Recipients 2017

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.


Department, Faculty

Conference - Date Attended


Quarter 1:      
Dr. Lenka Kuglerova Forest and Conservation Science, Forestry

Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) - February 2017

Honolulu, HI

Dr. Amir Sharafian Mechanical Engineering, Applied Science Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV) Global Conference 2017 Rotterdam, Netherlands
Quarter 2:      
Dr. Hélène Frohard-Dourlent School of Nursing, Applied Science Annual Meeting of the Canadian Sociological Association Toronto, ON
Dr. Eric Guiry Anthropology, Arts UK Archaeological Science Conference London, England
Quarter 3:      
Dr. Logan Fletcher Philosophy, Arts Varieties of Knowing How Essen, Germany 
Dr. Sadana  Karannagoda Gamge Civil Engineering, Applied Science 19th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ICSMGE) Seoul, South Korea
Dr. Johannes Reiner Civil Engineering, Applied Science ECCOMAS Thematic Conference on the Mechanical Response of Composites Eindhoven, Netherlands
Quarter 4:      
Dr. Desiree Seib Psychology, Arts 16th Annual Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society Symposium and the 47th Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting 2017 Washington D.C., USA
2017 Q1

Dr. Lenka Kuglerova

Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) - February 2017

The biennial ALSO (The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography) meeting is one of the largest meetings, addressing water issues and promoting scientific exchange across the freshwater and marine continuum. Many international researchers from around the world attended this meeting which gave me a great opportunity to interact and promote my own research as well as the research infrastructure (Malcolm Knapp research forest). In my research I address various aspects of freshwater ecology, hydrology and biogeochemistry and in my poster presentation I focused on invasive species ecology.

During the meeting, I attended many oral presentations with focus on invasive ecology (my poster) as well as other stream ecology and hydrology related issues. I interacted with the key senior researchers in the field as well as help in the mentor-mentee program to be a mentor for undergraduate and graduate students. During my poster presentation, I have received valuable feedback on my work and discuss the implications of the invasive species ecology with numerous professors, postdoctoral fellows and students. I consider the meeting very successful in my professional career because I established new connection and possibilities for future collaborations.

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Dr. Amir Sharafian 

Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV) Global Conference 2017 - March 2017 

The NGV GLOBAL 2017 is the largest conference held annually to bring researchers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and stakeholders across the natural gas supply chain to discuss current trends, development, innovations and challenges for the industry. The main focus of the conference was on marine as a growing area for natural gas in transportation as well as small scale liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG), and the benefits of natural gas in transportation.

My research on LNG storage and distribution for Canadian heavy-duty vehicles received significant attentions from researchers, such as the GREET team in the U.S. Argonne National Laboratory, engine manufacturers, such as Westport fuel systems and Cummins Engines, and fuel suppliers, such as Chart Industries. Attending this conference gave me a unique opportunity to expand my professional network with researchers and manufacturers in Europe, East Asia, and North America. Other main outcomes were: i) exchanging information with the team involved in preparation of the first ISO standards for LNG and CNG refueling stations, ii) talking to International Gas Union’s rep (based in Toronto, Canada) on problems with methane emissions, and iii) being familiar with the European NGV association and its recent effort on quantifying well-to-wheel methane emissions in Europe for transportation.

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2017 Q2

Dr. Hélène Frohard-Dourlent

Annual Meeting of the Canadian Sociological Association - May 2017

I feel forunate to have been able to attend and present my work at the Annual meeting of the Canadian Sociological Association as part of Congress. Congress is an energizing conference to attend because it features multi-disciplinary events and it is an opportunity to meet people who come from the same disciplinary background as well as people from a variety of other fields of study. As someone who has always worked across disciplines, I appreciated the opportunity to speak about my paper to people who also do research with and about transgender youth and come from sociology but also education or public health. The paper was well-received and I am already working on revisions based on conversations and thoughts sparked by the conference. I also got to attend a variety of events, such as a lecture on environmental sustainability, a roundtable on Indigenous/settler relations, and a panel on transgender children. Regardless of whether they are closely connected to my current research or not, all these events are pushing me to think in more complex ways about the world that we live in, and will impact the way I approach my work and my research.

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 Dr. Eric Guiry

UK Archaeological Science Conference - April 2017

The 2017 UK Archaeological Science Conference (UKAS) at the University College London attracted over 190 delegates from 25 countries and wide range of archaeological science disciplines including archaeobotany, archaeozoology, radiocarbon dating, ancient DNA and other bimolecular sciences. As such, the UKAS provided an exceptional venue to showcase some of the innovative ongoing research at the Archaeological Chemistry Laboratory in UBC’s Department of Anthropology. I presented a poster on how we can use chemical analyses of archaeological fish bones to better understand the historical ecology of the North American Great Lakes. This presentation sought to highlight some of the immense potential for stable isotope applications in archaeology to help inform modern ecosystem conservation management and restoration practices through developing a more nuanced baseline for how environments respond to long term human impacts such as pollution and climate change. My presentation was very well received and provided several excellent opportunities to engage in conversation with top researchers in adjacent fields, some of which are expected to lead to productive new collaborations with scholars in Europe and North America.      

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2017 Q3

 Dr. Logan Fletcher 

Varieties of Knowing How - July 2017

Thanks to the funding provided by the PDF Travel Award, I was able to travel to Essen, Germany to attend and present at the conference Varieties of Knowing How, organized by Insa Lawler and Raphael van Riel of the University of Duisberg-Essen. This two-day workshop brought together philosophers approaching the related phenomena of ‘knowing how’ and ‘knowing why’ from a variety of perspectives. I found the conference to be very successful at striking a healthy balance between having a focused topic (so that participants were genuinely interested in engaging each other’s ideas) while at the same time incorporating a diverse range of theoretical orientations (thereby avoiding redundancy). The atmosphere was collegial and friendly. In short it exemplified what such a ‘special topic’ workshop can be in the best case. I received a number of helpful comments on my own presentation, both in the question-and-answer period, as well as informally, at the lunches and dinners. I am sure this feedback will be useful in preparing this work for publication. I found the other presentations to be engaging and relevant to my own work. In addition, I had the opportunity to make contact with a number of established and early-career scholars.

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Dr. Sadana Karannagoda Gamge

19th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ICSMGE) - September 2017

The 19th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering  (ICSMGE) was held in Seoul, South Korea from 16th to 22nd September 2017. The conference comprised with ISSMGE (International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering) honors lectures, discussion sessions and workshops under several technical topics followed by a technical visit.

The conference brought together more than 1000 leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. It provided a premier interdisciplinary platform for participants to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. Therefore, the participation to the conference provided me a valuable opportunity to enhance my knowledge and widen the perception on the latest research findings and development in the field of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering. This led me gaining a valuable learning experience.

Also, it turned out to be an excellent opportunity to gather together, interact and exchange their findings and views during discussion sessions, workshops, coffee breaks and conference dinner. Consequently, it became an opportunity for me to meet number of leading academics and highly qualified professionals from different countries who have similar research interests to further exploration of interested research problems and shearing of research experiences.

The paper I submitted to the conference had been allocated to the technical discussion session (oral presentation) “Earthquake and related matters”.  It was received successfully by more than 100 attendees of academic researchers and experts, providing me a good opportunity to disseminate our research findings at UBC Pipeline Integrity Institute (PII)   with researchers all around the world to increase the visibility of research and also to provide interested individuals with more information. 

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Dr. Johannes Reiner

ECCOMAS Thematic Conference on the Mechanical Response of Composites - September 2017

The ECCOMAS Thematic Conference on the Mechanical Response of Composites is held every two years and brings together internationally leading researchers in the field of computational modelling of composites.

I felt honored to present first results of the currently established collaboration between the UBC Composites Research Network and the German Aerospace Center. We are aiming to provide a robust methodology and practical guidelines in order to numerically predict the structural response of fibre reinforced composites used in automotive or aerospace applications.

The oral presentation was well received and let to a number of interesting follow-up discussions and exchange of ideas with highly regarded researchers. With some of the attendees, we are currently discussing how new partnerships can be initiated with the UBC Composites Research Network. In addition, the collaborative work with the German Aerospace Center will continue and we are planning to publish an extension of the conference talk in a high-impact journal.

More importantly, the conference helped to expand my professional network and to collect new ideas for future research directions.

Knowing the current trends in the field and research interests of leading academic institutions will certainly help in my development as early-career postdoctoral fellow at UBC.

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2017 Q4

Dr. Desiree Seib 

16th Annual Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society Symposium and the 47th Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting 2017 - November 2017

I presented my work at the 2017 MCCS and SfN conferences, seeking exchange with the scientific community in order to publicize my work, get feedback from peers and become known by fellow scientists. Additionally, I was able to get an update on the latest unpublished findings in my filed. Both conferences were very successful from my point of view. I was able to expand my scientific network, first, by getting introduced to leading scientists, second, by meeting colleagues during my poster presentation, getting positive feedback on my data from experts in the field, and third, by visiting posters from peers and being able to implement their findings on my own projects in the future. In addition, I had the opportunity to connect with collaborators in person and discuss methods we use in the lab and expand my knowledge on our models. Furthermore, I spoke to scientific journalists, who plan to report on our findings online, which will increase knowledge transfer to and engagement with the public. All in all, the conference actively promoted broadening the scope of my research, increased my scientific network, and helped to guide towards publishing my work.

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