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.

Quick Facts

Doctor of Philosophy
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Materials Engineering
Program Components
Faculty of Applied Science

Research Information

Research Facilities

Research Centres are: Advanced Materials Process Engineering Laboratory (AMPEL), Centre for Metallurgical Process Engineering, Clean Energy Research Centre, Electron Microscope Laboratory, MagNet - Magnesium Network.


TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement


IELTS Overall Score Requirement


Funding Sources

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

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 Education
University of British Columbia (3)
McMaster University (2)
University of Manchester
University of Tehran
Mewar University
Southwest Jiaotong University
Northeastern University (Shenjang, China)
Queen's University
University of California - Santa Barbara
University of Calgary
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Novelis Inc. (3)
BioInspire Technologies
Stream-Flo Industries
Niroo Research Institute
Natural Resources Canada
Dana Canada Corporation
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Research Scientist (3)
Research Engineer (2)
Hydrometallurgical Engineer
Research Professional
Improvement Facilitator
Orthopaedic Engineer / Cleanroom Engineer
Principal Technology Development Engineer
Faculty Member
CFD / FEA Specialist
Project Manager
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on
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.

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$102.00$165.00
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)$923.38 (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

New registrations6141084
Total enrolment6361606777

Completion Rates & Times

Based on 35 graduations between 2013 - 2016 the minimum time to completion is 3.33 years and the maximum time is 7.66 years with an average of 4.94 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
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: 29 September 2017].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

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

Pan Fan
Hydrogen Pore Formation in an Al-Si Alloy - an Examination of the Role of Hydrogen Macrosegregation

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

Matteo Pernechele
Process Engineering of Functional Metakaoline Based Geopolymers

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

Tengteng Tang
Fracture Mechanisms and Structural Fragility of Human Femoral Cortical Bone

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.

  • Asselin, Edouard (Hydrometallurgy (including leaching, electrometallurgy and residue characterization), Electrochemistry (including high temperature electrochemistry and sensors))
  • 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)
  • Fernlund, Goran (Polymer matrix composites, Biomaterials, Adhesive bonding)
  • Ko, Frank (Textile Structural Composites)
  • 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 (Modelization and Simulation, Theoretical Approach, Metals and Alloys, Material Design, Mechanical and Physical ProcessesMaterials Science and Engineering, Computational Materials Science, Manufacturing, Alloy Design, Solid State Physics, Mechanics)
  • Tafaghodi, Leili (Sustainable high temperature materials processing; Synthesis and refining of high quality metals and alloys; Thermodynamics; Mineral processing)
  • Troczynski, Tom (ceramics, coatings, biomaterials, refractories, fracture, Medical applications, Processing, microstructure and properties of ceramics)
  • 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 )

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Kamyar Gordnian
    "Dr. Gordnian developed mathematical models to simulate the behaviour of polymer composite materials during manufacturing. The proposed methodology is a promising tool for industries, such as aerospace, to better understand the effects of process parameters, and minimize the production risks and costs." (November 2017)
  • Dr. Li-Ting Lin
    "Dr. Lin conducted research on carbon nanofibre made from a low cost and bio-renewable lignin material. He applied different methods to improve the mechanical properties and developed electrodes for energy storage devices. His research provides guidance to tailor the performance of lignin carbon nanofibre for structural and functional applications." (November 2017)
  • Dr. Benjamin Rutter Lawrence
    "Dr. Lawrence developed a method for creating amorphous iron-carbon films for use in the strengthening of steel sheet and investigated the crystallization of these films. His work provides new insights into the crystallization of amorphous iron-carbon, specifically how this process is affected by carbon content and annealing temperature." (November 2017)
  • Dr. Abhijit Arun Pandhari
    "Dr. Pandhari developed a model to predict the formation of cracks in refractory materials, used as lining in metallurgical reactors. He also developed a novel experimental technique to test refractories on a laboratory scale. This technique could be used to avoid frequent shut-downs of the reactors, thus increasing the efficiency of manufacturing." (November 2017)
  • Dr. James David Kay
    "Dr. Kay's work has established a scientific understanding of how gasses flow during the production of composite materials. This understanding will help engineers to create processes that can produce high quality composite parts at reduced costs compared to current methods." (November 2017)

January 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 August 2018
International Applicant Deadline
01 August 2018

May 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
02 August 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 October 2018
International Applicant Deadline
01 October 2018

September 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
02 October 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 February 2019
International Applicant Deadline
01 February 2019

Program Information

Application Enquiries

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