Be a hero; Chair a Doctoral Exam!

Among the most critical elements of any doctoral exam, from the perspective of those who coordinate these complexities, is the search for a strong Chair. Yet this search serves as a perennial challenge to the Doctoral Examinations team. We consider ourselves very lucky indeed if we issue fewer than 10 invitations before confirming 1 chair for an upcoming exam. It is not at all unusual in some disciplines to invite 30 or more chairs before some gracious faculty member agrees to help us out.

If you would like to contribute your time and wisdom to UBC’s doctoral exams:

  • Please have a look at the list of upcoming exams below and if one interests you, please send us an email to or call us at (604) 822-2080
  • Or send us an email detailing the areas that interest you and days/times that you might be generally available and we'll contact you as new exams are scheduled. Again, send an email to


Please bear in mind that the chair cannot be affiliated with the candidate’s graduate program.

Monday, March 5, 2018 12:30 PM - Room 418, MacLeod Building, 2356 Main Mall

Primal Ruwan Wijesekera
(Electrical & Computer Engineering)
Contextual Permission Models for Better Privacy Protection
Supervisor(s): Professor Konstantin Beznosov, Professor Serge Egelman

Thursday, March 8, 2018 9:00 AM - Room 200

Hatef Khadivinassab
(Materials Engineering)
Macrosegregation in Solidification of A356
Supervisor(s): Professor Daan Maijer

Friday, March 9, 2018 9:30 AM - Room 1, Brain Research Center, UBC Hospital, Koerner Pavilion, 2211 Wesbrook Mall

Stefano Cataldi
Characterization of the New VPS35 p.D620N KI Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease
Supervisor(s): Professor Matthew James Farrer, Professor Austen James Milnerwood

Friday, March 9, 2018 12:30 PM - Room 5213, Diamond Health Care Centre, 2775 Laurel Street, Vancouver

Lucie Marie Agnes Colineau
(Experimental Medicine)
Pathogenesis of Leishmania Infection in Human Macrophages: Role of Leishmania Chaperonin 10 and Modulation of Host miRNA
Supervisor(s): Professor Neil E Reiner

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 9:00 AM - Room 203

Sarah Justine Pastrana
(Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education)
A Comparison of Response-Contingent Stimulus Pairing and Operant Discrimination Training to Establish Vocal Stimuli as Reinforcers
Supervisor(s): Professor Pat Mirenda, Professor Laura Grow

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 12:30 PM - Room 203

Bernard Chun-Yeu Kan
(Experimental Medicine)
Regulation of Innate Immune Ontogeny: From Preterm Neonates to Adults
Supervisor(s): Professor Pascal Lavoie

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 9:00 AM - Room 200

Yi-Chen Lee
Mechanisms Influencing the Polar Distribution Of Cell Wall Components in Seed Coat Epidermal Cells of Arabidopsis
Supervisor(s): Professor George Haughn

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 4:00 PM - Room 200

Ilaria Capraro
(Civil Engineering)
Damage Potential and Long Duration Effects of Subduction Ground Motions on Structural Systems
Supervisor(s): Professor Carlos Estuardo Ventura

Thursday, March 15, 2018 2:15 PM - Room 104, Mathematics Building, 1984 Mathematics Road

Robert Fraser
Configurations in Fractal Sets in Euclidean and Non-Archimedean Local Fields
Supervisor(s): Professor Malabika Pramanik

Friday, March 16, 2018 9:00 AM - Room 200

Wafa Chouaib
An Investigation into the Flow Duration Curve in Eastern United States: Environmental Controls and Predictions at Ungauged Basins
Supervisor(s): Professor Younes Alila

Monday, March 19, 2018 9:00 AM - Room 203

Natalie McCormick
(Pharmaceutical Sciences)
Population-Level Studies of the Incremental Burden of Systemic Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases
Supervisor(s): Professor Juan Antonio Avina, Professor Carlo A Marra

Monday, March 19, 2018 12:00 PM - Room 1416, Life Sciences Centre, 2350 Health Sciences Mall

Benjamin John Elwood Martin
(Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
Targeting of Histone Acetylation to Transcribed Chromatin
Supervisor(s): Professor LeAnn Howe

Monday, March 19, 2018 12:30 PM - Room 203

Catarina Wor Lima
Spatial and Length-based Models for Management of Migratory Transboundary Species: Application to Pacific Hake (Merluccius Productus)
Supervisor(s): Dr Murdoch McAllister, Professor Steve Martell

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 9:00 AM - Room 200

Yifan Peng
(Computer Science)
Computational Imaging with Diffractive Optics
Supervisor(s): Professor Wolfgang Heidrich

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 12:00 PM - Room 5004, Fred Kaiser Building, 2332 Main Mall

Matthew Keith Xi-Jie Pan
(Mechanical Engineering)
Towards Enabling Human-Robot Handovers: Exploring Nonverbal Cues for Fluent Human-Robot Handovers
Supervisor(s): Professor Elizabeth Croft

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 12:30 PM - Room 200

Jaclyn Marie Dee
How the Fungi Got into Shape: Cellular Organization and Morphogenetic Gene Evolution in Phylum Chytridiomycota Reveals Mechanisms Underlying the Evolution of Fungal Body Diversity
Supervisor(s): Professor Mary Berbee

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 4:00 PM - Room 200

James Benedict Gordon
(Physics and Astronomy)
Applications of Path Integral Localization to Gauge and String Theories
Supervisor(s): Professor Gordon W. Semenoff

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 9:00 AM - Room 200

Yuli Ding
Genetic Analysis of Receptor-Like Protein SNC2-Mediated Plant Resistance in Arabidopsis
Supervisor(s): Professor Yuelin Zhang

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 11:30 AM - Room 202, ICICS/CS Building, 2366 Main Mall

Shuochen Su
(Computer Science)
Exploiting Temporal Structures in Computational Photography
Supervisor(s): Professor Wolfgang Heidrich

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 12:30 PM - Room 308, Forward Building, 6350 Stores Road

Shabnam Pournazari
(Materials Engineering)
Corrosion Behavior of B206 Aluminum-Copper Casting Alloy in Seawater Environment: Electrochemical and Microstructural Studies
Supervisor(s): Professor Edouard Asselin, Professor Daan Maijer

Thursday, March 22, 2018 9:00 AM - Room 4001, Forest Sciences Centre, 2424 Main Mall

Letitia Da Ros
Mitigating the Downstream Effects of Excess Soil Phosphorus Through Cultivar Selection and Increased Foliar Resorption
Supervisor(s): Professor Shawn Mansfield

Friday, March 23, 2018 9:00 AM - Room 351, C.K. Choi Building, 1855 West Mall

Kilim Park
(Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program)
Kisah Sukses: Stories of Indonesian Migrant Worker Returnees Living in Greater Jakarta
Supervisor(s): Professor Henry Yu, Professor Abidin Kusno

Friday, March 23, 2018 4:00 PM - Room 308A, Frank Forward Building, 6350 Stores Road

Pan Fan
(Materials Engineering)
Hydrogen Pore Formation in an Al-Si Alloy - an Examination of the Role of Hydrogen Macrosegregation
Supervisor(s): Professor Steve Cockcroft, Professor Andre Phillion

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 9:00 AM - Room 203

Shuang Liu
Investigating the Regulatory Michanisms of Cuticular Wax Biosynthesis in Arabidopsis Thaliana
Supervisor(s): Professor Ljerka Kunst

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 9:00 AM - Room 200

Md Shahnewaz
(Civil Engineering)
Performance of Cross-Laminated Timber Shear Walls for Platform Construction Under Lateral Loading
Supervisor(s): Professor Thomas Tannert

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 9:00 AM - Room 203

Giulia Michelina Muraca
(Population and Public Health)
Operative Delivery Options in the Second Stage of Labour: Optimizing Maternal and Perinatal Safety
Supervisor(s): Professor Kuruthukulangare Sebastian (K.S.) Joseph

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 12:00 PM - Room 1416, Life Sciences Centre, 2350 Health Sciences Mall

Cecilia Perez-Borrajero
(Genome Science and Technology)
Biophysical Insights into the Regulatory and DNA-binding Mechanisms of the Eukaryotic Transcription Factors PAX5 and ETS1
Supervisor(s): Professor Lawrence McIntosh

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 12:30 PM - Room 2.02, Chemical and Biological Engineering Building, 2360 East Mall

Olga Petrov
(Chemical and Biological Engineering)
Forest Residues to Energy: Local Air Quality, Health Risks and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Supervisor(s): Professor Xiaotao Bi

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 4:00 PM - Room 200

Nicholas George McGregor
Structure-Function Analysis of Plant Glycan-Degrading Enzymes
Supervisor(s): Professor Harry Brumer

Thursday, March 29, 2018 9:00 AM - Room 203

Sneha Balani
Clonal Analysis of Human Mammary Cell Transformation and X-Ray Sensitivity
Supervisor(s): Professor Constance Jean Eaves

Thursday, March 29, 2018 9:00 AM - Room 200

Nicole Joy Wilson
(Resources, Environment and Sustainability)
"More Precious than Gold": Indigenous Water Governance in the Context of Modern Land Claims in Yukon
Supervisor(s): Professor Theresa Satterfield

Thursday, March 29, 2018 12:30 PM - Room 200

Matteo Pernechele
(Materials Engineering)
Process Engineering of Functional Metakaoline Based Geopolymers
Supervisor(s): Dr Tom Troczynski, Dr Marek Pawlik

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 12:30 PM - Room 203

Tengteng Tang
(Materials Engineering)
Fracture Mechanisms and Structural Fragility of Human Femoral Cortical Bone
Supervisor(s): Professor Rizhi Wang, Professor Peter A Cripton

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 4:00 PM - Room 200

Kimberly Catherine Thomson
(Population and Public Health)
Social-Emotional Functioning in Early Childhood: Investigating Developmental Patterns in Childhood Mental Health and Well-Being
Supervisor(s): Professor Jean Shoveller, Professor Martin Guhn

Thursday, April 5, 2018 12:30 PM - Room 200

Asif Raza Khowaja
(Obstetrics and Gynaecology)
Economic Evaluation of the Community-Level Interventions for Pre-eclampsia (CLIP) in Sindh, Pakistan
Supervisor(s): Professor Peter Von Dadelszen, Dr Craig Mitton

Friday, April 6, 2018 12:30 PM - Room 200

Natalia Pavlovna Panina-Beard
(Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education)
Creating a New Vision for an Imagined School: Young People from Alternative Programs Explore their Experiences with Schooling
Supervisor(s): Professor Jennifer A Vadeboncoeur

Thursday, April 12, 2018 12:30 PM - Room 203

Kevin Chung-Hua Tsai
(Pathology and Laboratory Medicine)
Shaping of the T Cell Repertoire by Self and Foreign Antigens
Supervisor(s): Professor John Priatel

Thursday, April 19, 2018 9:00 AM - Room 200

Carla Theresa Hilario
Applying Integrated Knowledge Translation to Address Mental Health Among Young Immigrant and Refugee Men in Canada
Supervisor(s): Professor John Oliffe, Professor Joy L. Johnson

Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:30 PM - Room 200

Wellam Felix Yu Ko
Radical Prostatectomy and Work: Men's Perspectives
Supervisor(s): Professor John Oliffe

Friday, April 20, 2018 9:00 AM - Room 200

Julie Ann Nutini
(Computer Science)
Greed is Good: Greedy Optimization Methods for Large-Scale Structured Problems
Supervisor(s): Professor Mark Schmidt