UBC Mechanical Engineering is home to many graduate students working with professors in a diverse range of fields. Our professors and our students come from all around the world to study and research at UBC, and to enjoy the Vancouver lifestyle.
PhD - Thermofluids – Iran
I was born in 1980 in Iran. I grew up in a middle-class family with one goal; "To become a sword of tempered steel you need to experience life thoroughly under different circumstances". In other words, I learned to test myself under different living conditions to fulfill myself. It provided sustenance for my struggles during the hectic periods that my whole family went through.
After finishing my Bachelor's and Master's degrees, I applied to universities abroad, despite being accepted to the most prestigious technical university in Iran and having established myself academically and financially. I was denied admission by American universities, but I got accepted to the University of British Columbia in Canada. Although this was not my first choice, upon my arrival to Vancouver, I found that this was a blessing in disguise.
The multicultural society has kept me mesmerized from the very first moment. I could learn from different viewpoints towards living and study under a completely different education system. I had found an environment that allowed me to explore my full potential. I have learned so much under these new boundaries, in an environment based on mutual understanding and respect.
Due to language barriers, I was/am not able to make myself understood in most situations, but my audiences would patiently try to understand me. This has had a huge impact on me as to how I should accept both myself and others. My office mates, from all over the world, have helped me learn from their upbringing, through the many ups and downs.
Having said these, though I had promised myself to return to my country with learning experiences, I came to understand that I can have a contribution to any society irrespective of its geographical place on the map. Overall, living in such society opened new avenues of looking into the world with exploring eyes and a reasoning mind. Additionally, studying at UBC gave me a chance to learn from the experience of excellent researchers with extensive knowledge.
and Manufacturing – Nigeria
Originally from Nigeria, I came to UBC in 2003 after obtaining my undergraduate degree from the Middle East Technical University, in Turkey. Upon arrival at the university, I was impressed by the niceness of the people I met both on- and off-campus. This made it very easy for me to settle into life in Vancouver and my studies at UBC.
I initially came to UBC to get a Masters degree but after I obtained it in 2005, I decided to continue on to get my PhD as well. I had considered going elsewhere for my PhD degree but I was really pleased with both the quality of the education and the wonderful research atmosphere at the department of Mechanical Engineering. I felt very blessed to have both a knowledgeable and caring research supervisor who inspired me and provided me with opportunities to achieve my career and personal goals.
There are a lot of funding opportunities for graduate studies at UBC (even for international students like me). Over the course of my studies, I received financial assistance from University fellowships, augmented by research and teaching assistantships. These provided enough funding not only for my tuition but also for my living expenses in Vancouver. UBC also provided me with the avenue to apply for the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) scholarship which enabled me to travel to Germany for a four-month coop program with Siemens.
Vancouver is a very cosmopolitan city and UBC mirrors the same cultural diversity. I now have friends from all over the world, many of whom I continue to keep in touch with even though they have moved elsewhere or returned to their home countries.
MASc - Biomedical Engineering – USA
I am a grad student in UBC’s Mechanical Engineering department pursuing my Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering. I am originally from Virginia and received my B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. I chose to come to UBC because of its location and its highly regarded research in biomechanics.
My specific research interest is in spinal cord injuries, and I am constantly surrounded by professionals in this area whether they are from DOER (Department of Orthopaedic Engineering Research), ICORD (International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries), or the UBC Faculty of Medicine. All of the people I have interacted with have been extremely willing to share their knowledge and advice and have been great mentors in helping me achieve both my short term research and long term professional goals.
Outside of research and coursework, I enjoy the active lifestyle of Vancouver by running in the parks, playing with my dog on the dog beaches, hiking and camping in the mountains, and learning how to ski with my season pass to Whistler! Vancouver is a wonderful place to live and it makes getting through the challenges of grad school that much easier!
Last reviewed 12/15/2009 10:04:05 AM