UBC MEL MHLP Professional Leadership Master Degrees

High Performance Buildings – Stanley Wang

Alumnus Story - Stanley Wang

High Performance Buildings – Stanley Wang

Shuoqi (Stanley) Wang spent more than a decade at the University of Washington, doing his master’s and PhD in industrial engineering, followed by a post-doctoral position. In this role, he worked alongside his supervisor, an architect who was researching green buildings and indoor air quality.

“Among other things, I studied buildings that were being retrofitted. This included qualitative surveys of occupants, as well as measurements of air quality, acoustics and lighting. Some of this documentation was used to support obtaining various building certifications and others were to contribute to the development of prediction models.”

Stanley was looking for a program where he could build on his field experience and apply his expertise in data analytics to advance environmental and air quality goals.

“The MEL in High Performance Buildings seemed to offer a good combination of courses. I liked that it was not solely focused on architecture, design or mechanical systems but instead offered a broad coverage of all these topics,” he says.

A curriculum that integrates technical and business knowledge

The MEL in High Performance Buildings includes courses on green building design, energy modelling, energy systems and regenerative development.

For Stanley, the two energy modelling courses were extremely useful, covering relevant industry-focused content and equipping students with tools and techniques to model energy use in a building. Learning how to use new software tools and gaining familiarity with BC building codes was relevant and practical.

Students complete a capstone project where they are paired with an industry sponsor to improve the efficiency of a building. Stanley’s group worked with a company designing a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in the US and was tasked with proposing recommendations for the second design phase.

Just like how the building industry uses integrated design teams to come up with sustainable solutions, Stanley’s team was composed of members from various disciplines including architecture, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. After completing a detailed energy model, the group offered the client concrete suggestions on how to improve energy efficiency, ranging from choosing geothermal options instead of heat pumps and proposing the use of green walls and low carbon materials.

“This was a valuable opportunity to learn new business concepts, practise my communication skills and gain confidence in areas that were new to me.”

Half of the courses in the MEL in High Performance Buildings focus on business and leadership, bringing together students from all MEL programs as well as those from the Master of Health Leadership and Policy. These are highly interactive, discussion-based courses that require students to deliver presentations and writing assignments.

An internship as a Sustainability Scholar

Stanley applied for the UBC Sustainability Scholars Program, which matches UBC graduate students with partner organizations to work on sustainability projects. He was selected to work with Vancouver Coastal Health on a project to reduce HVAC energy consumption and improve indoor air quality in health-care facilities.

After graduating in December, his program mentor reached out to let him know there was an opening on the team and that he should consider applying for the position.

Working as an energy specialist

Stanley is now working as an Energy Specialist with Vancouver Coastal Health, responsible for conducting audits, assessing energy efficiency and managing energy data. This involves collecting and comparing energy consumption data for all buildings owned or leased by Vancouver Coastal Health and then submitting this data to the provincial government to meet reporting requirements.

His job also includes working with FortisBC, with whom the organization has agreements in place to achieve annual natural gas savings through energy-efficiency projects.

“In this role I work with facilities staff, as well as external consultants who have prepared studies showing the expected cost savings, reduction in natural gas use and payback period. Part of my role is to facilitate this work and make sure the projects are performing as expected.”

Looking back on his year at UBC, Stanley says the MEL gave him a definite advantage as he made the successful transition to a career in Canada. Exposure to energy modelling, the practical experience from the Sustainability Scholars Program, learning key business concepts and gaining confidence as a leader all enabled him to find a position where he’s thriving.

He also mentions that while the year was a lot of work, it was also a lot of fun.

All the students were very friendly and active,” he says. “The student committees organized a lot of different events over the year, and everyone encouraged you to come out and participate in all sorts of activities, from the spring potluck to a Mind Spark Talk, from walks along Kits Beach to the Diwali dinner party. And of course, the fun-filled and unforgettable Graduation Gala!

Take the steps to join the next cohort of engineering leaders. If you haven’t already, assess your eligibility and sign up for the upcoming information session to learn how to submit a strong application. Learn more about this innovative master’s program: