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This page describes further details of the interactions between the UBC Engineering Physics Project Lab (lab staff and associated faculty members), the Project Sponsors, and Student Groups, which take place during the academic year.  Note that the information below describes the general procedure undertaken by all 3 groups- as these are meant only as general procedures, individual projects may requireclarification and discussion in consultation with the respective student group and project sponsors, Project Lab Staff and the UBC University Industry Liaison Office (UILO)


Jump To:

1.  Project Initiation and Selection

2.  Project Communication

3.  Project Conclusion

4.  Disclosure of Information

5.  IP and Ownership



1.  Project Initiation

1.   Online Project Postings – Project descriptions are posted on the student course website. Students are able to review the postings to see which projects fit their interests and skills, and discuss with their classmates which projects are of shared interest. Project descriptions are generally written by the Project Sponsors, with assistance provided by the Project Lab Staff. As the number of posted projects generally exceeds the number of available student groups, project descriptions should have descriptions aimed at generating appropriate student interes and attracing their interests – descriptions of available resources, desired technical experience and interests, and final application of the project are all useful in presenting projects in the most informative and engaging way.

2. Sharing Project Postings with Other Departments Depending on the nature and specifics of the project, it may be be appropriate for students in other departments to work on the project as well.  Project postings have been shared in the past between Mechanical, Electrical, and Integrated Engineering for sharing with students taking capstone project courses in those departments.

2. Project Selection – General Procedure Projects are posted from late August until mid-September. Students submit their list of preferences to the Project Lab Staff, who will attempt to fit each student group with an appropriate Project Sponsor. As student groups are assigned to projects, each student group will contact the project sponsor to discuss the project. After the initial discussion, students and Project Sponsors then confirm with Project Lab Staff the commencement of the project.    Project Sponsors may explicitly request the Project Lab Staff to have direct contact with any or all student groups that have any interest in their project, in order to find the best fit for their project. Project Sponsors should indicate this to Project Lab Staff, and possibly include this request in the project write-ups.

3.  Multiple Student Groups Occasionally, multiple student groups will prefer the same project description and will be equally suited for the project; in these cases, the Project Sponsor may be asked to meet with the student groups, to either (a) select the most appropriate group; or (b) determine whether different aspects of the project can be taken on by each of the student groups, thus allowing multiple groups to work on the same project.

4.  Project Not Selected The majority of projects on the posted list do not get selected – for those projects and Project Sponsors, a few other options are avaialble:

  1. the availability of undergrad students to volunteer or work part-time on your project.
  2. posting the project with one of the other project courses in another department (e.g. Mechanical, Electrical, Integrated Engineering)
  3. editing or removing the posted project from the online webpage (the page is kept up for the year for recruitment/advertisement for next year)

5.  Proposals and Project Charters As the project gets underway, students will prepare a full Proposal describing the project and work plan for the term, as well as a Project Charter summarizing the work to be done and obligations on the part of both the students and project sponsors during the term. Items described in the Memo include:

a. Estimated cost and confirmed source of funds
b. Schedule of in-person or phone meetings during the term.
c. Project deliverables
d. Expected project wrap-up procedure (what happens to deliverables)

6.  Resources and Funding The Project Lab Staff has an internal budget for supporting all projects for technical expenses, components and equipment of ~$200 per project, with purchases made by the Project Lab Staff. Items exceeding this amount are either (a) to be funded by Project Sponsors, or (b) by Project Lab Staff, with the understanding that the items may remain property of the Project Lab. All purchases and arrangements should be described by students in the Memo of Understanding, and agreed to by the students, Project Sponsors and Project Lab Staff.   Expenses incurred during the term will be invoiced at the conclusion of each project.


2. Project Communication

1. In-person or Phone Meetings – It is desirable for the Student Group and Project Sponsor to have scheduled meetings either in person or over the phone. It is suggested that meetings are scheduled once every 2-4 weeks.   Student Groups are expected to generate and circulate a meeting agenda and meeting minutes for each meeting.

2. Electronic Weekly Reports – Student groups submit electronic weekly reports to the Project Lab staff, and are asked to email these reports to their project sponsors.

3.  Discussions with Project Lab Staff – Please contact the Project Lab Staff if there are any ongoing concerns with regard to the project group. Although the Project Lab Staff will receive all weekly report information, specific concerns with the project, available resources or the student group can be discussed at any point during the project.



3. Project Completion

1.  Written Final Reports – A written final report is submitted to the Project Lab staff for evaluation, and to the Project Sponsor as a record of the work done. Electronic and print copies of these reports are maintained by the Project Lab staff.

2.   Project Deliverables – All work produced by the student group (mechanical prototypes, electronics, software, items purchased during the project) should be dealt with according to the initial Project Charter.   This may include physical delivery of the final prototypes, circulation of project results, or documentation describing work to be done for the next iteration of the project.

3.   Project Completion Report – At the conclusion of the project, students are asked to submit a Project Completion Report to Project Sponsors for their review and approval, confirming the state of the project at the end of term. This procedure is meant to clarify the status of the project at the formal conclusion of project course, and to describe any further work to be done by either the project sponsor or student group.

4.   Feedback to Project Lab Staff – At the conclusion of the project, Project Sponsors will be asked to provide feedback on the project deliverables and final report back to the Project Lab Staff. Although this information is not required for evaluation purposes, it is valuable feedback to ensure that Project Lab Staff are aware of any ongoing issues, concerns or opportunities regarding each completed project.


4.  Disclosure of Information

Please consult the Project Lab Staff and/or UBC UILO to discuss any issues with regards to limiting the disclosure of information during the term.
1. Online Project Postings The project descriptions given on the open public student course website. For sponsors concerned about sharing information about their projects on an open public website, contact the Project Lab Staff to discuss other options, including:

a. Password-protected section – Any or all information about the project can be moved to a password-protected section of the website. The password will only be shared with students as part of the course, and can be removed once the project is selected. Project sponsors requesting password-protection will be combined into a single password-protected webpage. Other project sponsors will not be given the passwords to view the information.

b. Direct contact with students – Project Sponsors may prefer to post only a general description of the project suitable for posting to the public website, with instructions for interested students to contact the project sponsors directly to discuss further information.

2. Electronic Weekly Reports – Student groups submit electronic weekly reports to the Project Lab Staff, and are asked to email these reports to their project sponsors. These reports are password-protected, and are viewed only by the Project Lab Staff as a means of guiding the sponsors to completion.

3. In-Class Discussions – All student groups are expected to attend and participate in regular in-class discussions and oral updates on their projects. Project Sponsors may direct their Student Groups to limit the type of information shared during these regular class discussions in order to participate in these discussions.

4. Poster Session and Other Presentations – As part of the course, Student Groups may present their work at a Poster Session, or orally as part of a Project Lab events (e.g. a Formal Seminar Session for all groups, Project Fair for award-winning student groups). Although requests are made for attendees to pre-register for these events, attendees at these events consist of other project sponsors, Engphys alumni, UBC faculty members, or any other interested individuals. Project Sponsors with concerns about public disclosure should discuss with the Student Group and the Project Lab Staff to determine what information may be shared at these events, or requesting that the student group not participate in the event.

5. Non-Disclosure Agreements – Project Sponsors wishing to initiate a non-disclosure agreement should notify the Project Lab Staff, who will discuss arrangements in consultation with the UBC University Industry Liaison Office and the individual student group.   Although the mechanism exists, such agreements are rare, do not necessarily work well with the capstone project course format, and are typically not undertaken or recommended for Project Lab Staff, Faculty, or students.


5.  IP and Ownership

The Engineering Physics Project Lab operates under the guidelines for “Undergraduate Engineering Student Projects”, as described by the UBC University Industry Liaison Office:


A summary of some of the information contained in greater detail above:

  1. Project Sponsors: The project sponsor is the owner of the intellectual property which defines the basic concepts of the project.  All Projects submitted to the Engineering Physics Project Lab will originate from:
    1. Industry (including Institutions and Governments)
    2. the University (including faculty members in various departments)
    3. students in the Project Lab
  2. Initial IP: Ownership of intellectual property resides with the project sponsor who provides the original information. At the start of a project, a precise statement of the known concepts, the proprietary information, and the status of development must be agreed to by all participants in the project. This statement describes the intellectual property which can be claimed by the project sponsor.
  3. IP Developed During the Project: As the Projects involve problems identified by the Company and are based on only company intellectual property, all results, data, inventions, improvements and discoveries arising from the Projects (“IP”) will belong to the Company.  If applicable, the Students will be required to assign all rights to IP to the Company at the Company’s expense.
  4. Non-exclusive License to Use Intellectual Property – UBC and the Students will have a non-exclusive, royalty-free, right to use IP solely for academic and research purposes for the duration of the Project.
  5. Non-Disclosure Agreements – The Engineering Physics Project Laboratory and the students directly involved in a project agree to protect the intellectual property provided by the project sponsor and any new developments which arise from the project work.  It is expected that the Company will not provide any Company confidential information to the Students who will work on the Projects under the direction of their Faculty Supervisor.   In the event that confidential information will be provided by the Company, UBC’s standard confidentiality agreement may be used.  Although the mechanism exists, such agreements are rare, do not necessarily work well with the capstone project course format, and are typically not undertaken or recommended for Project Lab Staff, Faculty, or students.
  6. Warranty and Disclaimer – The Project is of an experimental and exploratory nature and no particular results can be guaranteed by UBC or the Student Groups.   Project Sponsors must undertake its own due diligence with respect to all matters arising from the projects.   UBC and the Student Groups make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, with respect to the data or other results arising from the Project.  UBC and Student specifically disclaim any implied warranty of non-infringement or merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose and will in no event be liable for any loss of profits, be they direct, consequential, incidental, or special or other similar or like damages arising from any defect, error or failure to perform, even if UBC or the Student Groups have been advised of the possibility of such damages.


Last Revision: 2012 July 31