UBC News Digest

The UBC News Digest is a weekly summary of news stories about UBC
people, research, learning, community, and internationalization
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Dec. 16, 2005

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Deep Space Expert Named Fulbright Scholar

The Fulbright Program Foundation for Educational Exchange has named UBC Physics and Astronomy Prof. Harvey Richer a 2005 Canada-U.S. Fulbright Scholar. As a result, Richer will spend the next year at UCLA analyzing and interpreting images he has collected from the Hubble Space Telescope.

The Fulbright Program is the world’s foremost academic exchange program, attracting scholars from more than 150 countries. The Canada-US Fulbright Program is a joint, bi-national program supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs Canada and the United States Department of State.

"This award by the Fulbright Foundation gives us double reasons for rejoicing: first, because it acknowledges the significance and value of the work of one of UBC’s top researchers, and secondly because it reaffirms the traditionally strong relationship between Canada and the United States in the search for knowledge and discovery,” said UBC President Martha Piper. “Harvey Richer’s work will help us better understand the history of the universe, and by so doing, it will be a reminder of our common humanity.”

As a Fulbright Scholar , Richer will study the deepest images acquired of one of the oldest known star clusters in our galaxy, hoping to calculate the age of stars known as white dwarfs. Richer’s measurements go as far back as the Big Bang, and could potentially challenge basic cosmological ideas.

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Martin Schechter Named Chief Scientific Officer for Michael Smith Foundation

Health Care and Epidemiology Prof. Martin Schechter has been appointed Chief Scientific Officer of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research , effective January 2006. Schechter’s part-time responsibilities will include providing scientific advice to further the strategic objectives of the Foundation.

A r ecipient of Order of British Columbia and F ellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Schechter is Head of the UBC Department of Health Care and Epidemiology. He is co-founder and National Director of the Canadian HIV Trials Network and Director of both the Centre for Health Evaluation & Outcome Sciences and Epidemiology Research at the BC Centre of Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research is mandated by the B.C. government to build capacity in clinical, biomedical, health services and population health research and supports initiatives that address emerging priorities, innovation and change specific to the needs of B.C.’s health system and economy.

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Engineering Students Sponsored to Design Better Vehicle

Product lifecycle management software and services company UGS Corp. announced its sponsorship of the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE) 2006 Vehicle Collaboration Project, which will see engineering students from 14 international universities, including UBC, conceptualize and develop a new vehicle.

The PACE 2006 Vehicle Collaboration Project is a partnership between the corporate and academic sectors to provide students with real-world experience in product development. It is the first global design engineering course with a real-time web collaboration tool used on a common vehicle platform for credit bearing curriculum in several countries.

Representing General Motors, Sun Microsystems, EDS, and UGS, PACE supports 34 academic institutions in the research of all aspects of a vehicle’s lifecycle, from — from its design inception, through its manufacture, marketing, distribution and maintenance, and finally into recycling, disposal and re-use/sustainability.

For more information, contact Alan Steeves, UBC Dept. of Mechanical Engineering at 604.822.3792.

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UBC Alumni to Represent Canada at Venice Biennale

SweaterLodge , a project by Pechet and Robb Studio of Vancouver, has been selected through a national juried competition to represent Canada at the 2006 Venice Biennale in Architecture. UBC alumni Bill Pechet, currently a Lecturer in Practice at the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and Stephanie Robb are the founders of the studio.

Pechet and Robb’s SweaterLodge aims to convey how nature and recreation influence the culture of Vancouver. It envisions a future where daily objects become multifunctional: a sweater becomes a lodge, packs become sofas and bicycles become film projectors. Together these elements provide a portrait of a city where the veneration of nature and the density of urban culture often meld in surprising and meaningful ways.

The Biennale is a state-sponsored exhibition of the world’s top architectural talent. Marking its 10 th anniversary, the Biennale will take place in Venice, Italy, September to November 2006.

For more information, contact ErinRose Handy, UBC Faculty of Applied Science at 604.822.1524 or erinrose.handy@ubc.ca.