Faculty Advisors

All Engineering Design Teams are required to have at least one faculty advisor from within APSC. The advisor will typically be a faculty member of the team’s Host Department. In the case of dual-hosting, there will be an advisor from each Host Department.

Responsibilities of the Faculty Advisor

  • Communication: The advisor is expected to meet with the team’s captains at least two times per year. This would optimally be at the start of every term, after new members have been determined or team starts new projects. It is recommended that the faculty advisor meets and/or communicates with the team regularly, especially for new design teams that are starting from scratch.
  • Access: The advisor is expected to be aware of space and resource issues and be available to relay requests to the department and/or APSC. This may relate to workspace, storage, transportation, fabrication, testing labs and external resources.
  • Funding: If asked by the team, the Advisor is expected to advise the team on funding
    opportunities, such as PAF and TLEF, including reviewing proposals, and on sponsorship The Advisor will also be required to approve and sign the acceptance of gift-in-kind sponsorships received by team to ensure its value to both the team and the University.
  • Finance: The advisor will need to sign off on any expense claims submitted by the team We have recommended to the teams to submit expense claims once a month.
  • Design mentorship: If the team requests design reviews related to the team’s prototype, or to competition preparations, the Advisor is expected to meet on an ad-hoc basis at the request of the team captain. Contact: The Advisor is expected to advise the team directly (via email, for example) for any opportunities or other reasons that the Advisor may find compelling, e.g., lectures    coming to campus, upcoming conferences, new vendors of relevant technologies, new labs on campus.

Responsibilities of the Team

The captain of the Team is expected to be the primary contact to the Advisor.

  • Communication: Requests to the Advisor should be given with ample lead time and be sensitive to the advisor’s research and teaching schedules. Routine matters that can be handled at the administrative level should first be made through the EDTC or the APSC Faculty Coordinator. Teams must inform their Faculty Advisor when transitioning Captains or important executive members.
  • Initiative: For all the categories listed in “Responsibilities of the Faculty Advisor”, the team is expected to initiate contact. Contact with the Advisor should be restricted to high-level matters.
  • Invitations: The team shall invite the Advisor to periodic meetings, competitions, field trips, tests, etc., that may improve the connection and awareness with the advisor. Even though the Advisor may not always be able to attend, it is important to provide an  awareness of ongoing team activities.

How to Approach a Faculty Member

It may be daunting to approach a faculty member and ask them to be an Advisor to your team. It is important to ensure that you have a faculty advisor belonging to each of your hosting departments.

  • Relevance: Consider a faculty member’s area of research. They will likely be able to provide more support to your team if their expertise aligns with your design challenge. Make a plan: Approach the faculty member with a clear plan of your Team’s objective
    and deliverables. Set up an appointment via email. Make them aware of their role: the preceding pages in this document are a good guideline for the role of a faculty advisor.
  • Consider their time commitments and be respectful of them. Clarify expectations regarding support, communication and technical involvement at the start. If you require additional help in contacting a faculty member to be your team’s advisor, please contact the Engineering Teams Coordinator at engineering@ubc.