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

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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.

May 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2018
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 30 November 2018
Transcript Deadline: 31 December 2018
Referee Deadline: 31 December 2018
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 30 November 2018
Transcript Deadline: 31 December 2018
Referee Deadline: 31 December 2018

September 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2018
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 December 2018
Transcript Deadline: 31 January 2019
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2019
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 December 2018
Transcript Deadline: 31 January 2019
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2019

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$1,632.61$2,868.22
Tuition per year$4,897.83$8,604.66
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. 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

 20172016201520142013
Applications7784666963
Offers818161918
New registrations215141513
Total enrolment7485918689

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: 9 March 2018]. 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].

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 (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)
  • Ellis, Naoko (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 (Complex fluids, Biophysics, Mathematical biology)
  • Frostad, John (Emulsions, Foams, Functional Foods, Interfacial Rheology, Interfacial Phenomena, Human Health, Sensory Analysis)
  • 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 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 (Applied catalysis)
  • Taghipour, Fariborz (Solar Fuels, Artificial Photosynthetic Systems, UV Photoreactors, UV-LED Reactors, UV Microplasma, Modeling of Chemical and Biochemical Reactors, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD))
  • Trajano, Heather (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 (Synthetic biology, Metabolic engineering, Biocatalysis, Bioprocess engineering, Bioremediation, Medical biotechnology, Tissue engineering, Drug delivery, Drug discovery & development, Technoeconomics, Vaccines)

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Yu Max Wang
    "Dr. Wang's research is in the field of bio-chemical production. He developed a systemic approach to examining the economics and risk analysis of industrial-scale biomass projects. The outcomes can facilitate discussion among bio-refineries, investors and biomass producers." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Yinghui Zhang
    "Dr. Zhang studied micro direct liquid fuel cells for portable power devices, using experimental and computational methods. Her results show the design of catalyzed channel walls is a feasible approach to enhance the maximum power density. Her model will aid in the design of fuel cells with catalyzed channel walls." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Hasti Hosseinizand
    "Dr. Hosseinizand showed that drying and densification of microalgae is a feasible way to produce renewable fuels from microalgae. This finding eliminates the need for other expensive microalgae conversion methods and leads to faster commercialization of microalgae-based fuels." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Hafiz Rahman
    "Dr. Rahman developed a novel thermal-tracing technique for the measurement of solids circulation rate between reactors operating at high temperature where alternative techniques are unsuitable. His technique contributes immensely to the development of dual bed gasification technology for production of heat, electrical power, fuels and chemicals." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Olga Petrov
    "Dr. Petrov studied sustainability of biomass-based community energy systems. She developed a more accurate impact assessment methodology compared to existing ones in terms of impacts on local air quality, human health and global warming. She then applied this methodology to evaluate techno-economic and social aspects of a UBC bioenergy demonstration plant." (May 2018)
 

Apply Now

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

May 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
30 November 2018
International Applicant Deadline
30 November 2018

September 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
31 December 2018
International Applicant Deadline
31 December 2018

Program Information

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