Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical and Biological Engineering (PhD)

Overview

Chemical and Chemical & Biological engineers create and develop processes to change raw materials into the products that society depends on; food, chemicals, fuels, energy, metals, pharmaceuticals, paper, plastics, and personal care products. Chemical and process engineers help to manage natural resources, protect the environment, control health and safety procedures, and recycle materials, while developing and managing the processes which make the products we use.

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering was established in 1999 at UBC, and reflects the growing need for engineers in the fields of biotechnology, biomedical and bio-resource engineering. At present there are 24 full-time faculty in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, together with a support staff of 17.

We have established a world-class reputation in several areas of chemical engineering science including fluid-solids contacting, pulp and paper engineering, heat exchanger fouling and, more recently, biotechnology.

The Department is actively engaged in applied research, CHBE faculty-led research provides innovative and sustainable solutions to pressing local and global challenges to industry and society.

  • Energy and Fuels: Sustainable clean energy and fuels supply and use
  • Natural Resources: Managing and maximizing the value of Canada’s forest and fossil carbon reserves
  • Environment: Mitigating climate change/pollution; Clean water and biodiversity security
  • Health: Rising medical costs in the face of aging population; Cancer and other deadly diseases
  • Industry: Increasing pressure from emerging economies

Solutions to the above challenges are inextricably linked to our understanding of complex chemical and biological systems.

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Engineering
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Applied Science

Apply Now

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Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

90
22
21
22
21

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

January 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
01 March 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 July 2019
Transcript Deadline: 31 August 2019
Referee Deadline: 31 August 2019
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 July 2019
Transcript Deadline: 31 August 2019
Referee Deadline: 31 August 2019

May 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
01 July 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 30 November 2019
Transcript Deadline: 31 December 2019
Referee Deadline: 31 December 2019
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 30 November 2019
Transcript Deadline: 31 December 2019
Referee Deadline: 31 December 2019

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
31 August 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 December 2019
Transcript Deadline: 31 January 2020
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 December 2019
Transcript Deadline: 31 January 2020
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2020

Funding Sources

Applicants who are interested in catalysis research with a focus on programs addressing waste generation, environmental compatibility, energy efficiency, and alternative energy sources may consider the SusSyn program that provides additional funding and professional development opportunities. Applicants who are interested in the production, preparation, and application of nuclear isotopes for science and medicine may consider the IsoSiM program. 

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Career Outcomes

106 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 graduate is seeking employment; 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 8 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 96 graduates:


RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
University of British Columbia (10)
McGill University (2)
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (2)
University of Costa Rica
Iran University of Science and Technology
Shandong University
Universiti Malaysia Sabah
Universidad Veracruzana
South University of Science and Technology of China
Daegu University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Coanda Research and Development Corporation (3)
Ballard Power Systems (2)
Honeywell (2)
ZincNyx Energy Solutions, Inc. (2)
NORAM Engineering and Constructors Ltd. (2)
DuPont
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
TAKREER (Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company)
Wood Group
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Research Engineer (4)
Research Scientist (3)
Scientist (2)
Research and Technology Advisor (2)
Senior Research Scientist (2)
Engineer (2)
Director (2)
Senior Process Research Scientist
Research Engineer, Strategic Technology Planner
Head, Process Modeling & Simulation Section
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
This program underwent a name or structural change in the study time frame, and all alumni from the previous program were included in these summaries. These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.

Alumni on Success

Jasna Jankovic

Job Title
Senior Research Scientist
Employer
Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,665.26$2,925.58
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$4,995.78$8,776.74
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$930.14 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
Applications9177846669
Offers219181619
New registrations82151415
Total enrolment7074859186

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 100% based on 20 students admitted between 2005 - 2008. Based on 49 graduations between 2014 - 2017 the minimum time to completion is 3.33 years and the maximum time is 7.83 years with an average of 5.10 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 22 March 2019]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 23 September 2018].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Friday, 11 October 2019 - 9:00am - Room 200

Nicholas Alexander Zacchia
Understanding Radionuclide Production in Cyclotron Target Systems

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Baldwin, Susan (Bioprocess engineering, bioremediation, biomedical reaction modelling)
  • Berlinguette, Curtis (Combinatorial Chemistry, CO2 conversion and utilization, clean energy , advanced solar cells, electrochromic windows, dynamic windows, hydrogen fuels production, catalysis, robotics and automation, machine learning / artificial intelligence)
  • Bi, Xiaotao (Biomass and Bioenergy, Multiphase Chemical Reactors, Fluidization, Particle technology, Electrostatics of Powders, Life Cycle Analysis, Green Engineering, Industrial Symbiosis, Fuel Cells Water Management)
  • Cao, Yankai (Optimization, Control and Operations Research, Solar and Wind Energy, Artificial Intelligence, Large Scale Optimization)
  • Cranston, Emily (Nanomaterials, Surfaces, Interfaces and Thin Layers, Polymers, Colloidal and Autoassembled Systems, Bio-based materials and nanocellulose, Atomic force microscopy (forces, adhesion, friction, imaging), Colloid and interface science, Polymer chemistry, Cellulose nanocrystals)
  • Ellis, Naoko (Chemical Processes, CO2 capture and utilization, Multiphase systems, Thermochemical conversion of biomass, Interdisciplinary teaching and learning)
  • Englezos, Peter (Clathrate (gas) hydrate science, engineering and novel applications , Clathrates-applications: natural gas storage & transport, CO2 capture & storage, water treatment), Thermodynamics of fluids and super-hydrophobic surfaces,, Novel materials from forest bio-resources, High-value papermaking)
  • Feng, James Jingtao (Fluid Mechanics, Complex fluids, Biophysics, Mathematical biology)
  • Frostad, John (Nutriceuticals and Functional Foods, Fluid Mechanics, Emulsions, Foams, Functional Foods, Interfacial Rheology, Interfacial Phenomena, Sensory Analysis, Novel Instrumentation, Physics of Soft Matter, See my website: food.chbe.ubc.ca/opportunities/)
  • Gopaluni, Bhushan (Modelling and experiment design, identification for control)
  • Gyenge, Elod Lajos (Electrochemical engineering, fuel cells, batteries, electrodes)
  • Hatzikiriakos, Savvas (Polymer melt and suspension rheology, food rheology, polymer melt processing, superhydrophobicity, surface science, winter sports expert, ski/skate performance and snow/ice friction. )
  • Haynes, Charles (Protein purification, recombinant proteins, molecular thermodynamics, biocompatible polymers)
  • Lau, Anthony K (Environmental engineering, waste-to-resource recycling, composting, odor control, biohydrogen energy )
  • Lim, Choon Jim (Biomass and fossil fuels, Spouted bed, Gas-particle system hydrodynamics, heat transfer, Hydrogen production)
  • Martinez, Mark (Fluid mechanics, Complex fluids, Flow visualization)
  • Mohseni, Madjid (Drinking Water, Chemical Pollutants, Used Water, Clean Technologies, Drinking water quality and treatment, Advanced oxidation, UV based water purification and treatment, Water re-use, Electrochemical water treatment processes)
  • Piret, James (Biomedical engineering, regenerative medicine Cell-based therapies have the potential to provide improved treatments for major diseases such as cancer and diabetes)
  • Smith, Kevin (Fossil Fuels, Biomass (Energy), Chemical Processes, Applied catalysis)
  • Taghipour, Fariborz (Clean Technologies, Solar and Wind Energy, Drinking Water, Solar Fuels, Artificial Photosynthetic Systems, UV Photoreactors, UV-LED Reactors, UV Microplasma, Modeling of Chemical and Biochemical Reactors, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD))
  • Trajano, Heather (Biomass (Energy), Wood, Pulp and Paper, Biorefining, Biochemicals, Biomass extractives recovery and utilization, Catalysis, Hemicellulose, Pretreatment, Kinetics)
  • Wachs, Anthony (Fluid mechanics, Particle-laden flows, Non Newtonian flows, Heat and mass transfer, Numerical simulation, High performance computing, Multi-scale modelling)
  • Wilkinson, David (Electrochemistry, electrocatalysis, electrochemical power sources, advanced electrolysis, , hydrogen production and storage, waste water and drinking water treatment, solar fuels, carbon dioxide conversion, clean and sustainable energy and water)
  • Yadav, Vikramaditya (Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Biomass (Energy), Bioremediation, Bioactive Molecules, Biomaterials, Structural Tissue Engineering / Biomaterials, Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms, Synthetic biology, Metabolic engineering, Biocatalysis, Bioprocess engineering, Bioremediation, Medical biotechnology, Tissue engineering, Drug delivery, Drug discovery & development, Technoeconomics, Vaccines)

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Majid Keshavarzfathy
    "Dr. Keshavarzfathy developed a computational model to simulate the performance of ultraviolet light emitting diode (UV-LED) reactors for water treatment. He subsequently applied the model to several UV-LED reactor concepts. His work increases our understanding of the design and optimization of UV-LED reactors." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Haiyan Wang
    "Dr. Wang spent the past four years developing carbide catalysts using petroleum coke. She combined experimental data and theoretical calculations to study the performance of her catalysts during the hydrotreating process. Her work provides a potential way to turn waste from oil sands refinery into a valuable product." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Huimin Yun
    "Dr. Yun compared different torrefied wood pellet production configurations, and quantified economic, environmental, and energetic impacts of B.C. wood pellet supply chains to different markets. Findings will assist the pellet industry in improving pellet plant operations, identifying future market opportunities, and seeking government policy support." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Jorge Enrique Rubiano Berna
    "Dr. Rubiano developed a mathematical model and simulation of low consistency refining, a process used in the forest products sector to improve the mechanical properties of paper and other natural materials. His experiments have been used to optimize the papermaking process and have demonstrated large industrial energy savings." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Mehr Negar Mirvakili
    "Dr. Mirvakili's work focused on environmentally benign techniques to fabricate water repellent papers with low gas permeability. She investigated the effect of wood fiber size and drying mechanism on the barrier, optical, and mechanical properties of paper. Such paper is suitable for flexible electronics, paper-fluidics and packaging applications." (May 2019)
 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

January 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
01 March 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
31 July 2019
International Applicant Deadline
31 July 2019

May 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
01 July 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
30 November 2019
International Applicant Deadline
30 November 2019

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
31 August 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
31 December 2019
International Applicant Deadline
31 December 2019
 

Supervisor Search

 

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