Envision Blog

Showcasing learnings and experiences from the UBC Envision team

08 September 2020

1 min read

Outlooks for the 2020 School Year

Here’s a warm welcome from UBC Envision to all students returning back to school. Due to the current pandemic, UBC will be operating very differently this year. With classes shifting online, all faculties and programs from arts and music to computer science and engineering have been affected. The student experience here at UBC will be entirely different, particularly with engineering design teams and projects. With an online format for meetings...

03 February 2020

4 mins read

UBC Chem-E-Car: February 2020 Update

The UBC Chem-E-Car team has been working hard to build two cars for the 2020 AIChE Chem-E-Car Regionals. Our returning members and new recruits have been testing batteries, developing stopping mechanisms and designing 3D CAD models. Read on to learn about what each sub-team is doing for our cars, Van Diesel and Lightning McCHBE!

05 January 2019

3 mins read

2018: A year in Review

The year of 2018 has been a big year of growth and development for Envision. During the year, we have further developed some of our projects with new branding and membership. Algae Bio-fuels has successfully rebranded to Green Joule and ChBeer has rebranded itself to BIoT, on the way to attracting even more members and gaining even more sponsorship support for this upcoming 2019. Envision has also given rise to...

10 November 2018

4 mins read

How Do We Grow the Algae?

C. Vulgaris needs what every plant needs to grow: food, light, CO2, and space. We are working to optimize these variables to achieve the maximum algae growth per unit volume- a key hurdle in commercializing algae biofuels.

14 October 2018

3 mins read

The Bubble-T Battery - Zn-Tapioca-Air

The Zinc-Air battery is the power source for the Vancruiser, UBC’s Chem-E-Car. Zinc-air batteries are similar to conventional cells as they generate power from a chemical reaction. In the case of the Vancruiser, the Zinc-Air battery powers 2 DC motors of a rating of 12V each.

13 October 2018

5 mins read

Setup a Raspberry Pi from Scratch [Part 3]

Setup a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B or B+ from Scratch (For Stretch OS) [Part 3]

06 October 2018

1 min read

2018 and Beyond; The Current State of BIoT

2018 Kick-Off The BIoT team is kicking off the year strong, taking on 8 new recruits who are eager to put their skills to the test and create some kick-ass beer! Our first batch of the year was a success, we created another one of our specialty belgian blondes using Magnum, Mt. Hood, and Citra hops. After pitching the yeast we had some issues with it fully attenuating so we...

29 September 2018

15 mins read

Quick Data Analysis with Python

In this post we are going to talk about how to quickly and easily analyze data with Python. Specifically this will show you how to import and export data from CSV’s (comma seperated variables) into Python. Note that this post is a work in progress and information will continue to be updated.

29 September 2018

3 mins read

Possibilities in Improving Bioethanol Production from Microalgae

The demand for renewable energy has dramatically increased with the population outburst and need for motorized transportation. Microalgal biomass is a source of green fuel that is gaining momentum; it is also known as the third generation of biofuel. Microalgae are great alternatives to other renewable energy because of their capability to convert unusable energy in the environment to useful fuel in large fuel concentration to biomass ratio. In addition,...

09 September 2018

3 mins read

The Black Box

Learn out about the Junior Chem-E-Car team’s car from the 2018 AIChE Pacific Northwest Regional Conference at Montana State University!

25 August 2018

5 mins read

Working With Raspberry Pi [Part 2]

Setting Up a Raspberry Pi for the First Time. You will need a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, a MicroSD, an HDMI cord, a monitor (with an HDMI input), a keyboard and a mouse.

20 August 2018

2 mins read

BioT: New Name, Same Aim

What’s brewing? How process control and the Internet of Things could spell large potential for biological processes.

11 August 2018

2 mins read

The Importance of Algae Biofuels

Learn about the motives and goals of the Green Joule project and how their work can potentially benefit the industry!

04 August 2018

5 mins read

Meet the Vancruiser

Learn out about the Senior Chem-E-Car team’s winning car from the 2018 AIChE Pacific Northwest Regional Conference at Montana State University!

03 March 2018

3 mins read

Working With Raspberry Pi [Part 1]

How to work with Raspberry Pi’s and what an SoC is! This is Part 1 of a blog series where we will discuss working with Raspberry Pi’s and various types of sensors used in the CHBeer project.

31 January 2018

3 mins read

The Ins and Outs of Writing a Good Abstract

Introduction Creating a lab report can be an extremely arduous process; it requires patience, critical thinking, and varying degrees of technical skills. However, sometimes it can be one little 300-word paragraph that proves to be the most difficult part of this entire process. Yes, I am talking about the abstract. It’s not always easy providing such a concise summary for a research report that may be several pages long, and...

01 January 2018

2 mins read

2017: A Review

With 2018 ahead, we at Envision are taking time to look back at our achievements and give thanks for the support from our university, our sponsors and our brilliant team members for helping us achieve a spectacular inaugural year for the organization.

24 December 2017

8 mins read

BREW 101: An Introduction to Brewing

The semester is over and two successful batches have taken place; The Cassiopeia Pale Ale and the Electric Lady Belgium Blonde. This semester consisted of testing out our fermenter and getting familiar with brewing. We have set up the framework for our application and are taking temperature readings and posting them to a webpage. We have also incorporated a pH sensor into our board and will be testing it further...

02 December 2017

4 mins read

So You Think You Have a Good Idea, Now What? How We Started the Algae Project From Scratch

Introduction Last year November, members from Chem-E-Car presented a poster on using algal biomass to produce biofuels at the annual Generate conference hosted by Clean Energy BC. Fast forward to 6 months after, Chem-E-Car has rebranded to UBC Envision and the question is, do we want to keep the algae project? With continuous interest from members and support from the community, the obvious answer is yes. However, the topic of...

30 November 2017

7 mins read

Exploring Environment Canada Weather Data with Jupyter Notebooks, Part I: Data Extraction & Cleaning

Introduction Environment Canada provides reliable weather data for many locations across the country. The data can be accessed as either .CSV or .XML files.

25 November 2017

2 mins read

Algae -- Today’s Green Water, Tomorrow’s Fuel

My journey to discovering Algae Biofuel My name is Noor, and I am a second-year student at the chemical and biological engineering program in UBC, also a part of the Envision Algae Biofuel design team. Although my involvement with Envision has run only in the span of a term so far, the knowledge, technical practice and transferable skills I gained have been very valuable.

17 March 2017

3 mins read

Dancing Into an Admin Position

Background Hi! My name is Caitlin, I’m one of the mechanical leads for the junior Chem-E Car (CEC) team. I’m also the president of UBC Dance Horizons, part of a dance team, and helping to plan a case competition for the Oil and Gas initiative, on top of taking 7 courses. A question I get a lot is “How are you not dying?”. So here is my take on how...

28 February 2017

4 mins read

Powering The Future (Or just the Chem-E-Car)

Chem-E-Car’s New Fuel Cell Division While the chemical team is building clocks and electrical team is making a new stopping mechanism, the fuel cell team is here to ensure that the car has the power to move! This year, UBC Chem-E-Car’s Junior Battery team has expanded to incorporate a new fuel cell division. Several universities have had overwhelming success using fuel cells in their cars, and we’re hoping to cash...

12 February 2017

3 mins read

Do You Even Budget?

Backstory Last summer, we received an interesting e-mail from the UofT Chem-E-Car team. They’ve just officially launched as a design team and wanted to know more about our team’s financial structure. Here’s what we shared with them.

11 February 2017

2 mins read

Chem-E-Car Electrical System

Introduction In the “Chem-E-Car Reaction Mechanism” article, Jayg and Josh talk about the iodine clock reaction and how a light-dependent resistor (LDR) is part of the stopping mechanism. The LDR changes electrical resistance depending on how much light is hitting it; as light intensity increases, resistance drops, and vice versa. Theoretically, if we shone light on an LDR in an iodine solution as its colour went dark, light intensity as...

05 February 2017

4 mins read

What's Brewing* in The Lab?

Introduction As you may have read in part one, our team is working on an app to automate the brewing of craft beer. To understand the homebrewing process we made a batch of Pacific ESB, an ale that is light with a crisp bitter aftertaste. We made a few mistakes throughout the process (BURNT GRAINS) but learned from those mistakes to make the second batch better.

31 January 2017

2 mins read

2016 - A Year in Review

Reflections 2016 has been a very exciting year for the Chem-E-Car team. We have presented our work in more than 7 conferences, with topics ranging from the clean energy industry (Generate 2016) to chemical engineering innovation (CHBE Engineering Research Day). From these events, we have won 5 different awards. Notably, we placed 1st among 41 teams from all over the world for our poster presentation at the American Institute of...

27 January 2017

3 mins read

Chem-E-Car Reaction Mechanism

Introduction The Iodine Clock reaction is the official stopping mechanism for the 2016-2017 Junior Chem-E-Car design team. The reaction involves a color change with an Iodine indicator to signal the stopping mechanism, via a light dependent resistor. Through calibration, the reaction time can be determined by the ratio of Potassium Iodide and Sodium Thiosulfate. The correlation between time and ratio is linear; therefore, the Iodine Clock is a simple and...

19 January 2017

2 mins read

Biofuels Project

Prologue Casually during our regular weekday meeting, Siang and Thanos discussed the idea of having two teams from Chem-E-Car present posters at the annual Generate conference hosted by Clean Energy BC. We decided to be that second team. With less than a month away, we had to choose a topic, become experts in that topic and design a poster in hopes of winning the competition and $500 prize money. What...

12 January 2017

5 mins read

Beer Homebrew Project

Introduction With the Student AIChE/CACHE National Mobile Device APP Competition around the corner, our team has been working hard in exploring different ideas to showcase our creativity in a practical design. As part of our lab course field trips, many of us have visited local breweries to gain a general overview of how the general brewing process works. Keeping this in mind, we decided to try something that none of...

01 January 2017

3 mins read

Solder Fan System

Recently, I’ve been playing around with old computer power supplies. Naturally, that led me to other components of the computer, namely, the cooling fan. These fans are driven by a brushless DC motor system. This is to achieve a reduced sound and higher efficiency compared to a brushed DC motor system such as those you would see (or hear) in printers, air conditioners and RC cars.

24 December 2016

9 mins read

How To Create Dynamic Org Charts With Google Sheets and Javascript

Introduction The Google Chart library provides a convenient way of visualizing datasets using Javascript and embedding them in websites.

24 November 2016

3 mins read

The Importance of Trial and Error

Introduction Welcome everyone to the first of (hopefully) many blog posts for the UBC Chem-E-Car Team. The purpose of these posts is to give you, the reader insight into how our organization is run. Through this we hope to generate interest in our organization and to help get other students involved.