Recipients 2015

Since its launch in 2011, the PDF Travel Awards have helped many UBC PDFs attend conferences to present their work, enriching their PDF experience and helping anchor them within the academic world. Please read below to find out more about past award recipients.

PDFO Travel Awards awarded in 2015:

Name Department/Faculty Conference - Date Attended Location
Quarter 1:      
Suresha Mahadeva Mechanical Engineering, Applied Science 28th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electric Mechanical Systems (MEMS) - January 2015 Estoril, Portugal
Emanuele Sacchi Civil Engineering, Applied Science Transportation Research Board (TRB) 94th Annual Meeting - January 2015 Washington D.C., USA
Rachel Severson Psychology, Arts Society for Research in Child Development - March 2015 Philadelphia, PA, USA
Quarter 2:      
Masahiro Minami Educational & Counselling Psychology & Special Education, Education Canadian Psychological Association's 76th Annual Convention - June 2015 Ottawa, ON, Canada
Ben Steichen School of Library, Information, and Archival Studies, Arts ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - April 2015 Seoul, South Korea
Quarter 3:      
Ryan Peters Kinesiology, Education 2015 International Society for Posture and Gait Research World Congress - July 2015 Seville, Spain
Quarter 4:      
Noriko Yamane Linguistics, Arts Ultrafest Hong Kong, China

Lijun Yang

Chemical & Biological Engineering, Applied Science

International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies (PACIFICHEM 2015)

Honolulu, HI

2015 Quarter 1 Recipients:

Dr. Suresha Mahadeva

28th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electric Mechanical Systems (MEMS) - January 2015

The 28th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (IEEE MEMS-2015) conference (held at Estoril Congress Centre in Estoril, Protugal) included talks and poster presentation on numerous topics of MEMS and NEMS.

The Conference was well attended; many prominent researchers working in the field of MEMS, sensing technology, and material science were present from around the world. The conference kicks off with ‘Opening and Welcome’ address by Jürgen Brugger, EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland and invited planary talk on “The Long Path from MEMS Resonators to Timing Products” by Thomas W Kennady of Stanford University, USA that highlighted key milestones in technological developments and commercialization of MEMS resonators. Also, I attended several interesting talk on Synthetic microfluidic paper, Pneumatic balloon actuator, Ionic liquid-polymer composite, and surface acoustic waves propagation using piezoresistive cantilever array, to mention a few. My poster received very good response and interest from the participants, and more than 50 researchers have stop by my poster. A professor from University of Freiburg-IMTEK, Germany offered suggestions on fabrication of electrode and microstructures on piezoelectric paper. Also, I had fruitful discussion with some of prominent researchers about application of piezoelectric paper for sensing applications.

Beside oral and poster presentations, there was an exhibition from the different companies that designed and developed high precision equipments required for MEMS/NEMS research. Overall as a postdoctoral research fellow, it was a very enriching experience for me to attend this conference.

Finally, I would like to thank my supervisor Prof. Boris Stoeber for giving me an opportunity to attend and present my research at IEEE MEMS-2015 conference. Also, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Postdoctoral Fellows Office (PDFO), and UBC PD Funding programs for the financial support.

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Dr. Emanuele Sacchi

Transportation Research Board (TRB) 94th Annual Meeting - January 2015

The TRB - Transportation Research Board - Annual Meeting is the most prestigious conference in transportation engineering and covers all transportation modes (highway, rail, freight, water, and air), with more than 5,000 presentations in nearly 750 sessions. The TRB 94th Annual Meeting was held in Washington, D.C., January 11-15, 2015, at its new venue, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The conference attracted more than 12,000 transportation professionals from around the world. It was a unique opportunity to interact with international professionals; academic researchers; professors; and students. A large number of TRB Annual Meeting sessions were organized around peer reviewed research papers while others were organized around a particular topic of current interest for which individuals were invited to make a presentation. It is very competitive to get a paper accepted at the “peer reviewed research paper” sessions. My two papers were accepted for presentation and one of them is currently under re-review for possible publication in the Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board (TRR Journal). The two papers were scheduled in two different “Meet the Author” Poster Sessions. Poster presentations of peer-reviewed research papers represented a unique opportunity to learn about current research and talk with authors about their approach and findings. In general, the experience was fruitful as I had the opportunity to get feedback from experts in the domain. I also had several opportunities to attend research meetings related among others to road safety research, traffic operations and highway geometric design

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Dr. Rachel Severson

Society for Research in Child Development - March 2015

The Bi-ennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development is the pre-eminent conference in the field of Developmental Psychology. As such, it is a rich and important opportunity to present research and gain feedback from other scholars; learn about current research in the field; and to develop professional relationships and collaborations.  The PDF Travel Award afforded me the opportunity to present our recent research on two topics -- 'Selective Social Learning' and 'Anthropomorphism'. I had the distinct privilege of chairing the two symposia in which I presented these two papers, which provided the additional benefit and experience of framing the symposia topics and inviting the researchers/papers included therein. Such opportunities are incredibly valuable at this stage in my career in terms of professional development and situating my work and research program within the field. Some of the benefits are immediate (e.g., following my conference presentation, I received an invitation to present my work as part of a speaker series at Brown University) and others are realized at a future time (e.g., fruitful collaborations). Moreover, I learned about cutting-edge research relevant to my own work as well as other areas that broadened my knowledge in the field.

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2015 Quarter 2 Recipients:

Dr. Masahiro Minami

Canadian Psychological Association's 76th Annual Convention - June 2015

This conference is the annual summit for professionals and students engaged in research and clinical works in psychology in Canada. Professionals from a total of 34 sections of psychology and students attended the conference in Ottawa this year. This conference covered a wide range of topics related to the field of psychology and offered a rich choice of lectures, workshops, keynotes, symposium, paper and poster presentations to attend. In addition to the (Counselling Psychology) section I belong to and the symposium I presented in, I was given a plenty of opportunities to join programs hosted by other sections. I was able to attended section presentations related specifically to my research project and to learn further about the related areas to gain applicable knowledge to my own research project. I was able to also seize many moments to connect with professionals working in other areas of research but specifically related to aspects of my own research. Some of the specific topics of presentations I attended include, (a) multimodal pathway explanation/model of the aetiology of chronic depression, (b) prevention and intervention with home grown terrorism, (c) global projects in counselling psychology, (d) traumatic stress and experimental psychological modeling of the aetiology.  

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Dr. Ben Steichen

ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - April 2015

The CHI conference attracts the world’s leading researchers and practitioners in the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) from businesses and universities to share ground-breaking research and innovations related to how humans interact with digital technologies. Being able to participate in this conference allowed me to share my research on Multilingual Web Access with the wider CHI community, to receive valuable feedback for my research, as well as to learn and discuss the latest trends and technologies from various aspects of Human-Computer Interaction. I enjoyed attending various talks, courses, panels, and exhibitions, which have inspired new research directions for my future research. In addition, one of the most important aspects of the CHI conference is the ability to network with leading researchers in the field, and establishing valuable contacts for future collaborations, both from academia and industry.

This year's CHI was the first conference held in Asia, and there were many attendees from Asian institutions. Given my research on Multilingual Web Access, this was particularly valuable and enabled me to share and discuss ideas regarding multilingualism and multilingual techniques with a wide variety of researchers who have an interest in this area. I highly recommend the conference, and am looking forward to the next conference in 2016.

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2015 Quarter 3 Recipients:

Dr. Ryan Peters

2015 International Society for Posture and Gait Research World Congress - July 2015

The 2015 International Society for Posture and Gait Research World Congress was excellent this year. I got the chance to rub shoulders with several big-name researchers, making this a great chance to network as I prepare for the transition from post-doctoral fellow to faculty member; the connections I made at this meeting will serve me well as I search for potential employers.

My oral presentation was strong. The session was well attended (approximately 100 to 150 in attendance). I received excellent feedback afterwards from prominent scientists in my field. I was able to address all questions directed towards me, leaving those individuals satisfied with my responses. I also received praise from audience members afterwards, some of whom I had never met before. All in all, my first oral presentation at an international conference was an extremely positive experience.

The conference was held in the beautiful city of Seville, Spain. This region of Spain is very rich in culture and history. With architecture dating back over half a millennium, there is an old Spanish feel to the city. Seville also has a history of flamenco dancers, and is the birthplace of many famous opera numbers (figaro, figaro, figaro!). I quite enjoyed the food, which consisted mainly of small, but tasty tapas dishes including paella, calamari, cured meats, fresh bread, and aged cheeses. The weather was very hot as the region was experiencing a heat wave (peak temperature was 47 deg C the day we arrived!). I had not experienced heat like this before - it is completely understandable why the city comes to life after the sun goes down.

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2015 Quarter 4 Recipients:

Dr. Noriko Yamane

Ultrafest - December 2015

Ultrafest is an occasional conference which focuses on the use of ultrasound in speech research. I attended Ultrafest VII, held at the University of Hong Kong, where my co-investigator Phil Howson and I presented our paper “Taps vs. Palatalized Taps in Japanese” which argue for a new dynamic analysis of the tongue movement of those challenging. I also presented a poster on “Ultrasound-Integrated Pronunciation Teaching and Learning” (N. Yamane, J. Abel, B. Allen, S. Burton, M. Kazama, M. Noguchi, A. Tsuda, and B. Gick), explaining the creation of ultrasound overlay videos for use in Linguistics and Japanese courses at UBC. [Both studies have been funded by UBC’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund.] Both received good questions and suggestions from participants: use of high-speed ultrasound and/or m-mode, cross-linguistic difference among taps, diachronic changes of Japanese palatalized sounds, the potential application of the ultrasound overlay to students at dental sciences, etc. It was great to have attended at keynote speakers’ presentations, one of which disseminated 3D ultrasound analysis to solve the long-standing issues of unclear edges of tongue. I was also able to expand my research network and discuss future collaboration. None of this would have been possible without the aid of the PDFO.

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Dr. Lijun Yang

International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies (PACIFICHEM 2015) - December 2015

Thanks to the support from PDF Travel Award of Postdoctoral Fellows Office in UBC and Mitacs PDF fellowship, I had an opportunity to attend and present my poster in 2015 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies (PACIFICHEM 2015). The congress contains series of chemistry-related meetings and takes place in Honolulu, Hawaii every five years, this one was the seventh conference. The theme of PACIFICHEM 2015 was Networking-Building Bridges across the Pacific. The 5-day conference had 334 symposia and a total of 1,493 oral and poster sessions, which attracted more than 18,000 professionals from the world. I enjoyed the presentations in the topic of “Chemistry of Clean Energy Conversion, Storage & Production”. They brought many inspirations to my research works in UBC. I had fruitful talks with the attendees during break time and got intriguing ideas about apply multi-discipline thoughts into our research field. My poster about scale-up core shell electro catalyst for PEM fuel cell application received a good feedback and initiated more discussions. I explained my experimental designs and the resolutions to the professors and students. Some researchers from industrial companies showed their intests in my work and gave me helpful suggestions relate to applications. One unforgettable thing to mention is a book called “Disappearing Spoon”, introduced in Opening Ceremony. It was about the periodic table and related stories of every single element in the table. It showed the discovery passions of chemists and reminded us that chemistry is actually in our everyday life. Attending PACIFICHEM 2015 was a great experience for me, and I believe it did bring some guidance to my research and helped to build networks for my future career. Finally, I would like to give my thanks to my supervisor Elod Gyenge, Siyu Ye and dear colleague Dustin Banham in helping my research work development.

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