Increase Safety and Reduce Risk

2021-2022 Capstone Design Projects

Project HA-52: Personal Electro-Magnetic Field (EMF) Monitoring Device

Project Client: BC Hydro

Project Description: BC Hydro is building a project facility where workers are required to work under a transmission line. Workers are concerned with exposure to magnetic fields (MF) from the transmission lines as they have no way of tracking MF exposure. The team was tasked with building a handheld device that could track MF exposure over a working day, store the data and display the data in a way that workers could see their exposure over time. A prototype was completed that tracks standard 60 Hertz alternating current. As well, the device contains a program which takes the data and downloads it to an excel file. The device then syncs to a dashboard that allows the workers to see a graph showing their MF exposure.

We were able to build an electronic circuit that could interface a magnetic sensor with a microprocessor, while power the microprocessor with a disconnected power system. An OLED display was added to show measured MF values and select an employee ID. All the data processing is done through software in the microprocessor to output a MF reading.

Contact Information: Dominik Svorinic:, ; Anthony Litvin: ; Shayak Chakrabarti: ; Varun Rana: ; Jeffrey Ma:

Project HA-55: Prototype Building and Testing of Heat and Pressure Sensors to Obtain Arc Flash Related Data during Typical High Power Short Circuit Qualification Testing of Transmission and Distribution Equipment at a Test Facility

Project Client: BC Hydro

Project Description: Arc flashes are a major hazard in the power systems industry and can cause significant harm to people working on or near electrical equipment. To mitigate the hazards of an arc flash, workers are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as determined by professional engineers based on theoretical modeling.  Powertech Labs, a subsidiary of BC Hydro, aims to improve these safety standards by better understanding arc flash behaviour through heat and pressure readings. Our objective is to create a sensor suite that can withstand multiple arc flash blasts while recording the heat and pressure released by the arc flashes.  

Our sensor suite can accurately read and transmit real-time pressure and temperature data to the control room while withstanding the harsh conditions of an arc flash explosion. We used a custom-built calorimeter to measure temperature and a pencil probe blast sensor to measure pressure. Our sensor rig is easily portable and has adjustable heights to ensure that the sensors are always centered towards the arc flash while maintaining rigidity to prevent damage to the sensor rig. With data from this sensor suite, Powertech Labs can better understand arc flash behaviour and help improve safety standards to better protect workers. 

Student Contacts: Adnan Pankhawala: ; Alex Wang: ; Katie Seifert: ; Patrik Ng: ; Rahul Ramjuttun:

Project HA-60: High Voltage Pulse Generator – Bearwatch Portable Electric Fence Energizer

Project Client: Bearwatch Systems Inc.

Project Description: Every year more than four hundred bears are destroyed by conservation officers as a result of human interaction. Our project aims to reduce the number of interactions by deterring the bear with an electric fence. This not only scares the bear away in the moment but also educates the bear to stay away from humans in the future, reducing the number of interactions before they even happen.

Existing electric fence energizers are bulky, heavy, and relatively inefficient, making them impractical for hiking and camping. Our system is specifically designed to optimize each of these factors, allowing for a much more streamlined end product.

Project HA-80: Inadequate Ventilation Detection & Alert System

Project Client: Sierra Wireless

Project Description: Studies show that poor ventilation in indoor spaces can lead to aerosol disease transmission and other health risks. Ventilation can be monitored by measuring the CO2 concentration in those areas.

Our system allows facility managers to monitor CO2 concentration trends and receive alerts when CO2 levels go above the safe threshold. Facility managers can use this data to adjust ventilation in the affected areas.

Our project includes an IOT board, enclosed in a custom case, that uses cellular signals to transmit data. We have also created a mobile application, powered by a custom cloud server, for viewing data and past alerts at any time.

Project JY-04: All Sky Camera System for Detection of Resident Space Objects

Project Client: MacDonald Dettwiler Space and Advanced Robotics Ltd.

Project Description: The SkyDock is a low-cost all-sky camera designed to capture the entirety of the sky and analyze low Earth-orbiting satellites that are at least as bright as Uranus from Earth. This primarily enhances space situational awareness (SSA), which means it allows the users to monitor space object trajectories, make informed predictions about its locations, and notice potential risks of a satellite deviating from its intended course of action. The SkyDock is developed for use by MDA (MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates) to grant them the level of SSA they require and provide them with a robust, weather-proof solution that can be incorporated into bigger space object detection projects in the future.

The technical challenges associated with this project can be deconstructed into two main challenges, data acquisition, and data processing. Being constrained to a relatively low budget, the data acquisition component efficiently utilized a single astrophotography camera and wide-view lens to capture the entire sky and account for fisheye distortions during image processing. The data processing component solves the satellite detection and identification problem, by stacking images to identify satellite trajectories, using its azimuthal coordinates and the user’s geolocation to locate the position of these satellites in space, and looking up a satellite catalog with the data collected to identify observed satellites.

Contact Information: Daniel Kong – ; Maya Tota-Madden – ; Rituraj Das Gupta – ; Tawsif Hasan – ; Tolga Topuz –

Project JY-30: Hardware and Software Biofeedback for Physiotherapy

Project Client: UBC Tendon Injury Research Group

Project Description: Long-term adherence to remote physiotherapy is statistically low.

We’ve developed a real-time biofeedback hardware and software package to assist home-based physical therapy.

PhysViz supports long-term adherence to rehabilitation exercises as well as allowing clinicians to provide real-time feedback and prescription adjustments, leading to better prognosis.

Project SF-09: Developing a wearable head impact IMU to study sports concussions

Project Client: SimPL lab

Project Description: The project pertains to the measurement and investigation of concussion impacts that occur within high collision sports. The helmet mounted device will wirelessly transmit sensor readings and log the data which can then be thoroughly examined to determine the true effects of even minor collisions. The team has worked to ensure the device is helmet mountable by reworking the layout to better accommodate the space allocated within the helmet and further implemented wireless charging of the device.

Contact Information:

Project SF-10: Developing a low-noise wearable EEG device

Project Client: SimPL lab

Project Description: In this project, we worked on a new prototype board that UBC’s SimPL Lab can use to research concussions in sports, using EEG technology. EEG is a way to measure your brain’s internal signals by testing points on your face and the top of your head. However, once they get to the surface, the signals coming from your brain are very small in amplitude, so it’s easy for noise to drown them out.

Our new prototype gives the SimPL Lab a way to test different noise reduction strategies we researched and implemented.

Project TL-39: Proximity Sensor and Camera for Private Jets

Project Client: Jorbo Technologies

Project Description: Private jets provide a care-free experience for their customers but the crews who handle the aircraft once they are safely on the ground face a lot of challenges in moving the aircraft around various airport facilities. Aircraft are parked inside hangars using a tug vehicle and 2 human “spotters” at the wing tips, but collisions with hangar walls, other aircraft and people still happen and result in millions of dollars in damages and additional insurance costs.

Our client Jorbo Solutions envisions a “back-up camera for private jets” to help tug drivers avoid collisions by providing them with live video feeds, obstacle proximity information, and audio alerts. Our team was tasked with exploring the viability of such a system, analyzing different technologies that would enable these goals to be met, and constructing an engineering prototype to enable future development.

Our team rose to challenge, designing a high-performance system that integrates high-definition video streaming, radar velocity and proximity sensing, a user-friendly web app and a mounting mechanism that can be used for further testing on real aircraft. We hope our work will lead to the development of a commercial product that will protect people, aircraft, and business interests alike.