Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering (PhD)
The thesis-based Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Mechanical Engineering is an advanced research-based degree. The program offers students an opportunity to work at the highest level of research, under the supervision of a faculty member. Students complete their candidacy examination within 18 months and complete their doctoral dissertation research within three to four years. It is normal department practice to initially register students in the M.A.Sc. program, and to transfer them to the Ph.D. program upon completion of the M.A.Sc. (or earlier if recommended by the supervising faculty member).
Students taking their Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering can select one of four research areas: Design and Applied Mechanics, Mechatronics and Manufacturing, Thermofluids or Biomedical Engineering.*
*The Department of Applied Science also offers a full Biomedical Engineering (BMEG) program. Students in the BMEG program will achieve a degree in Biomedical Engineering.
What makes the program unique?
With eight Research Chairs and almost every research faculty member holding a least one NSERC grant, we have one of the most active research programs in Canada and consistently produce industry and academic leaders.
UBC is ranked in the World’s Top 40 Universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Institute of Higher Education and our Mechanical Engineering professors are recognized nationally and internationally as leaders in their fields.
We offer affordable, competitive tuition fees and extend a number of scholarships, awards, top-ups to external awards, entrance fellowships, Research Assistantships (RA's) and Teaching Assistantships (TA's) to our students.
TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement
IELTS Overall Score Requirement
Supervisor commitment required prior to application?
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.
September 2019 Intake
Application Open Date01 October 2018
January 2020 Intake
Application Open Date01 June 2019
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.
87 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 78 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):
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 (4)
King Saud University (2)
University of Saskatchewan (2)
University of Adelaide
UNIKA Atma Jaya
University of Ontario Institute of Technology
University of Tehran
Abu Dhabi University
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Sample Employers Outside Higher EducationPratt & Whitney Canada (3)
Coanda Research and Development Corporation (3)
Westport Innovations (3)
Candu Energy Inc. (2)
Vanmok Innovative Engineering Solutions
WK Investment Network
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationSenior Mechanical Engineer (4)
Project Engineer (2)
Senior Piping Engineer (2)
Research Engineer (2)
Business Development Manager
PhD Career Outcome SurveyYou may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
DisclaimerThese 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
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,665.26||$2,925.58|
|Tuition per year||$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)|
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.
Completion Rates & Times
Upcoming Doctoral Exams
Monday, 11 March 2019 - 9:00am - Room 200
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.
Altintas, Yusuf (Virtual Machining, Computer Control of Manufacturing Systems, CAD/CAM, CNC Design, High Speed Feed Drive Control, Real Time Interpolation and Trajectory Generation for Machine Tools, Adaptive Control, Sensor Fused Intelligent Machining, Metal Cutting Mechanics, Chatter Vibrations in Machining, Piezo -Actuator Based Precision Machining, High Speed Milling, Optimal Machining of Aerospace Parts, Dies and Molds, Automation, Precision Engineering, Electro Mechanical Systems, Modeling and Analysis of Machining Processes, Mechanics, dynamics and control of micro-machining operations)
Bacca, Mattia (Solid Mechanics, Adhesion and fracture , Soft materials, Biophysics)
Bushe, William Kendal (Clean Energy, Combustion, Turbulence, Numerical Simulation, Computational Fluid Dynamics, IC Engines andThermal Power Generation)
Chiao, Mu (MEMS, Micro Sensors, Micro Actuators, BioMEMS, Nanotechnology, Bioengineering, Electronic Packaging, Nanoscience, Energy sources for micro-electro-mechanical systems)
Cripton, Peter (Trauma / Injuries, Cranio-Encephalic and Spinal Cord Trauma, Mechanical Systems, spinal cord injury, neurotrauma, traumatic brain injury, biomechanics, injury prevention, hip fracture, spine biomechanics)
Croft, Elizabeth (Robotics, human-robot interaction, mechatronics)
De Silva, Clarence Wilfred (Robotics)
Elfring, Gwynn (Theoretical Fluid Mechanics, Complex Fluids, Cell Biomechanics, Capillary Phenomena, Applied Mathematics )
Feng, Hsi-Yung (Modelization and Simulation, Software (Tools), Machining and Assembling, Milling, Prototyping, Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM), Geometric Modeling, Multi-Axis CNC Machining, Machining Simulation, 3D Laser Scanning, 3D Printing)
Frigaard, Ian (Fluid mechanics (visco-plastic fluids))
Grecov, Dana (Rheology, Rheometry, Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics, Computational Fluid Mechanics, Liquid Crystals, Biolubricants, Lubricants, Journal Bearings, Multi-Phase Flow, Synovial Joints, Synovial Fluid, Arthrithis, Liquid crystals and nanomaterials, Biofluid Mechanics)
Green, Sheldon (Fluid Mechanics, Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms, building ventilation, railroads, papermaking)
Hodgson, Antony (Bioengineering, Biomechanics, Medical or Surgical Robotics, Medical Engineering, Electoral Reform, Single Transferable Vote, STV, Citizens’ Assembly, Fair Voting )
Jelovica, Jasmin (Stress Analysis, Production and Process Optimization, Metals and Alloys, Solid Mechanics, Finite element analysis, Structural optimization, Welding and joining of metals, Sandwich structures, Ultimate, fatigue and impact strength)
Jin, Xiao Liang (Manufacturing Processes, Solid Mechanics, Manufacturing Processes for Advanced Materials, Vibration Assisted Machining, Machining Mechanics and Dynamics, Surface Integrity, Material Characterization)
Kirchen, Patrick (Thermochemical Energy Conversion, Combustion, Internal Combustion Engines, Ion Transport Membranes, Emissions, Fuel Injection )
Ma, Hongshen (Microfluidics; Instrumentation; Cell Sorting; Cell Biomechanics; Circulating Tumor Cells; Malaria and Red Blood Cell Deformability; Single Cell Technologies; Cell Migration and Chemotaxis)
Merida-Donis, Walter (Clean energy, Electrochemical energy conversion, Thermodynamics, Low carbon fuels, Fuel cells and hydrogen)
Nagamune, Ryozo (control engineering, robust control, modeling, wind turbine control, solar themal system control, automotive engine control, optimization)
Ollivier-Gooch, Carl (Numerical Analysis, Fluid Mechanics, Computer Sciences and Mathematical Tools, Algorithm Development for Computational Fluid Dynamics , Error and Stability Analysis for Unstructured Mesh Methods, Unstructured Mesh Generation, Applied Aerodynamics)
Olson, James (Application of Physics and Fluid Mechanics to Problems Associated with the Pulp and Paper Industry, Mechanical Energy Reduction in Mechanical Pulping)
Oxland, Thomas (Spinal Cord Injury, Aging Spine, Orthopaedic Implants)
Phani, Srikantha (Dynamics of multiscale materials, structures and devices, Applied Mechanics, Micromechanics)
Ponga de la Torre, Mauricio (Spallation in Metals; Sub-linear scaling methods for calculating crystal defects using DFT; )
Recent Doctoral Citations
- Dr. Farzad Hemmati
"Multistage compressors are used extensively in high-speed natural gas operations and liquid natural gas industries. Dr. Hemmati's research proposed a new approach for identifying safe operation regions of these compressors. His work enriches our understanding of how to accurately estimate the stable boundaries of rotor bearing machinery." (November 2018)
- Dr. Yu Du
"Dr. Du investigated the attention and navigation control of a mobile robot for carrying out dynamically challenging tasks involving humans. She made significant contributions in the development of an integrated attention model with self-awareness, and a biology-inspired method of robot planning and obstacle avoidance for a mobile robot." (November 2018)
- Dr. Alexander Joseph Yuen
"Dr. Yuen studied precision manufacturing machines. He developed novel algorithms to plan the motion, control the precision, and the accuracy for a machine tool that combines a micro-milling machine and magnetically levitated actuator. Results can be used to manufacture high precision parts found in various high tech industries." (November 2018)
- Dr. Emad Chaparian
"Yield-stress fluids such as cement paste are neither solids nor "simple" fluids like water. They will flow only when we put enough force on them. In this study, Dr. Chaparian addressed the stability of particles in yield-stress fluids. He also investigated the motion of particles and hydrodynamic interaction." (November 2018)
- Dr. Coskun Islam
"Dr. Islam developed a novel temperature prediction model for machining of metals. The model sheds light on how heat is generated and distributed on metal cutting tools. His work helps with the designing of metal cutting tools and planning more cost effective manufacturing operations." (November 2018)