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UBC Okanagan Researcher Appointed as new Associate Director of the Clean Energy Research Centre

Clean Energy Research Centre, which encompasses research from across the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses of the University of British Columbia, has appointed Kasun Hewage as its newest associate director.  Professor Hewage is program coordinator for the civil engineering program at the Okanagan campus of UBC and co-lead of the Project Life Cycle Management Laboratory.

“This appointment means a lot,” says Hewage “not only is it recognition of my research and leadership but it is also a reaffirmation of the research synergies between UBC’s Point Grey and Okanagan campuses.”

Hewage’s role will include shaping and broadening the Centre’s breadth of research.  The Centre hosts world-leading researchers who strive to provide safe, widespread and equitable access to sustainable energy.  The interdisciplinary Centre brings together innovators from a variety of fields including applied science, science and business; who work collaborative with industry, academia and all levels of government both local and international.

The Centre includes many other School of Engineering researchers.

Linda McKnight appointed Interim Vice-President, Human Resources

A message from Lisa Castle, Vice-President, Human Resources

As many of you know, I will be retiring from my position of Vice-President, Human Resources, on December 6, 2017.

With the recruitment process for the next Vice-President still underway, Linda McKnight, Managing Director, Human Resources, Strategic Staff Relations, has agreed to act as interim Vice-President, Human Resources until the new Vice-President begins their term.

As interim Vice-President, Linda will have the full authority and responsibilities of the role including being a member of the UBC Executive, supporting the Board of Governors in its governance responsibilities and providing institutional people leadership. We are grateful to Linda for her willingness to step into this role.

About Linda McKnight:
Linda is a graduate of the University of Victoria. She started her HR career at deHavilland Aircraft in Toronto, where she was responsible for employment equity when it was in its infancy. After her time in Ontario, she returned to Vancouver where she enjoyed a 12-year career at Vancouver Coastal Health working as a Labour Relations Consultant, and then Director, Human Resources. Linda came to UBC in 2002 as the Director, Human Resources Advisory Services. In her time here, she has built a strong team of HR professionals who provide values-driven institution-wide HR advice to managers and staff, and a thoughtful and measured approach to collective bargaining. In addition, she has provided leadership across the university in furthering the fundamental values of fair process and a respectful work environment.

Rob McCloy appointed Executive Director, Campus Safety and Security

Rob comes to UBC after having worked for the RCMP for 28 years in increasingly responsible roles.  Most recently, Rob has served at the Contract Policing Officer (Superintendent), responsible for the oversight of Provincial Policing and detachment operations for the Province of Alberta.

From 2015 to 2017 he was the Officer in Charge of the RCMP detachment in Fort McMurray where he was responsible for 240 RCMP officers and 120 municipal staff members.  In 2016, during the terrible fire that ravaged Fort McMurray, Rob was responsible for ensuring the protection of community property and the safety of his team.   Rob has also worked at the Surrey RCMP detachment where he gained experience in crime prevention and reduction, community and multicultural liaison and general investigations.

Rob will be starting in his new role January 2, 2018.

Kent Dehnel appointed Operations Facilitator, UBC STAR initiative

Kent Dehnel’s appointment marks an important milestone in the evolution of the Survive and Thrive Applied Research (STAR) initiative – a multi-disciplinary research platform that catalyzes opportunities for researchers on both UBC campuses to work collaboratively with partners to improve human health and safety in extreme environments.

STAR research has applications across a range of sectors and disciplines, including health and social development, materials and manufacturing, and disaster foresight and recovery.

As operations facilitator, Dehnel will coordinate the technical services team and work to create operational synergies across STAR’s multi-faceted, widely distributed research and development activities.

Read more.


Roshni Narain appointed Human Rights Advisor, Equity & Inclusion Office

A message from Sara-Jane Finlay, Associate Vice-President, Equity & Inclusion Office

I am very pleased to share that Roshni Narain has joined the Equity & Inclusion Office (EIO) as the Human Rights Advisor. Roshni has extensive experience in the fields of human rights and anti-discrimination, sexualized violence and counselling. She arrives to the EIO from the Vancouver Island Human Rights Coalition where she facilitated the resolution of concerns of discrimination and harassment. Roshni worked as an educator and researcher, she is passionate about social justice and works diligently to support an environment of equity and fairness with a commitment to fostering social change. Using an intersectional framework forged from her considerable experience working on issues of race, gender, sexuality and (dis)ability, Roshni centers a solution-focused approach to enhance positive working environments and relationships.

Working closely with the Director of Dialogue & Conflict Engagement at EIO, and in partnership with a number of colleagues across the institution, Roshni will provide information, support, referrals and resources to members of the UBC community who believe they may have a human-rights based discrimination or harassment concern. She offers a space for confidential conversations that can illuminate options ranging from informal resolution of conflicts to filing a complaint. Her work supports the university’s commitment to meaningful engagement with conflict as a component of creating a respectful and productive work environment at UBC.