UBC This Week | Mar. 9, 2006
UBC This Week is a weekly summary of UBC people in the news, recent media releases and upcoming event hightlights. UBC This Week past issues are also available on-line.
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New Chemical and Biological Engineering Building officially opens
After more than 20 years of planning, the UBC Faculty of Applied Science celebrated the official opening of the new $38-million Chemical and Biological Engineering building on March 3.
Located at 2360 East Mall, the six-storey, 11,400 square metre building provides a new facility for the Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering, accommodates the first physical home for the Clean Energy Research Centre and provides teaching facilities for the Faculty and UBC.
The building was designed with state-of-the-art computer laboratories and lecture theatres and small-group design project spaces, as well as process, environmental and biological engineering laboratories. The B.C. Government contributed $6.8 million toward the project. For more information, visit www.apsc.ubc.ca.
UBC to establish Kimberlite Research Unit for Diamond Exploration
Eira Thomas, CEO of Stornoway Diamonds Corp., and D. Grenville Thomas, Honourary Chairman, Founder and Director of Aber Diamond Corp., have pledged $1 million towards the establishment of a Kimberlite Research Unit within the UBC Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU), and are leading efforts to raise an additional $4 million for the project.
The Kimberlite Research Unit's mandate is to promote a better understanding of kimberlites and their diamonds through conducting research, training highly qualified geoscientists, and offering courses in continuing education.
"This initiative will result in a world class centre of research excellence in British Columbia from which the next generation of geoscientists will emerge," said MDRU Director Dick Tosdal.
The primary source of diamonds, kimberlite is a type of igneous rock sourced deep in the earth, transporting diamonds to the surface to produce carrot-shaped pipes. These vertical columns of rock rise from deep mantle reservoirs. For more information, contact Dick Tosdal, MDRU Director, at 604-551-4906.
Student delegation lauded by international Model NATO conference
The UBC International Relations Students Association (IRSA) was named Outstanding Delegation at the National Model NATO conference held in Washington, D.C., beating out Ivy League and other U.S. schools for the seventh time.
In addition to the Delegation Award, UBC students Gordon Hawkins, Justin Visser, and Patrick Meehan received individual Best Delegate Awards for their work in the mock negotiations.
The Conference, sponsored by Washington, D.C.'s Howard University and Ohio's Kent State University, is in its twenty-first year, and ran February 22-25. The committees debated and discussed a broad range of issues, including the upcoming Riga 2006 Summit of NATO Aspirant countries, and collective strategic lift capabilities.
UBC student chosen for international health seminar in Africa
UBC student Laura-Ashley Wright is one of just 20 Canadian students who will travel to Botswana in May to participate in a six-week internship on HIV/AIDS in the Southern African country.
Originally from Coquitlam, B.C., Wright is in her third year at UBC, where she is completing an undergraduate science degree in global resource systems with a concentration in nutrition and global health.
As a senior volunteer coordinator with "The Tijuana Project" last year, Wright raised more than $2,500 for the construction of an elementary school in an underprivileged area of Tijuana, Mexico, then travelled there for a week to help with its construction.
Originally launched in 1948 by World University Service of Canada (WUSC), the International Seminar is delivered through Uniterra, a joint program of WUSC and the Canadian Centre for International Studies and Cooperation. Active on over 50 university and college campuses across Canada, WUSC is a leading development agency whose mission is to foster human development and global understanding through education and training. For more information, visit www.uniterra.ca.
UBC entrepreneurs harness wave energy
A team of UBC students won second prize at Enterprize 2006, a national undergraduate entrepreneurial conference hosted by the UBC Sauder School of Business.
Team Wavelength Power Solutions, composed of six business and engineering students, received $5,000 to further develop technology that captures wave energy for marine vessels. Producing energy to run systems and reduce fuel consumption, the technology has applications for sailing, recreational boating, commercial shipping, and could be scaled up for large offshore energy farms.
The team, comprised of Jenna Dorman, Dave Genest and Allen Manser from the Sauder School of Business, and Albert Wang, Matt Clark and Noam Davidson from the Engineering, competed against 300 undergraduate students from across Canada. A second UBC team also made it into the top 10 round. For more information, visit www.enterprize.sauder.ubc.ca.
Student cystic fibrosis campaign honoured by national foundation
UBC Shinerama has been named "Most Improved Campaign" by the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for its 2005 contributions to the weeklong cystic fibrosis (CF) benefit that took place across Canadian campuses in the first week of September.
"We are thrilled with the growth of the program this year," says UBC Shinerama Director Charles Voon. "We went from having approximately 100 students participate in 2004 to over 500 in 2005.
"Shine Day," Shinerama's main event, is a citywide event where student volunteers take to the streets shining shoes, busking and asking for donations. Other events include contests, raffles, carwashes and a UBC bookstore 'roundup' program. Shinerama raised over $23,300 in 2005, up from $6,000 from 2004.
Cystic fibrosis, which affects the lungs and the digestive system, is the most common, fatal, genetic disease affecting young Canadians. When Shinerama began just over four decades ago, most children with CF did not live long enough to attend kindergarten. Today, half of all Canadians with CF may expect to live to age 37, or even longer. For more information, visit www.ams.ubc.ca/shinerama.
Call for nominations: 2005/2006 Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards
The Office of the UBC Vice President Academic is calling for nominations for UBC's annual Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards.
Since 1996-97, the university has annually awarded teaching prizes to twelve UBC Teaching Assistants in recognition of the valuable role that teaching assistants play in undergraduate programs.
Departmental nomination packages should be submitted to Deans by March 10. For more information visit www.vpacademic.ubc.ca/awards/gradta or contact Jola Holt at firstname.lastname@example.org.