Welcome Back!

Welcome from the Department Head

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2013/14 academic year in the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department within the Faculty of Applied Science at the University of British Columbia.  This year, you are a part of an undergraduate population of 1040 and a graduate population of 415 students in the ECE Department. I encourage you to take advantage of all of the resources available to you and the community you have within the Department. There are many opportunities to take part in the incredible projects that take place here. I am pleased to share a few recent highlights and changes, as well as opportunities available to you as we begin the year.

From the introduction of Capstone projects in the undergraduate final year, to the flipped-classroom format and reducing the number of courses in the second year, we have continued to improve the undergraduate experience to provide a more enriching and balanced education.

There are many opportunities to take part in research and other extra-curricular activities throughout your education; as a graduate student you can apply for research funding through various award competitions. As an undergraduate, you can apply for research funding through NSERC in coordination with a Faculty member. You can also take advantage of our Co-op and International Exchange programs. Participation in our Co-op program will provide you with hands-on experience and build your resume during your undergraduate years. The Go Global exchange program is an opportunity to live and study abroad with one of our five partner universities around the world. International experience will allow you to expand on your education through courses not available to you at UBC; it’s an opportunity to develop personally, academically, and professionally and to bring an edge to the workforce upon graduation as more industries value cross-cultural experience. 

I am also pleased to announce that we will be holding a Colloquium Series seminar every other Friday, which will be open to all Faculty and students in the Department. These seminars, along with the many other Department activities, provide an opportunity for you to gain exposure to other research areas and foster relationships among the ECE community. I urge you to take the time to explore what your professors and peers are doing beyond the classroom and get involved.

Whether you are new or returning to the Department, you represent a part of the next generation of engineers who will significantly shape the future of the industry as well as research in Canada and around the world.  I wish you all the best in the 2013/14 academic year and look forward to meeting all of you and observing your innovative solutions to real world engineering problems in classes, competitions and fairs during the coming year.

André Ivanov

ECE Department Head

Curriculum Changes in the Coming Year: Capstone Design Projects

In addition to our new projects and facilities, this is the final year of the implementation of our planned curriculum changes. As those of you who are in third and fourth year know, we have been making substantial changes to our curriculum over the last two years in an effort to further improve our programs in light of engineering’s evolving place in society and the evolution of engineering itself; engineering design is beginning to incorporate increasing numbers of systems in very exciting ways.  Similarly, the roles an individual engineer may play throughout his or her career have expanded. This affects how electrical and computer engineers are employed as well as the sets of skills you need to excel in industry.

To reflect this evolution, we are introducing Capstone Design Projects to the fourth year of the program. This is the culmination of your course work and an opportunity to apply and showcase the skills you have acquired over the course of your education at UBC. In this course, you will design a product or service of significance and solve an open-ended problem in electrical or computer engineering.

In the first week of the term, faculty or real clients from industry will present a variety of projects, which you will be asked to bid on. You will be put into teams, some of which will be interdisciplinary, and spend the first month understanding the problem or proposed project, with the gradual development of a design and prototype. We will conclude the academic year with a Project Fair at the beginning of April.

No student will be disadvantaged by these changes. Those of you who entered the program before these changes will be able to complete your degrees according to the original degree requirements, while still incorporating elements of the updated curriculum. We are confident that the changes made to the program are to your benefit as well as the benefit of our faculty and industry alike.

Upcoming Events

For a complete list of Engineering Frosh 2013 activities click here.

September 3

Imagine Day: Welcome back BBQ and more

September 4

GPS Workshop: A tour Around Scholarship and Award Opportunities

September 9

Verifications games: Making software verification fun: The first lecture in the ECE Colloquium Series

September 11

ESTC Open House: Student teams showcase their work, there will be free food!

September 13 & 14

Homecoming weekend: This year’s Homecoming Weekend will feature three great UBC Thunderbirds teams, an outdoor movie and the first annual Great Thunderbird Trek.

October 24-26

APEGBC Conference


Don’t forget the sign-up for Safety Training early!

Every Thursday

ECEGSA Weekly Social

Don’t Forget

Important deadlines for undergraduate students. For a complete list of important academic dates click here.

September 12

Co-op application due

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

September 17

Add, drop or switch courses deadline for most Term 1 courses

September 20

Add, drop, or switch courses deadline for most two-term courses

September 22

Graduate NSERC PGS/CGS departmental deadline

October 7

Last day for payment of fees for any fee assessment incurred between September1 and September 30

October 11

Last date to withdraw from Term 1 courses without penalty of failure

November 22

Last day to withdraw from two-term courses without penalty of failure

December 1

ECE Graduate Application Due

January 20

Add, drop, switch courses deadline for most Term 2 courses

February 7

Last day to withdraw from Term 2 courses without penalty of failure


NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards


ECE Undergraduate

Need help? Have questions about your program? Contact our Undergraduate Services team:

Joseph Yan Associate Head, Undergraduate Academic Programs and Program Advisor, Electrical Engineering josephy@ece.ubc.ca

Paul Davies Program Advisor, Computer Engineering pauld@ece.ubc.ca

Sathish Gopalakrishnan Software Option sathish@ece.ubc.ca

Robert Rohling Biomedical Engineering Option rohling@ece.ubc.ca

William Dunford Energy Systems Option wgd@ece.ubc.ca

John Madden Nanotechnology and Microsystems Option jmadden@ece.ubc.ca

Cathleen Holtvogt Undergraduate Program Assistant help@ece.ubc.ca

ECE Graduate Student Services

Lutz Lampe Associate Head, Research and International Outreach (includes Graduate Advising) KAIS 4111 lampe@ece.ubc.ca 604-822-8261 Dr. Lampe oversees graduate student affairs at the departmental level, including program requirements, admission, transfer of credits, examinations, scholarships and awards. He is available to students to advise on program planning, approaches to research, communication with supervisor(s), and related matters.

Tara Newell Graduate Admissions KAIS 5500 help@ece.ubc.ca 604-822-6190 Tara is your first point of contact for all graduate admissions related inquiries. She provides clarification on admission processes and minimum academic requirements. Tara also provides support to the Graduate Student Coordinator.

Brandie Hill Graduate Student Coordinator KAIS 5500 help@ece.ubc.ca 604-822-1942 As the Graduate Student Coordinator, Brandie assists current students with interpreting their program requirements and options. Brandie is also the department contact for scholarship/award inquiries.