Artist's rendering of the Abdul Ladha Science Centre - photo courtesy of Johnston Davidson Architecture + Planning Inc.
UBC Reports | Vol. 53 | No. 8 | Aug 9, 2007
A High-Tech Place to Call Their Own
Abdul Ladha Science Student Centre
By Brian Lin
UBC science students have become the envy of their peers for their swank new digs, complete with 10-metre ceilings, state-of-the-art audio systems, a four-metre wide video screen and a high-definition projector that would impress even the most discriminating audio-visual enthusiasts.
The $3.4-million, 661 square-metre Abdul Ladha Science Student Centre, to be officially opened this fall, has been in use since January 2007 and is the first social space exclusively dedicated to facilitating interdisciplinary discussions and collaborations among science students.
Funded in part by the Faculty of Science and with science undergraduate student contributions, the centre was made possible by a $1.3 million donation from UBC alumnus and entrepreneur Abdul Ladha, who also provided the vision and energy behind the creation of this high-tech facility that includes student computer access and plasma screens in the lounge and conference rooms.
“A common social and study space is vital to the students developing -- and taking pride in -- their identity as aspiring scientists,” says Ladha, President and CEO of Ableauctions.com and founding director of The Canadian Institute for Technological Advancement, an organization dedicated to developing Canada’s technological entrepreneurs.
“It also fosters interactions among science students from different fields and stages of their academic career.”
A stone’s throw from the Student Union Building, the centre is home to the Science Undergraduate Society (SUS) and student clubs. It has already been used for academic planning workshops, club events and the Science Salon, informal discussions with faculty during this year’s UBC Celebrate Research Week.
“We’re extremely proud of our new home,” says SUS President Michael Duncan. “For years science students have been spread throughout the campus in different buildings and facilities making any collaboration difficult.
“This facility is an amazing step forward in unifying science student life at UBC. We will be building on the success we have already had with the space in the past months to make science students’ experience at UBC even more positive.”