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.
Meet a UBC representative
Graduate Student Housing Info Sessionwebinar
Date: Tuesday, 02 October 2018
Time: 15:30 to 16:30
It's not too early to explore your options for accommodation, particularly if you are hoping to live on campus, in residence at UBC. About 1300 graduate students live in residence at UBC. Learn about the UBC student residences available for graduate students, the application process, waitlist logistics, and more in this 1-hour webinar presented by UBC Student Housing and Hospitality Services.
Virtual Office Hourswebinar
Date: Thursday, 04 October 2018
Time: 09:00 to 10:00
Are you considering UBC for graduate school? Join our Virtual Office Hours to learn more about academic requirements, the admissions process, and more. Ask your questions in advance when you register. Please note that we will not be able to provide answers to questions that involve specific personal information.
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||$1,632.61||$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)|
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
Wednesday, 10 October 2018 - 2:00pm - 2202, Civil and Mechanical Engineering, 6250 Applied Science Lane, Vancouver
Wednesday, 24 October 2018 - 2:30pm - 2202, CEME, 6250 Applied Science Lane
Friday, 26 October 2018 - 10:00am - 2202, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 6250 Applied Science Lane, Vancouver
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 (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 System, Servo-Control, Mechatronics, control engineering, robust control, modeling, wind turbine control, solar themal system control, automotive engine control, optimization)
Ollivier-Gooch, Carl (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; )
Rogak, Steven (Aerosols (their properties, strategies to minimize their creation and reducing aerosol concentrations where people spend most of their time )
Recent Doctoral Citations
- Dr. Matthew Keith Xi-Jie Pan
"Dr. Pan explored the role that nonverbal cues can play during object handovers between robots and humans. He studied how nonverbal behaviours of both robots and humans can be used to improve the fluency, legibility and efficiency of human-robot handovers. This research illuminates how subtle gestures and cues can enrich human-robot interactions." (May 2018)
- Dr. Abbas Hosseini
"Dr. Hosseini developed a criterion for the forming failure of composite materials which challenges a well-known theory accepted since the 1970's. His criterion sheds light on an area of the literature which has been a source of controversy for decades. His model has been successfully validated by the experiments and implemented in commercially available software." (May 2018)
- Dr. Kai Kin Gary Yan
"Dr. Yan investigated techniques for obtaining accurate, efficient, and robust error estimates in computational simulations of aerodynamic flows. As problems grow ever more complex, these methods can provide guidance on the quality of simulated results and are readily applicable to a vast range of problems that can be simulated numerically." (May 2018)
- Dr. AJung Moon
"Dr. Moon designed robots to move in communicative ways so they can better coordinate their actions with people. She developed a way for robots to hesitate in human-inspired ways when they encounter conflicts with people. Her work demonstrates that robots can be designed to negotiate with people in an intuitive, efficient, and safe manner." (November 2017)
- Dr. Mohammad Rezayi Khoshdarregi
"Dr. Khoshdarregi developed physics-based mathematical models for threading oil pipes. His models help improve the productivity and accuracy of the threading operation and minimize rupture of oil pipes in offshore and land-based oil transportation." (November 2017)