Category Archives: Student Life

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

Post-Reading Week Resolutions

Alright fam, so now that reading week is over I have to get back on track. My reading break was pretty lit. In fact I am sure it was better than yours. I did a variety of things ranging from late night Netflix binging to reading Kanye’s twitter feed. But now that I am back in school, I have to sort everything out. My design team competition is coming up so I spend a lot of my afternoons in the machine shop. For the rest of the term I plan to stay on top of things and have an organized schedule. Unlike before, I will wake up early and not 10mins before class. Waking up early not only gives me time to have a good breakfast but it also lets me become mentally ready for class. If I’m not mentally ready for class I won’t understand a thing. Other than that, I have a CPEN midterm coming up. It’s not a standard midterm as you would expect. It’s on the WEEKEND. First of all who does that? Second of all why? Lastly, I could be home watching The Office or something. But I guess it is what it is and I am just going to have to grind through it. There is one thing that I have to look forward to for next week, and it’s the feedback session hosted by Mech. This gives teachers an opportunity to get some feedback on how they are running the course. This goes to show that professors actually want to know how to make their course better for everyone. I think that’s pretty dope because if I have some issues with a course, I can be sure that my voice will be heard. But the best part about all this is that we get some dope lunch.

Key to success: Listen to T.L.O.P

Reading Break Blues

Hey all,

After a long few weeks, I’m back! The last few weeks have been busy with assignments and midterms – as usual. And E-WEEK!

Unfortunately, Mech didn’t do too well in the final rankings. There was a serious lack of Mech spirit this year which really sucked to see. In the final rankings, I think we placed 2nd last, in contrast to coming in 3rd place last year. Some of my classmates commented that “the rankings are inversely proportional to the departments that are ACTUALLY doing work.” While it’s true that Mech does have a heavy, heavy course load, I don’t think it was unreasonable for each student to attend or participate in atleast one event. Mech is the 2nd largest department in the Faculty of Applied Science while Mining is half the size. Yet, they continue to hold down the E-Week crown as they won their 3rd consecutive E-Week. Anyway, E-Week 2016 is over, but Mech will make a triumphant comeback in E-Week 2017!

Last week was also reading week.
Here’s how reading week ideally goes: complete homework assignments, get ahead/study for all your classes, relax, go on vacation, have fun.
Here’s how my reading break was actually spent: sick in bed, occasional trips to the Shoppers Drug Mart in the pouring rain, and lots of Netflix.

I guess the catching up on Netflix part isn’t so bad, but being sick did suck. Luckily, I’m getting over the worst of it and I’m back in motion! Although I spent most of my reading break in bed, I did get a chance to do some detailed planning for ASME UBC’s annual Boeing/Mobile Tool Management Tour.

The tour will be taking place on Saturday, March 5th. We currently have 45 students signed up for the day trip to Seattle – a good mix of first years, Mech undergrads, and some students from other departments aswell. Our first stop will be at Mobile Tool Management (MTM), a company that produces automated tools and software systems to aid companies in aerospace manufacturing. We are fortunate enough to have a UBC Mech alumnus, Eric, now working for MTM. As for Boeing, we will be touring the Everett Factory. This is where planes such as the 747, 777, and 787 are manufactured and assembled. Our next steps are to host a trip debrief session and then we will be on our way!

All very exciting things to come…I’ll keep you all posted!

Until next time,


Today is officially the start of E-Week 2016! There are going to be TONS of events everyday for the next week. Join in and show your UBC Engineering pride by participating, volunteering or cheering on your department!

Last night was the opening ceremonies. My classmates and I arrived on campus around 8pm and proceeded over to Club Mech to meet up with the other Mech students. In the midst of preparing for opening ceremonies, I took a moment to step back and appreciate how cool it was to be partying with my classmates on a Sunday night. I don’t think alot of other students/faculties can say they have the opportunity to do that. It reminded me of advice that my solid mechanics professor, Dr. Schajer, gave me a year ago while we were filming for filmfEUSt (check out the link below). Speaking of which, if you haven’t met or had a class with Gary Schajer, you are doing yourself a disservice (*hint* JOIN MECH *hint*). He is soft-spoken, wise, and has such a philosophical outlook on life. He’s great.

Anyway, when opening ceremonies started last night at 10pm, I looked around the new ESC and saw the faces of hundreds of my engineering classmates. We may all have been representing different departments, but there was a common, underlying engineering pride. And really, that’s what E-Week is all about. I’ve said it a hundred times before, but I’ll say it again: PARTICIPATE IN E-WEEK! No matter what department you are in, even if you are not in a specialized department yet, you worked hard to get to where you are now. SO BE PROUD AND REPRESENT IT!

In the spirit of E-Week and to show you how awesome our department is, check out the links below:
MECH FilmfEUSt Entry 2012
MECH FilmfEUSt Entry 2015



Ready to fly

Alright fam let’s get to it. I’ve had a really crazy week. I joined lots of intramural teams and was really excited to play with them but suddenly I twisted my ankle while jogging. Aside from that everything is still pretty smooth. My plane in Aerodesign is built and ready to fly and my workload in classes is still at a medium. I feel that if I don’t start reviewing for my classes now I’m going to be behind for a very long time. As a mechatronics student I get to take a lot of cool courses. My favorite is CPEN 312, Microcomputers. It’s really cool because we get our own boards and get to do a lot of hands-on work rather than the traditional on-computer style. Apart from school my job application process is accelerating and I am applying for jobs almost every night now.  It is important to remember that job applications can’t just be a basic template; it has to have something that is unique to the employer. This will give you an edge because a lot of individuals will just have a standard cover letter for all the jobs they apply to. If you want to find out more about some companies and employers I recommend checking out the job fairs and networking events that UBC holds. This is a great opportunity to meet employers face to face and get to know them. There’s always an opportunity to sell yourself for the job. It gives you the chance to show that you’re interested in the position and allows you to make contacts at the companies. I have even had some employers give me their business cards so that I can contact them directly to discuss the details about the job. My job search is taking off!

Key to Success: Drink lots of water

-Siddhant Malik

Career Fairs, Networking Events, and E-Week! Oh my!

I’ve always loved the second semester of school more than first. Don’t get me wrong – I love the feeling of coming back to school after summer (well, for the first week anyway) and all the events/parties that take place, but second semester is when the UBC Engineering community gets busy!

In the next few weeks, E-Week 2016 (Engineering Week) will be underway. From February 1-6, you’ll have the chance to represent your department in a series of events and show your Engineering pride. If you haven’t heard of E-Week or haven’t yet participated in E-week, I highly encourage that you do it! There are events such as: Chariot Races, CaPPture the Flag, fEUSball Tournament, Pit Purge, Annual General Meeting, E-BALL Soccer, and 4-Legged Race – just to name a few!

On top of this, the annual EUS Career Fair will be taking place on February 4-5. This is a great opportunity for students to network with representatives from big companies. In some cases, these companies may also be looking to hire students for the summer. Words of advice: dress appropriately and it doesn’t hurt to have a few copies of your resume or business card on you! When I attended the EUS Career Fair in my first year, I hit off an awesome conversation with a HR Rep from SNC-Lavalin. She was telling me about this Project Management Summer Student position that sounded really cool. When I told her I was interested, she said that she thought I would be a great fit and asked if I had my resume… And I didn’t. Looking back, it was a pretty big mistake on my part, but when I think about it some more – in my first year, nobody really told me what to expect from a career fair/networking type event. Even today, I still feel like people aren’t sure what to expect or how to prepare.

This was a big topic that was brought up during the EUS Industry Committee meeting that I sat in on last week. Upon discussing this with other departments, we are working on implementing a “How To Network” type event for all engineering students because we believe this is pretty important information to have. Over here in MECH Student Services, we are planning a First Year Networking event with our senior MECH students and alumni! This will give you first years a chance to practice your networking skills AND learn more about our awesome department. Details have yet to be confirmed – we will keep you posted!

Prepare yourself for some very exciting weeks to come!


PS: Click here for some deets on E-WEEK

Key to Success

So after 2 weeks of winter vibes I’m back at the battle ground for another semester. So far so good. The best thing about the first week is that there are no labs. This means huge 3-hour gaps for Netflix. I have had a very easygoing start to the semester but things are ramping up really fast. I have my Aerodesign competition coming up, midterms next month, and I have to apply for coop jobs. Applying for jobs is the most dreadful thing because every cover letter you write has to be customized to the job posting. Of course you can just use a standard one for everything but it really helps you get the job if you tailor your cover letter to the company and the position. Lastly, I have a MECH tour coming up that I have to prep for. I have to go through all the rad MECH labs and student teams so that the noobs that are coming into MECH know what they are getting into. If you want to come on the tour shoot me an email and we can work things out. I, oddly enough, take pride in my tours, cause I give really awesome tours. But also because I think it’s really important that kids know what they want to do and it is my job to provide them with the necessary information.

So yeah, I’m pretty busy. From now on, in every blog post I write, I will include a key to success à la DJ Khaled. Key to Success: minimize Netflix binging.

New Year, Same Grind

Happy new year! I hope the holiday break treated you all well.

Winter break was awesome. For me, it was filled with lots of family and friends time, catching up on sleep, snowboarding, checking out local bands at The Imperial on New Years Eve and more food than I could have ever hoped for. The break was much needed…Let’s just say it wasn’t the best idea to mix job interviews with six final exams. Although my stress levels reached all time highs, some good did come out of it. I have passed all of my courses (thank goodness) and I have also been offered a student engineering job for the summer!

For you first-year readers out there, I highly suggest getting experience early. Apply for a summer job/internship or even volunteer to work for a company. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but I think it’s worth saying it again: the more experience you get, the better!

This semester will be a busy one, once again, but in all the best ways. Club Mech has some pretty good events coming up this semester. ASME will be hosting the annual Boeing trip down to Seattle to visit Boeing and MTM Ltd. E-Week will be happening the first week of February (if you haven’t participated in E-Week, do it).

Again, we would love to hear from you readers. Feel free to send Siddhant or me an e-mail at: with comments or feedback about what you would like us to post about!


End of term Shenanigans

Well, here we are in the home stretch of the semester…the last week of classes. There isn’t too much going on this week other than submitting final projects, and assignments. It’s the calm before the storm, also known as finals.

Academically, things are slow right now, but Mech has been busy with other things! This week, Club Mech is hosting a Mech Student & Staff Party on Friday, December 4th from 12:30-1:30pm. This is an annual event with Christmas treats and drinks; and presents are given to department professors and staff for their hard work and commitment to the students.

Also on Friday, December 4th, Club Mech is also hosting an end-of-term party in the Club Mech room (CEME 2207) starting at 2:00pm and will go on laaaaate into the night. Everybody is welcome to come by and spread the Christmas cheer!