Highlights ’13-’14

  • Co­-Chairs: Matthew Wong & Charles Noftall

The UBC CSCE Student Chapter consists of 55 members and was very active hosting a variety of events during the first half of the 2014 winter term, including guest speaker events and industry tours. Our aim is to provide students with practical opportunities to learn more about civil engineering applications and industries related to their current studies. Also, we have the goal to bridge the gap between university and industry by providing a platform for networking and learning at events attended by practicing engineering professionals. Some of the events organized were a tour of a steel mill on National Steel Day, a Kiewit lunch & learn seminar, and a tour of the UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Building.

National Steel Day is a national event organized annually by the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC). The event’s primary objective is to promote the importance of steel across Canada and its viability in intricate design and fabrication projects. This year it occurred on October 4th and UBC civil engineering students were able to participate by having an organized tour of the steel fabrication plant of George Third & Sons Ltd (GTS) in Burnaby. Transportation for the trip was co­ sponsored by Structural Engineers Association of British Columbia (SEABC) and was organized in collaboration with the UBC Steel Bridge, the UBC CSCE Student Chapter, and the UBC Civil Engineering Department. GTS is currently working on the steel fabrication for the Telus Garden development located in downtown Vancouver at 520 West Georgia. Glotman Simpson Consulting Engineers and Henriquez Partners Architects are also collaborating on Telus Garden and were kind enough to accept the invitation to come visit GTS and give a presentation. After the presentation, the group consisting of UBC students, Glotman Simpson, and Henriquez had a personally guided tour around the facility and explanation of equipment from Rob Third. Included in the tour was the large scale model of the Telus Garden plaza, which gave the visitors an opportunity to experience what the open plaza will feel like upon completion

The UBC CSCE Student Chapter hosted a lunch and learn seminar with Jason Block and Paul Wearmoth of Kiewit Corporation on November 13th. Topics were centered amongst the issues facing hydroelectric construction projects, from feasibility to the construction process and to close out. Paul Wearmouth, a Kiewit area manager with 30 years of experience, guided faculty & students through the construction process from feasibility to completion of their Kokish River Hydroelectric Project. There were 157 in attendance, which included civil & integrated engineering students, and representatives from the UBC Co­op and UBC Alumni Relations. In his discourse, Paul Wearmoth explained the penstock design, alignment and construction, which included environmental consideration and examples of the major excavations on the project. Students were able to get perspective on real life challenges on projects, such as environmental, Design­Build challenges, and inter­project coordination. Kiewit graciously offered to sponsor the lunch with a donation of $500.

On November 14th, the UBC CSCE Student Chapter had a presentation and tour of the new Pharmacy Building on the UBC Campus. The presentation consisted of 20 minute speeches given by the Operations & Facilities Management Director, an associate architect from HCMA, and a principal at Glotman Simpson Consulting Engineers. Jamal Kurtu (Operations & Facilities Management Director – Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences) spoke on the feasibility and economic constraints in the early stages of the project. Thereafter, Craig Lane (Associate Architect, HCMA) gave a presentation on how the team at HCMA came up with the design and incorporated Jamal’s visions into the project. The Pharmaceutical Sciences Building was conceptually designed to abstractly mimic a tree, to be welcoming, warm, and allowfor fluid movement within the building. This inspiration was drawn as trees can typically be a place where people gather under to learn. This concept was realized as the windows outside represent the foliage, concrete blocks lead up to the building like roots of a tree, along with non­aligning staircases that branch between floors.

Lastly, Anthony el­Araj (Principal, Glotman Simpson Consulting Engineers) displayed structural drawings developed in Revit, and spoke on how his team overcame the challenges they faced while maintaining Jamal and Craig’s visions of the project. One of the largest challenges faced in the structural design of the Pharmacy Building is the uneven cubic face of the building. The engineers were able to accommodate these cantilever floors that jog in and out, by using reinforcements to carry the load to the roof and tie it to the building core. After the presentations, a group of 20 students were led on a tour of the Pharmacy Building by Jamal Kurtu.

Regarding future events, the UBC Canadian Society for Civil Engineering Student Chapter is holding their annual industry night on February 12th, 2014 from 6:00­8:30 pm at UBC. It is a great opportunity for employers from various Civil Engineering sub­disciplines to meet and network with current UBC Civil Engineering students.

Each attending company is welcome to bring a table display. Multiple sponsorship options are available. If your firm would be interested in having representatives attend the event please contact the UBC CSCE Student Chapter at ubc.csce@gmail.com to receive an information package and a formal invitation.

In conclusion, this term offered wonderful opportunities for students to become involved and learn more about the civil engineering profession. No doubt these experiences will benefit all attending students in their education of the civil engineering industry and enhance their professional development. We would like to thank all those involved who made this term such a success.