Clean Energy Engineering Capstone Showcase Conference 2017
December 13th marked UBC’s Clean Energy Engineering Capstone Showcase Conference and Industry Night. The full-day event featured 25 MEL students in Clean Energy Engineering presenting methodologies and outcomes of their four-month Capstone Projects to an audience of fellow students, industry partners, alumni and incoming students.
The Capstone Projects are designed to offer students practical experience leading complex, multidisciplinary projects relevant to their professional specialization in clean energy engineering. The course is delivered in partnership with industry, a collaboration that translates into real world experience and the development of project management and presentation skills.
Brie Haley, Community Sustainability Specialist at Urban Systems Ltd. and UBC MEng CEEN alumni, participated at the event to get first-hand impressions of the innovative Capstone Projects and to connect with like-minded clean energy fellows. Furthermore, she attended to support Steve Vogel, a MEL student who collaborated with Urban Systems Ltd. during his project to assess the pre-feasibility of biomass fueled energy technologies for a remote First Nation community in BC. Haley described the Capstone Projects as “a great opportunity for students to experience real-life projects. From a company point of view, we can offer support to guide students through the project and watch their initiatives to solve the problem. It is fascinating to see the spread and diversity of projects on both the demand and supply side of energy.”
Director of Dudzevich Energy Consulting, Airton Dudzevich MEL ‘16, utilized the occasion to become familiar with the newest Clean Energy Engineering students and to “see their projects ideas and dreams.” He reflected on the event noting that, “it is always good to watch brilliant minds starting up their careers, especially for me being able to notice their passions for clean energy, for the planet and with the coming generations. I am looking forward to the Capstone Showcase Conference in 2018.”
Following the conference, the industry night kicked off with a keynote from Dylan Heerema, Analyst at the Pembina Institute, which addresses the energy challenge to reduce harmful impacts of fossil fuels while supporting the transition to a cleaner and safer energy system. Three of the 25 MEL students cooperated with the Pembina Institute during their Capstone Projects and focused on issues such as low cost, net zero retrofits in the social housing and market rental buildings sector.
The second keynote speaker Dr. Paul Fennell, Professor of Clean Energy at the Imperial College in London, called on the audience to think in a more complex and broad approach of renewable energies, stating it is not “my technology or your technology, it is our technology” – highlighting the power of combining various forms of renewable energy to enable an optimal and efficient form of energy supply.
The conference ended with an evening reception to celebrate the completion of the Capstone Projects and to provide further knowledge exchange and professional networking amongst the graduating cohort, alumni and industry partners. Co-Director of the MEL in Clean Energy Engineering program, Dr. Vladan Prodanovic, described the overall successful and inspiring event as “a wish comes true” and promised to make this Conference and Industry Night event a yearly tradition.
The Capstone Projects represent projects from all areas of clean energy, featuring partnerships with industry across the public and private sector, including: BCIT, Cambridge Energy Partners, City of Vancouver, Dudzevich Energy Consulting, Dunsky Energy Consulting, Ecosmart Inc., FEED Engineering Inc., Instream Energy Systems, Ionomr, MSU, Nrstor Inc., Pembina Institute, Pinna Sustainability Inc., Powertech Labs Inc., Syntegra, The Carbon Initiative, UBC and Urban Systems.