Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Engineering (PhD)
The department has a strong research record, and is particularly proud of its mix of fundamental research coupled with industrial relevance and interaction. The department offers opportunities for study in the fields of casting and solidification of metals, ceramic processes and properties, corrosion, composite material processing and properties, hydrometallurgy and electrorefining, physical metallurgy, pyrometallurgy, remelting processes, thermomechanical processing and environmental processing.
What makes the program unique?
The Department of Materials Engineering at UBC (MTRL) is one of the top-rated materials programs in North America with activities spanning our internationally-leading program in hydrometallurgy to our leading edge research and teaching in sustainability, nanomaterials, biomaterials and composites.
Contact the program
Admission Information & Requirements
1) Check Eligibility
Minimum Academic Requirements
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.
English Language Test
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based
Overall score requirement: 90
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
Overall score requirement: 6.5
Other Test Scores
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
The GRE is not required.
2) Meet Deadlines
September 2023 Intake
Application Open Date01 October 2022
January 2024 Intake
Application Open Date01 March 2023
May 2024 Intake
Application Open Date01 August 2023
3) Prepare Application
All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.
Letters of Reference
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Statement of Interest
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Engineering (PhD)
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
4) Apply Online
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
Research Centres are: Advanced Materials Process Engineering Laboratory (AMPEL), Centre for Metallurgical Process Engineering, Clean Energy Research Centre, Electron Microscope Laboratory, MagNet - Magnesium Network.
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,802.52||$3,166.73|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$1,081.64 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $18,517.90 (check cost calculator)|
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.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
Program Funding Packages
All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2021 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $22,000 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 $22,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.
- 16 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 16 students was $6,325.
- 26 students received Research/Academic Assistantships. Average RA/AA funding based on 26 students was $22,205.
- 29 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 29 students was $7,339.
- 1 student received an external award valued at $21,000.
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)
All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
Teaching Assistantships (GTA)
Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.
Research Assistantships (GRA)
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
Financial aid (need-based funding)
Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.
All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.
Foreign government scholarships
Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.
Working while studying
The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.
Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
52 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 graduate is seeking employment; for 7 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 44 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 EducationUniversity of British Columbia (3)
McMaster University (2)
University of Manchester
University of Tehran
Southwest Jiaotong University
Northeastern University (Shenjang, China)
University of California - Santa Barbara
University of Calgary
Sample Employers Outside Higher EducationNovelis Inc. (3)
Niroo Research Institute
Natural Resources Canada
Dana Canada Corporation
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationResearch Scientist (3)
Research Engineer (2)
Orthopaedic Engineer / Cleanroom Engineer
Principal Technology Development Engineer
CFD / FEA Specialist
PhD Career Outcome SurveyYou may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
DisclaimerThis 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.
Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats
These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Engineering (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
Completion Rates & Times
Upcoming Doctoral Exams
Thursday, 16 February 2023 - 12:30pm - 288, Quantum Matter Institute, 2355 E Mall
Thursday, 2 March 2023 - 9:00am - 308A, Frank Forward Building, 6350 Stores Rd
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.
Asselin, Edouard (Hydrometallurgy (including leaching, electrometallurgy and residue characterization), Electrochemistry (including high temperature electrochemistry and sensors))
Britton, Ben (Materials engineering; Materials characterisation & microstructure; Metallurgy; Electron diffraction & microscopy; Deformation; Microstructure/property models; Manufacturing)
Cockcroft, Steven (Clean Energy Research, Physical phenomena in non-ferrous casting, hot tearing, Optimization of industrial casting processes, Mathematical modeling)
Dixon, David (Fixed-bed leaching)
Dreisinger, David (Hydrometallurgy industry, iron, copper)
Ko, Frank (Textile Structural Composites)
Kravchenko, Sergii (Polymers and polymer composites; Multi-functional composites; High-throughput manufacturing process modelling of composites; Multi-scale, multi-physics, probabilistic computational modelling of composites; Manufacturing-informed performance simulation of composites; Machine learning methods in composites manufacturing and performance analysis; Composite structures for renewable energy & unmanned vehicles; additive manufacturing)
Liu, Wenying (Use of sea water in heap leaching; Release of selenium and associated toxic elements from mine waste materials; Heap leach modelling )
Maijer, Daan (Heat Transfer, Fluid Flow, Stress, Microstructure Materials processing models employed for process control)
Militzer, Matthias (Multi-scale modelling of microstructure evolution, Physical metallurgy of advanced high strength steels)
Poole, Warren (Advanced aluminum alloys, High strengths, high formable steels, Metal matrix composites, Microstructure/property models)
Poursartip, Anoush (Polymer matrix composite materials)
Sinclair, Chadwick (Predicting the correlation between the structure of alloys, at the microstructural and atomic scale, and their mechanical behaviour )
Wang, Rizhi (Biomaterials, biomechanics Also, the structure and formation processes of biologically formed materials (eg seashells, silk, teeth) and applies the mechanisms to the design and processing of novel materials)
Xia, Guangrui (Group IV semiconductors in microelectronics; Si compatible lasers; 2D semiconductors; 3D integration of Ics; Raman spectroscopy )
|2022||Dr. Mansouri studied the mechanical behaviour of candid aluminum alloys to replace steel in the automotive industry. He studied the effect of fabrication parameters on material performance. These findings contribute to making better models to further increase the safety of passengers in a crash scenario while saving on vehicle weight.|
|2022||Dr. Rodrigues established laser ultrasonics as a quantitative measurement technique to in-situ monitor phase transformations in titanium alloys and developed a systematic methodology to quantify different phases from microstructural images. These studies are of relevance to design advanced titanium alloys for biomedical and aerospace applications.|
|2022||Dr. Xu studied the dissolution kinetics of Ti-N inclusions in liquid titanium. The diffusion of nitrogen and the effective mass transfer coefficient were investigated using both experimental and numerical methods. His research advanced our understanding of the minimization of Ti-N defects in the commercial melt refining processes of titanium.|
|2021||Dr. Ljubetic studied the thermodynamics and kinetics of gold leaching in ferric chloride media. The dissolution mechanism and its limitations were uncovered using batch leaching and electrochemical techniques. The research would help lay the foundation for development of an alternative technology for gold extraction.|
|2021||Dr. Sarbishei studied sulfur deportment in ferronickel production via Rotary Kiln-Electric Furnace process. He investigated the effect of sulfur content of rotary kiln fuel on the final composition of crude ferronickel. His findings will help the nickel industry to minimize the sulfur impurity in ferronickel and reduce the role of the refinery.|
|2021||Dr. Zhou's work presents a comprehensive study of GaN transistors. GaN transistors are used in power applications, helping to convert, manage, and control electric power. It provides high power efficiency and low system costs. Dr. Zhou demonstrated a new failure mechanism analysis method and three different methods to enhance the device performances.|
|2021||Dr. Chen studied the processing-microstructure-property relationships of thermoset composite materials that are toughened by particulate interlayer. His discovery of a new mechanism for how processing conditions affect the microstructure and properties of these materials contributes to fundamental materials science and has industrial applications.|
|2020||Dr. Mirazimi studied the dissolution of arsenic from mine waste materials and investigated the key factors that control arsenic release from arsenic bearing minerals to the environment. His study provides key information for the prevention and management of waste rock drainage containing arsenic.|
|2020||By studying the integrity of titanium exposed to mineral slurries in hydrometallurgy, Dr. Liu found that mineral solids can result in the wear and corrosion of titanium. Her research related titanium's corrosion resistance to prevailing environmental conditions. Her work will improve the safety and economics of processing plants that use titanium.|
|2020||Dr. Rasouli prepared a synthetic inorganic ion exchanger for removal of toxic selenate from wastewaters. The goal of this study is to create a novel technology to prevent selenate release into the environment and to protect aquatic life.|
Sample Thesis Submissions
Materials Engineering offers opportunities for study in the following fields: casting and solidification of metals; ceramic processing and properties; refractories; corrosion; composites; high temperature coatings; biomaterials; extractive metallurgy including hydrometallurgy, bio-hydrometallurgy, electrometallurgy, and pyrometallurgy; physical metallurgy; thermo-mechanical processing related to materials production; environmental issues related to materials productions; electronic materials; nanofibers; textile structural composites.
Materials Engineers are experts on the entire life cycle of materials, including recovery of materials from minerals, making engineered materials, manufacturing materials into products, understanding and evaluating materials performance, proper disposal and recycling of materials, and evaluating societal and economic benefits.