Event Coordinator: Joshua Baylis

Co hosted by:
UBC-CSCE-Brand-Identity-Colour   seabc logo

DSD_4292On March 31st , 2015 the UBC CSCE Student Chapter and SEABC facilitated a 15 person tour of the Evergreen Light Rail Transit (EGRT) project in Port Moody. This tour was hosted by one of the projects joint venture contractors, Graham Construction.

We arrived to meet our host from Graham, Josh Binkley, who was accompanied by a design engineer from MMM Group Buho Joo. Buho did most of the design work for the sections of the construction we were going to tour. Josh and Buho provided a safety presentation and highlighted challenges of the structural design and construction project management on particular sections of the job that we were about to see in the field.

DSD_4305Josh and Buho then escorted our group to a laydown area for a segment of the project. We walked for about 1.5 km along the elevated guideway, listening to Josh and Buho as they discussed some challenges of the build that included: piling difficulties, high tolerances for rail alignment, unique formwork builds, working close to a CP railway, and meeting environmental standards in fish sensitive creeks.

This tour was very practical, converging a broad range of topics covered in our academic careers and showing us how it is applied in industry on a large infrastructure job. The UBC CSCE Student Chapter and SEABC would like to once again thank Josh and Graham Construction for hosting the tour.

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Event Coordinator: Howard Wong

Co hosted by:
UBC-CSCE-Brand-Identity-Colour   seabc logo

As a part of UBC CSCE Student Chapter’s events, a panel discussion co-hosted with SEABC – YMG on the new UBC Student Union Building was given on March 19, 2015. The discussion was led by seven representatives from three companies: Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd. (RJC), DIALOG, and UBC Properties Trust.

DSC_0708For the first part of the presentation, the architects, Kate Gerson and Andrew Larigakis, from DIALOG, noted key points which mostly included the initial designs of the project. They spoke of their collaboration with the UBC Alumni committee on the conceptual designs of the building and also talked about key features such as achieving LEED Platinum status.

DSC_0715The next part of the presentation was given by three structural engineers and one designer, Damien Stoneham, Natalia Myles, Shahryar Davoudi, and Bruce McGarvie respectively from RJC. Their discussion about the specific design challenges gave students a vivid picture of the building. Deflections and connections were highlighted challenges, but through thoughtful analysis, they were overcome with elegant results.

DSC_0722Lastly, Dan Giordano from UBC Properties Trust highlighted the development manager’s roll in the project. Dan highlighted the importance of stakeholders and stressed that elements needed for approval were carefully processed and that each part of the project was thoroughly analyzed.

The UBC CSCE Student Chapter and SEABC – YMG would like to thank all the participating companies and their respective representatives for taking their time to discuss the importance of the soon-to-be UBC SUB and answering our questions.

Event Coordinator: Howard Wong

Co hosted by:
UBC-CSCE-Brand-Identity-Colour   UBCITE

IMG_0142On March 11, 2015, the UBC CSCE and UBC ITE Student Chapter’s co-hosted an event titled “Binnie: The Project Manager” that was given by two representatives from Binnie, Jeff van den Eerenbeemt and Scott Campbell. Both representatives are UBC Alumni and are current project managers at Binnie. Binnie is a reputable, Western Canadian civil engineering company providing services in engineering infrastructure growth and development.

This particular event was given at Neville Scarfe Room 100 with an estimated total attendance of 80 people. The objective of the lecture that Jeff and Scott gave was to give students an overview of what it is like to be a Project Manager using specific projects that Jeff and Scott worked on. In addition professional advice was given to students in regards to obtaining a Professional Engineer title as a project manager.

IMG_0145This lecture gave students a lot of insight on the challenges with project management with examples from Jeff and Scott on noted projects such as the Port Mann Bridge, the Bridgeport Skytrain Station and the King George Boulevard project. Exceptional descriptions and roles of each project gave students a different perspective away from applied technical theory learnt in school.

The UBC CSCE and UBC ITE Student Chapter’s would like to thank Jeff and Scott for taking time to come and give a talk about project management and answering all of our questions. The presentation was thoroughly enjoyed and the UBC CSCE Student Chapter looks forward to working with Binnie again in the near future.

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Event Coordinator: Ben White

The 2015 UBC CSCE Industry Night was a great success. The event welcomed representatives from 50 companies, including 30 corporate sponsors, and over 250 students to the Life Science Center’s West Atrium at UBC’s Point Grey Campus. The event offered a first-class opportunity for students, alumni and industry professionals to connect with one another. Company projects, potential job opportunities and shared interests were hot topics among the evening’s 384 attendees.

The 12 gold sponsors of the evening had the opportunity to take the stage, and showcase their companies with speeches to the crowd. UBC civil engineering student teams, including Concrete Canoe, EERI Seismic Design Team and Steel Bridge were at the event showcasing their respective projects. This unique mix and mingle event offered refreshments and food for attendees to enjoy in a comfortable atmosphere.

UBC CSCE is proud to host the largest department-specific networking event within UBC engineering, and has already started planning for next year’s event. We are very thankful for all of the support that we have received from our sponsors, who can be viewed here. If you would like more information on UBC CSCE, please contact Charles Noftall (President) at ubc.csce@gmail.com.


Ben White welcoming guests to the 2015 UBC CSCE Industry Night


Industry members mix and mingle with UBC students


Industry members networking with one another


Some members of the Industry Night Organizing Committee – From L-R: Ben White, Nicole Philip, Curtis Flack and Justin Brown


Hatch Mott MacDonald delivering a speech – one of the perks of being a Gold sponsor

UBC civil engineering students share a laugh with their professor, Dr. Patricia Keen

UBC civil engineering students share a laugh with their professor, Dr. Patricia Keen

Event Coordinators: Wendy Pan and Amber Xue

IMG_0018On January 19th, 2014 the UBC CSCE Student Chapter welcomed Ron de Zeeuw to provide a professional development seminar titled “Speaking to be Heard”. Ron is the current Head of the Revenue & Cost Recovery Department of Environment Canada. For more than 20 years, Ron has given presentations to a wide variety of audiences including senior management, new employees and middle management in both government and non-government sectors. Ron’s public speaking and leadership skills are nationally recognized as he was awarded the 2011 Public Service Award of Excellence of his outstanding contribution in the public services.

Ron’s one hour seminar provided UBC CSCE students a great insight in becoming a great public speaker. At the very beginning of the seminar Ron has stated that, it is never too late to become everything you could have been. He shared his own story of being nervous and receiving poor feedback from evaluator’s with us. Ron was not born as a public speaker, but he has made been successful by constantly trying to learn and improve his skills. Ron has generously shared his own skills and tips in public speaking with us, which are listed below:

  1. Use “Would you…”or “Do you…” instead of “How many of you…”
  2. Make eye contact with audiences, and hold the eye contact for 3 to 4 seconds.
  3. Do not use notes while speaking.
  4. Do not memorize the content, speak naturally.
  5. Begin your speaking in silence.
  6. Start speaking with an anchor phrase.
  7. Speak to audiences’ needs.
  8. Knowing when to pause.

After these valuable tips, Ron has shared one more story with us to close the seminar. He encouraged us to learn and make a change. UBC CSCE members were all very grateful for this opportunity to learn. On behalf of the UBC CSCE Student Chapter, I would like to thank Ron for hosting this fantastic seminar for our members.

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Event Coordinators: Wendy Pan and Amber Xue

In order to provide UBC second year civil engineering students an opportunity to acquire more knowledge on different engineering disciplines, UBC CSCE Student Chapter invited three guest speaker to our Annual Second Year Discussion Panel on January 19th, 2015. Three guest speakers were invited:: Andy Metten from Bush, Bohlman & Partners, Shelley Neil from PCL Construction and Anna Akkerman from Knight Piesold Ltd.

DSC_0415Our First guest speaker was Andy Metten, a senior structural engineer. Andy’s work is best reflected in large and small airport facilities where the structure is the dominant aspect of the project such as Vancouver International Airport Terminal. For the past 10 years Andy has taught a steel course for practising engineers. Andy expressed his enthusiasm and passion towards structural engineering through the presentation. At the very beginning of the presentation, Andy plotted out different choices after civil engineering clearly using a diagram. Preceding with details in structural engineering, Andy showed us several different career stages as a structural engineer. He has also explained what a typical work day for a structural engineer would look like at different career stages. To close his presentation, Andy encouraged us to deepen our knowledge and follow our dreams.

DSC_0433The second speaker Anna Akkerman was an alumni of UBC undergraduate program and has been working in hydrotechnical industry for five years. She is also teaching a hydrology course at BCIT. She shared with us her personal experience, which encouraged us to find our passion and enjoy the work. Also, her introduction about the hydrotechnical industry really gave us an access to the actual workplace that we will be entering.

DSC_0439The final presenter was Shelley Neil, a construction manager for PCL Constructors Westcoast. With over 25 years of experience, Shelley provides leadership within PCL. During her speech, she illustrated the typical career paths that construction engineers would experience. She pointed out clearly the responsibilities and tasks at each stage of the career in the construction field. Starting with a junior estimator or field engineer and then transiting into an estimator or project coordinator, the career path could eventually lead into project management.

Our second-year students were all very grateful for this opportunity and they have learnt a lot about the industry. On behalf of the UBC CSCE Student Chapter, we would like to thank these three guest speakers for sharing their valuable experience with us.

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Event Coordinator: Justin Brown

On November 24, 2014 the UBC CSCE Student Chapter welcomed Greg Nichvalodoff to provide a professional development seminar titled “Leadership and Teamwork Development”. Greg is an executive coach and is the founder and president of Inscape Consulting Group where he travels the world providing coaching in organizational development, executive performance coaching, business diagnostics and strategic planning for all types of businesses.

Greg’s two hour seminar provided UBC CSCE members with great insight in becoming a leader and working more effectively as a team. To become an effective leader, Greg highlighted the importance of focussing on your own strengths, modelling the way, encouraging the heart and believing that becoming a great leader takes lifelong learning. When Greg first spoke about teamwork development, a distinction was immediately made between a team, which is held mutually accountable, and a group that assembles to help each other perform. Deciding to work as an effective team begins with the triangle of trust, and can foster to a performing team that will outperform the sum of its individual parts.

From the beginning, Greg made it clear that he was thrilled to pass on his knowledge to UBC CSCE members and we could not be more grateful for the opportunity to learn. Greg has graciously provided us with numerous slide decks that can be found at the following links:

UBC CSCE Professional Development Seminar – Leadership and Teamwork Development

Effective Leadership and Communication

When Generations Collide

Furthermore, here is Greg’s recommended reading list with comments:

  1. Leadership Challenge – This book is a must for your leadership journey
  2. It’s OK to Manage Your Boss – Yes, there are books on managing up
  3. Quiet – The Power of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking – Great insight into introverts and leadership
  4. Work Types – If you are serious about understanding individuals that are not your MBTI type – this one is simple and easy to read
  5. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – The pyramid discussed during the UBC CSCE seminar
  6. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Likely one of the best books on becoming effective as a leader
  7. Clear Leadership – Sustaining Real Collaboration and Partnership at Work – dealing with difficult conversations in the workplace
  8. Co-active Coaching – Sharpen your coaching skills
  9. Fierce Conversations
  10. How to Win Friends and Influence People – In my opinion, the best book on teaching us how to build relationships
  11. Who – Are you hiring the right people? This book will help you with it
  12. Top Grading – Recruiting and promoting your hires need not be complicated

The UBC CSCE Student Chapter would like to thank Greg and Inscape Consulting Group for hosting a fantastic professional development seminar for our members. For further information about Greg and Inscape Consulting Group, visit the webpage or follow him LinkedIn.

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Event Coordinator: Joshua Baylis

The CSCE student chapter facilitated an industry tour of the Armtec precast concrete facilities. We set a cap on attendance at 25 people and we had 27 signed up for the tour. We worked closely with Jim McKay from Armtec and he was extremely helpful and accommodating. We ended up organizing a two-hour tour broken up into two parts. The first part would be a tour of the yard and warehouse, and then we had a 45-minute presentation about precast concrete.

On the Day of the tour, all of the attendees met in the Design Studio at 12:25 pm. We then boarded the bus at 12:30 and left for Armtec. We arrived and met up with Jim at Armtec at 1:00 pm. He put on a brief safety orientation for the group then we broke into two groups of 12 and began the tour. Jim and Med lead one group and went one way around and the other group went the other. By reducing the size of the groups we were able to hear more of what Jim was saying throughout the tour. We saw all kinds of precast concrete. Some pieces were for the new Ponderosa building at UBC, which Jim described as architectural pieces. We also saw some pieces for a project in Kitimat where confidentiality agreements prevented us from taking any photographs. There were also pieces described as “matchcast” which were basically precast guideway segments for the new light rail transit system being built in Port Moody and Coquitlam. These are the major things we saw and with all of these we saw how they were formed, reinforced, poured, cured and stored. It was fascinating to see the entire process from start to finish all in one tour.

The last portion of the tour was a Power Point presentation put on by Jim but aided by their lead engineer. Jim highlighted some of Armtec’s larger and more prominent projects. He also talked about the precast industry as a whole and its place in the construction industry. The final slide of Jim’s presentation was in regards to students getting involved with the CPCI (Canadian Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute) and how we can all get free memberships and what information would be available to us.

All in all this was a great tour, which was extremely applicable to our degrees in civil engineering. Our host, Armtec, was exceedingly accommodating as well as knowledgeable. On behalf of the UBC CSCE Student Chapter, I would like to thank Jim and Armtec for taking the time to host our members.

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photo 2Event Coordinator: Fahmid Islam

In order to give an introduction and educate the Civil Engineering student body on Solid Waste Management, the UBC CSCE Student Chapter invited Andrew Marr to present an overview of the Solid Waste Services. Andrew Marr is a senior professional engineer and the Acting Director of Solid Waste Planning at Metro Vancouver, as well as an instructor in the School of Construction and Environment at BCIT.

Andrew presented an overview of the life cycle of solid waste, and emphasized the 4 goals of Metro Vancouver: Minimize Waste, Maximize Reuse, Recover Energy, and Disposal. He provided statistics on the rate of recycling and garbage disposal in Metro Vancouver, and the financial and political aspects that can affect this. He talked about the complete life cycle of waste, and the different types of approaches to recycle the waste. Andrew concluded the presentation by suggesting that we set realistic goals for waste management to ensure that the goals are achievable.

The UBC CSCE Student Chapter would like to thank Andrew Marr for taking the time to present his ideas and experience in Solid Waste Management.


Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 1.43.52 AMEvent Coordinator: David Tran

The Ruskin Dam tour was a success; representatives from BC Hydro and Flatrion both gave a group of UBC CSCE students a memorable and eventful tour. The tour was 3 hours long, but the time passed quickly and the tour can only be described as magnificent. When we arrived, a representative from Flatiron and BC Hydro was at hand to welcome a bunch of enthusiastic UBC CSCE students to their work site. They provided a brief overview of the big construction project (BC Hydro’s Upgrade Project of The Ruskin Dam and Powerhouse), and some tips about wearing proper PPE while on a construction site. On the tour we were joined by two of Flatiron field engineers who are both UBC alumni and they showed us the project from a construction standpoint. We were fascinated by the construction methods that Flatiron employed, as well as the daily tasks that field engineers’ take on to manage the site. The group was lead into the midst of the dam where we had to be very cautious of our footings. While we were touring the site construction did not stop, cranes were moving equipment and material and workers were scattered across the site. Afterwards we toured the powerhouse, and this was where we were able to marvel at “the world oldest running light bulb dated back to the 1930s” as advised by one of the tour guides. The Ruskin Dam tour was a well-received trip for a group of young ambitious UBC CSCE students ranging from second year to fourth years and we are very thankful that both Flatiron and BC Hydro accommodated us.

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