Initiation of the UBC Precast Design Studio through experimental testing of precast concrete shear walls

This Mitacs Accelerate represents the first year of the UBC Precast Design Studio, which is a multi-year partnership between the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI) and the University of British Columbia (UBC). The Studio will provide students with a hands-on learning experience for the seismic design, construction, and seismic response of precast shear walls. This Mitacs Accelerate will fund the training of four students in the experimental testing of precast concrete walls.

Alloy development and process optimization for extrusion-based metal additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM, also referred to as metal 3D printing) promises to revolutionize the manufacturing sector by allowing custom parts to be printed on demand. Despite manufacturing accounting for 10% of Canada’s GDP, less than 5% of Canadian companies use AM. Among the limiting factors to the adoption of this technology are a lack of printable materials, poor part quality, and lack of skilled workers with the knowledge to take advantage of AM.

Developing sustainable GFRC cladding panels for resilient buildings

Glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) panels are a lightweight cladding panels primarily used as fascia panels in building structures. Concrete when reinforced with fibers is often presented as an environmental improvement on typical concrete. In the wake of the rapidly emerging climate change emergency and to help improve resiliency in our residential buildings, the National Research Council, Canada has introduced guidelines in the National Building Code (2025) for climate-resilient construction to withstand extreme weather events.

OLabERATE: OLab Education Research Analytics Toolset Expansion

Virtual scenarios, which are similar to choose-your-own-adventure stories, in online format, are a powerful way to assess how well a young professional can make decisions and solve problems. This is different from most learning software that tests how well they remember factoids and tidbits. OLab is a tool for playing and creating virtual scenarios. It tracks everything that the learner does: what they do, how long they take to decide etc. Teachers can write strong stories but the process has been time consuming and frustrating.

Development and commercialization of an enhanced biochar production technology

The goal of this MITACS funded project is to advance existing technology for the production of biochar from sustainably harvested woody biomass. Current technology limits the amount of biochar produced from the raw wood. This project will evaluate the increase in production of biochar by some 30%.Biochar is a very resistant form of carbon that can be sequestered in soil and has a lifetime of approximately 500 years, making it a good means to reduce carbon in the atmosphere. Trees (often dead or dying trees) are harvested and the carbon tilled into the soil.

The Center of Change

The research project proposed will be used to improve the financial feasibility of an urban agricultural greenhouse. The first objective of this project is to create a business model that will supplement revenue to a greenhouse by offering mental health services. The second objective of this project is to test and assess the performance of a smart climate control system prototype that fuses climate sensor data with infra-red imagery of crops.

Assessment of environmental and economic sustainability of peri-operative patient warming strategies in hospitals

Hospitals use different warming techniques for surgery patients to prevent them from hypothermia, i.e., becoming cold during their operation. Many warming techniques are commonly available and used but studies on their holistic environmental impacts are lacking. The overall environmental impacts and economic costs of products or services can be assessed using life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle cost analysis (LCCA), respectively.

Improving usability and interoperability of autonomous and remote operated marine survey vessels

The popularity of autonomous survey vessels (ASVs) are rapidly increasing due to their low-cost, efficiency, ease of operations, and safety benefits. These systems are applied to ocean mapping survey operations that would have traditionally been completed by small, crewed vessels using either single beam or multibeam echosounder systems. To maintain the simplicity of the ASV, the remote-controlled propulsion system is often separate from the onboard sonar and positioning hardware system.

Developing CLEWs Modelling Methods to support the SDGs

The UN Sustainable Development Goals provide guidance for how to address the interconnected challenges of climate change. Most modelling does not include consideration of the different factors of the SDGs, though recent work has begun to include the nexus of Climate, Land, Energy and Water interactions in models. This helps identify impacts of the energy system on land and water systems and the climate. This project expands nexus modelling to better represent the water interactions and land interactions to better address the SDGs.

Advancing an Intelligent Transportation Data Platform and Environmental Sensing to Promote Sustainable Cities

Transportation services, ranging from public buses to private logistics fleets, could benefit significant from the introduction of Rogers’ 5G wireless networks. This project has a primary objective to support UBC’s efforts to achieve its 2050 emissions reductions goals, with an emphasis on a reduction of GHG and air pollutant emissions from transportation services.