UBC Engineering’s world-class faculty and researchers are committed to an instructional approach that is varied, experiential and engaging. This multi-faceted approach makes UBC engineers stand apart, on a firm foundation from which to build an exciting and rewarding career.

What you might expect/course format

While each course varies based on the subject and instructor, our VSP Packages feature:

  • Interactive in person lectures
  • Hands-on labs, fun and practical demonstrations
  • Team-based assignments
  • Fun social activities

July 2024 Course Packages

Introduction to Robotics

Introduction to Robotics will provide an overview of common robotic devices and their classifications, and discuss industrial and home robotics applications. Major technical challenges in robotics will be considered, including dynamics related to trajectory and path planning. Through lectures, group activities, and hands-on lab work, students will explore both how robots sense their surroundings and gather information, and how they can interact with their environment. This course is technical in nature and will include a hands-on component. It is oriented towards science and engineering students but no experience in robotics is required. However, an understanding of high-school trigonometry is required in order to follow the material, and familiarity with programming is encouraged.

Roboethics: Ethical Challenges in Automation and AI

This seminar-style course will provide students with an awareness of the current state of thinking of the design of robots that are meant to co-exist with people (service, therapy, military, sentry, etc.).  The course will provide insight into how sociology, psychology, law, literature and design can contribute knowledge to arrive at a safe and effective co-existence between humans and machines that have some autonomy from their computational intelligence, i.e., robots.  The course will examine the taxonomy of collaborative robots, the underpinnings of bioethics applied to technology, and several controversial robot application areas.

Prerequisites: Preferred background in Engineering or related discipline. Undergraduate applicants only. Due to the technical components, an understanding of high-school trigonometry is required in order to follow the material, and familiarity with programming is encouraged.

Graduate (Master/PhD) Students: Not accepted

May 8, 2024: This course package has been canceled for VSP 2024. If you have applied to this course package, you should have received an email with the instructions to proceed with your application. If you have any questions about the cancellation, please email vsp.applications@ubc.ca.

Introduction to Fluid Mechanics for Vehicle Applications

What makes a 100,000 ton steel cargo ship float, without rolling over? Why are all modern sedans essentially the same shape, and why are Formula 1 race cars shaped completely differently? How do planes fly? The answers to these questions require an understanding of fluid mechanics. This course introduces the fundamentals and basic transportation applications of fluid mechanics, from nautical to aerospace. Topics covered will include fluid properties; hydrostatics (why boats float); and the application of Newton’s Second Law of Motion to fluid systems (related to how planes fly and race cars corner so fast). You’ll learn how fluids flow around objects, and how the interaction between the flow and the object creates forces – including lift and drag – on the object. Finally, you’ll learn how to design and interpret scale-model experiments and how those can be applied to real-world transportation vehicles.

Impact and Policy Challenges for Transportation Systems

While transportation connects the world economically, politically and socially, it is also a major contributor to climate change and air pollution around the globe. How do we enhance the access transportation gives us while curbing emissions that harm planetary and human health? Can an understanding of the environmental impact of transportation technologies allow us to design more sustainable systems, infrastructure and policies? This course will address these issues with a focus on transportation emissions and energy sources, as well as engaging some of the system-level energy challenges presented by emerging technologies like electrification or hydrogen, examining how the technology we design today impacts our future.

Prerequisites: Preferred background in Engineering or related discipline. Undergraduate applicants only.

Graduate (Master/PhD) Students: Not accepted

For more information

For questions about VSP Mechanical Engineering packages, email vsp@mech.ubc.ca or call (+1) 604-822-6584.

Student testimonials

‘”Frankly, VSP is overall a great summer program in North America. Life in Vancouver doesn’t’ stand still. The teaching quality are assured by the polished staff and support. The patient, proficient, and accessible support and mentors are second to none. I am very passionate about being able to having a wonderful campus life in UBC. My computer science background helped me to solve problems with my teammates in a pleasant way.

…the course instructors are so approachable and available to answer questions at any time even late night. I built unforgettable friendship with my classmates and instructors. Apart from coursework, I had much spare time to discover Vancouver and its surroundings.”

– Ruiyu Gao, VSP Applied Science Student