at the University of British Columbia – all the excitements, adventures, and what others may view as unusual activities.

As the first post of iMech, I wanted to give you a sneak peak of what I intend to write. For those of you who are considering grad school (at UBC or other), I hope this blog will give you a sense of what you can expect from your near-future grad student career. For those of you who are already here, pursuing your Master’s or PhD, I hope this blog will inspire you to share your experiences (i.e., feel free to become a contributor to this blog) or find some comfort in knowing that other students are living as crazy/exciting/hectic/passionate/(fill your favourite adjective here) life as you are. This blog is as empty as any new blog can be right now. I feel like I can hear my keyboard echoing “hello?! Is anyone there?” every time I type. But as more people start reading it, I hope to be able to take your questions (from prospective students?) and comments (from people in general – young, old, faculty, staff, student), and turn it into valuable discussions about things we do/should care about.

In subsequent posts, I will try to add more photos of things/people around here and also do a proper introduction of myself (yours truly).

5 thoughts on “The Glamorous Lives of UBC Mech Eng Grads

  1. Ofie

    I love your post! Especially the part about the door opening mechanism and the word ‘epic’. Engineers are awesome. Especially lazy ones =)

    Keep up the good work!!!

    Reply
  2. Christine

    They say that laziness is one of the driving forces in human innovation. That’s because the non-engineer doesn’t understand that the world is actually an optimization problem. Look for the solution that requires the least effort/time/money/etc.

    Reply
  3. AJung Post author

    Oh Paul… Unfortunately our lab had a few guests since the installation of the door opening mechanism that we had to take it down before taking a picture of it. But it’s great that there’s more demand for “Friday night epic inventions”. Let me make sure the inventors know this, and maybe I’ll be able to take pictures of the DoorOpener v.2!!

    Reply

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