MEL in Urban Systems Advisory Committee Event
On April 12, the Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in Urban Systems program hosted their annual advisory committee event, which was attended by the advisory committee and a selection of current students.
The meeting included an overview of the degree program, its overreaching goals and concepts, as well as results of student projects and discussions on the future goals and evolution of this specialized master’s program. Dr. Martino Tran, MEL in URSY program’s co-director, introduced Dr. Susan Nesbit, Professor of Teaching at UBC’s Department of Civil Engineering and the new co-director of the MEL in Urban Systems, who familiarized the group with her research area and delivered a lecture on “Sustainability Disruptions in Engineering Education.”
The event was followed by presentations of three student projects — all in collaboration with the City of New Westminster. The first project, Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Strategy, suggested the installation of charging station locations for EVs for the City of New Westminster. The team members (Andrew O. Egbase, Page Kim, Edward Yana and Manoj Sharma) proposed base policies, technology, cases and reviewed potential partnerships to propose three locations. Furthermore, the team gave an outlook into the future with wireless charging for EVs and a Vehicle-to-grid technology.
The second team (Nathali Kip, Jaime San Roman, Sam Starr, Huan Wang and Xiaohan Zhang) focused on Smart Meter Development Strategy for the City of New Westminster, highlighting the benefits of smart meters for the citizens and reviewing case studies — in particular, the need for community consultation to gain public buy in for the new technology. The team derived recommendations for an opt-out-policy and to align the smart meter strategy with the Official Community Plan (OCP) and Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP) and policies.
Members of the third group (Amy Z. Lu, Nikita Bhalla, Andrew McLeod and Colin Jeffrey) presented their project, Deployment of Public Wi-Fi: Hubs for Citizen Engagement. By demonstrating the growth of Facebook and LinkedIn followers of the City of Vancouver, the team underlined the benefits of providing a free city-Wi-Fi: an increased engagement of citizens with the city. The team discussed technology requirements and mapped out a project plan to implement five hotspots.
The event closed with an evening reception to celebrate the completion of the projects and to provide networking opportunities for the students.