UBC This Week

Recent UBC Media Releases

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Find out what else is happening at UBC this week. For sports events, visit the UBC Athletics site at http://www.gothunderbirds.ca/calendar.aspx.

UBC People

UBC People

UBC to host World Model United Nations Conference 2012

UBC students have won a bid to host the World Model United Nations Conference 2012 in Vancouver. WorldMUN is the largest and most diverse college-level Model UN conference in the world, attracting more than 2,000 college students from more than 60 countries each year for a youth summit. The conference is co-organized by two student-led teams from Harvard University and UBC.

WorldMUN is held in a new international city each year. After traveling to locations like The Hague in the Netherlands; Beijing, China; Belo Horizonte, Brazil; and Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, WorldMUN will host its next conference in Vancouver. The conference will be held from March 11–15 and combines committee sessions during the day with nightly social events. The events provide delegates with a great way to experience the host-country’s culture and to learn from students from around the world.

For more information on the conference and how to get involved as a student, faculty or staff member, visit http://www.vancouver2012.org/

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Nexterra and UBC sign collaborative bioenergy research agreement

Nexterra Systems Corp. and UBC have announced that they have signed a Collaborative Research Agreement to develop an advanced method of conditioning synthetic gas based on Nexterra’s proprietary biomass gasification technology.

Nexterra and UBC will work together on a project to assess the potential for a new, lower cost catalytic process for removing tars from the synthetic gas produced by Nexterra’s gasification technology. Work on the project will be done both at UBC and at Nexterra’s Product Development Centre in Kamloops, B.C.

This project is the first formal research agreement between Nexterra and UBC under an overarching Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Project (BRDP). The BRDP is a joint Nexterra and UBC initiative announced in February 2010 that includes installation of a new biomass combined heat and power plant on UBC’s Point Grey campus, as well as a range of teaching, learning and research initiatives.

“This agreement is a critical first step toward developing research projects that leverage UBC’s strengths in clean energy research with Nexterra’s world-class expertise in biomass gasification,” said John Hepburn, UBC’s Vice President Research and International. “UBC’s Vancouver campus will be a living laboratory for this project, which will create research opportunities for UBC students and faculty while ultimately reinforcing British Columbia’s leadership in clean energy solutions.”

Nexterra Systems is a leading supplier of biomass gasification solutions that generate renewable heat, power and syngas for institutional and industrial customers.

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UBC mining and engineering alumnus receives the Order of BC

UBC alumnus James O’Rourke (BASc ‘63, Mining Engineering) was one of 14 recipients of the Order of British Columbia, an award which recognizes the excellence and achievements of British Columbians. 

For 35 years, O’Rourke has been one of B.C.’s leaders in mine evaluation, financing development, marketing and mining operations. The many projects he has been connected with have created thousands of jobs.

He is president and chief executive officer of Copper Mountain Mining Corp., which has recently placed the $440 million open pit copper mine in production near Princeton. O’Rourke worked at many of B.C.’s premier mining projects including the Endako mine near Fraser Lake, the Gibraltar mine near Williams Lake, the Huckleberry and Equity Silver mines near Houston, Quinsam Coal on Vancouver Island and Similco Copper mine near Princeton. 

Through connections with Japanese mining interests, he has fostered relations with Pacific Rim partners. O’Rourke led initiatives to improve public facilities in these communities, such as swimming pools, curling rinks and arenas. He was a leader in projects such as Mining for Miracles, which raises funds for the BC Children’s Hospital, and Fishing for Kids, which raised money for children’s charities.

For more information, visit http://www.mining.ubc.ca/

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UBC provost announces new leadership and direction for CFIS

David Farrar, UBC Provost and VP Academic, announced on Sept. 13 new leadership and a new structure and role for the College for Interdisciplinary Studies (CFIS).

Hugh Brock, who takes over from Prof. Michael Burgess as Principal pro tem, will work closely with the Provost, Deans, senior administration and faculties across UBC to facilitate research funding initiatives, to advance interdisciplinary graduate programs, to manage cross-faculty appointments, and to engage with fundraising opportunities to support complex interdisciplinary projects.

For more information, visit http://www.cfis.ubc.ca/.

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UBC’s Nanisiniq: Arviat History Project screens at Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Film Festival

The Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Film Festival in Toronto is partnering with the Nanisiniq: Arviat History Project from UBC (http://nanisiniq.tumblr.com/) to screen a series of films on Sept. 27 at York University. The Project is a collaborative initiative between the Sivulinuut Elders Society and UBC which has trained four Inuit youth Curtis Konek, Amy Owingayak, Jordan Konek, and Patrick Pingushat as researchers in discovering and re-telling the history of the Arctic from an Inuit perspective. The team has been working with UBC research assistant April Dutheil in documenting their journey of discovery using filmmaking.

The films will be seen simultaneously in Arviat, Nunavut followed by a dialogue between Arviat youth and community members and Toronto youth/community members.

For more information on the project and the screening, visit http://nanisiniq.tumblr.com/.

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Chinese Canadian stories preview event

A new, online Chinese Canadian videogame is using the latest in multimedia technology to connect young users to the lost stories of earlier generations. The game, entitled Gold Mountain Quest, will be one of the highlights at the preview of a one-of-a-kind multilingual web portal to be unveiled by the Chinese Canadian Stories project (http://chinesecanadian.ubc.ca) at UBC. The videogame enables players to experience life as a Chinese Canadian youth in 1910, and explore historically accurate culture in the fictional town of Gold Mountain.

The Head Tax database will also be showcased at the preview event. This user-friendly tool allows users and researchers to investigate the people behind the migration patterns from China to Canada, dating from 1885 to 1949.

Date:    Sept. 26, 2011
Time:    4 – 8 p.m.
Place:   Room 318 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre

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Four UBC MFA graduates showcase poetry debut collections

UBC Creative Writing Program graduates Sheryda Warrener, Bren Simmers, Jamella Hagen and Linda Besner will be reading poems from their debut collections in a showcase tilted Four Score!

September 2010 saw the publication of Simmers’ Night Gears (Wolsak & Wynn) and Warrener’s Hard Feelings (Snare Books). Besner’s The Id Kid (Signal Editions/Véhicule) followed in April 2011, with Hagen’s Kerosene (Nightwood Editions).

Date: Sept. 28, 2011
Time: 5 – 6:30 p.m.
Place: Green College Coach House

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Celebrate Science at UBC

Celebrate Science! A Festival of BC Science Writers for Kids and Teens will take place on Sept. 24 at UBC’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum. A fundraiser in support of the work of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, the event will appeal to teachers, teacher-librarians, student teachers, public librarians, child care workers and parents. 

The half-day program will feature Canadian writers and illustrators whose books and passion for science spans all ages. They’ll explore scientific topics with the audience and highlight a wide range of books available for youth. UBC’s University Librarian, Ingrid Parent, will open the event.

Date:    Sept. 24, 2011
Time:    8:30 am to 12:30 p.m.
Place:   Beaty Biodiversity Museum
Info:     http://www.bookcentre.ca/store/products/celebrate_science_a_festival_bc_science_writers_kids_teens

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