Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering (PhD)

Overview

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.

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Engineering
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Mechanical Engineering
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Applied Science

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Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Transcripts

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.

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. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

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.

English Language Proficiency

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:

93
22
21
22
21
6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Depending on program, applicants either reach out to faculty members directly or the program supports this process in different ways.

Supervisor commitment required prior to application?
Highly recommended

Test Scores (GRE / GMAT or similar)

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 optional.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

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.

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
15 September 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 March 2020
Transcript Deadline: 08 March 2020
Referee Deadline: 08 March 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 March 2020
Transcript Deadline: 08 March 2020
Referee Deadline: 08 March 2020

January 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 June 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 September 2020
Transcript Deadline: 08 September 2020
Referee Deadline: 08 September 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 September 2020
Transcript Deadline: 08 September 2020
Referee Deadline: 08 September 2020

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.

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.

We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your 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.

In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.

Career Outcomes

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 Education
University 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
Ohio University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Pratt & Whitney Canada (3)
Coanda Research and Development Corporation (3)
Westport Innovations (3)
FPInnovations (2)
Candu Energy Inc. (2)
BMT WBM
PARC Inc.
Paperra
Vanmok Innovative Engineering Solutions
WK Investment Network
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Senior Mechanical Engineer (4)
Project Engineer (2)
Scientist (2)
Manager (2)
Senior Piping Engineer (2)
Research Engineer (2)
Principal Scientist
Research Scientist
Business Development Manager
Director
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
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.
Career Options

The graduates of the Ph.D. program find employment at academic institutions and in high-level research and development positions in industry and other institutions. Recent Ph.D. alumni have gone on to work as tenure-track professors in major Canadian and US universities. Others have been employed as research scientists, project managers and team leaders in high-tech startups or S&P 500 companies.

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (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. 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.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
Applications104114897786
Offers2324161620
New registrations1818141116
Total enrolment7777758188

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 76.6% based on 47 students admitted between 2006 - 2009. Based on 57 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 3.32 years and the maximum time is 7.99 years with an average of 5.24 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: 22 March 2019]. 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: 27 October 2019].

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.

  • 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)
  • 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))
  • Giang, Amanda (Atmospheric Pollutants, Climate Changes and Impacts, Chemical Pollutants, Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection, Public Policies)
  • 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)
  • Noh, Minkyun (Mechatronics, Control System, Electric and Electronic Systems, Servo-Control, Robotics and Automation, Instruments, Machinery, Sensors and Devices, Mechatronic system design, Electric machines and drives, Precision engineering, Magnetic levitation, Magnetic bearings, Bearingless motors, Instrumentation, Robotics, Control, sensors, Actuators)
  • 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)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Reza Zangeneh
    "Computer simulations are used extensively in scientific modeling and engineering design. Often, this process is iterative and requires meticulous care from a domain expert that can be extremely expensive. Dr. Zangeneh designed a systematic approach for the first time that automatically stabilizes such simulations without any human intervention." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Qiang Zou
    "Dr. Zou studied how to efficiently model engineering products using computers. Through his work, he discovered the fundamental issues and challenges of the modeling efficiency problem and presented effective solutions. His findings and solutions could significantly reduce the time and cost in engineering design and improve design productivity." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Mahdiar Khosravi
    "Dr. Khosravi developed high-speed imaging systems and algorithms to study combustion inside an engine. His work helps provide more insight into modern combustion strategies and to further optimize these strategies for cleaner and more efficient power delivery in combustion engines." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Oguzhan Tuysuz
    "Dr. Tuysuz studied virtual process modeling of machining complex thin-walled components used in the aerospace industry. He developed novel mathematical models and algorithms for digital manufacturing of jet engine rotors. His work helps identify manufacturing related defects so they can be solved before the actual part is produced." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Graham Ronald Rupert Hendra
    "Dr. Hendra developed and tested mathematical models for the simulation of turbulence, chemistry, and their interactions. These models could aid in the development of cleaner and more efficient internal combustion and jet engines." (May 2019)
 

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September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
15 September 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 March 2020
International Applicant Deadline
01 March 2020

January 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 June 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 September 2020
International Applicant Deadline
01 September 2020
 

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