Success stories

April 30, 2024

Vantech, co-founded by Rohith J.K, a PhD student at CRNO, and Vanessa Lo, a research assistant at CRNO, recently travelled to Japan to meet with Kawada Technologies and the Canadian embassy to collaborate on the development of one of their product lineups.

February 23, 2024

Ashish Giri is the recipient of an internship through DAAD’s RISE Germany program for the project titled “Development of sustainable, self-fiber-reinforced composites from biopolymers”. He has been selected successfully from a competitive pool of 2365 applicants, with only 320 individuals being accepted for the internship.

November 10, 2023

Student members of NSERC CREATE in Immersive Technologies (CITech) program, Vanessa Lo (from Nursing) and Rohith J. Krishnamurthy (from CRNO) launched the VanTech Medical start-up with a novel idea of developing an XR-AI-IR based smart glass that can quickly and accurately locate veins in the very first attempt by healthcare staff in hospitals. They have been recognized as a “Top Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Canada” by LOI accelerator and awarded the “UBC Okanagan Student Involvement and Leadership” Award. For more details, please visit here.

October 23, 2023

As a member of UBC MMRI and CRN, Prof. Abbas Milani has been recognized as among the top 2% most cited scientists in 2023. This analysis was released by Elsevier in October 2023 and more details can be found here. Calculations were performed using all Scopus author profiles as of October 1, 2023.

July 6, 2023

Iman Jalilvand, a PhD candidate at CRN, won the SILVER student design award for “An Interactive Digital Twin of a Composite Manufacturing Process for Training Operators via Immersive Technology” at HCI International Conference 2023, Copenhagen, Denmark.

March 31, 2023

Ben MageL, undergraduate researcher at CRN, won the Undergraduate Research Award (SOE URA). He was nominated based on an exceptional average in engineering research in the 2021W academic year. There has only been one nominee in the manufacturing and mechanical engineering programs for each year level (second, third, and fourth).

November 24, 2022

UBCO, Lululemon up the game and explore sweat management activewear. UBCO researcher, Dr. Farzan Gholamreza gets Newton, a thermal manikin, ready for a sweat test in his outdoor exercise gear. To predict the comfort properties of fabrics including initial cooling, sustained cooling, cooling delay, moisture uptake and drying time, mathematical models combined with the simulation of the sweating torso have been developed. A model is a helpful tool that can be widely used to predict how fabric systems protect the comfort of users under moderate to intensive physical activities. You can read the full news here.


July 13, 2022

CRNO Masters student, Olivia Margoto, won second place in the student best paper award competition at the 12th Canadian-International Conference on Composites, CANCOM 2022. Olivia’s presentation was on using 100% biobased materials in the manufacturing process of composite structures. Studying bio-based composites is a promising step toward building a sustainable future.


March 18, 2022

CRNO team, ACCuDip, won second place in the 2022 Quick Pitch Competition organized by Entrepreneurship@UBCO. The team received 4000 CAD to develop a Smart Intravenous Dipper. They also have the opportunity to attend a six-month entrepreneurship training with expert industrial mentors.


March 18, 2022

Undergraduate researcher at CRN, Ben Magel, won the Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) sponsored by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) based on his academic record, research aptitude, and the expected quality of the training.


March 15, 2022

The biocomposite research at CRN has received attention from UBC Okanagan News. CRN researchers are using the plastination technique to reduce the tendency of natural fibers to degrade over time. Also, these environmentally friendly fibers are used as a reinforcement with other fibers and materials to build a hybrid composite with high performance. Rawnews, TechAI, Quick Telecast and Think Big have broadcasted this story on their websites.


February 8, 2022

CRN PhD candidate, Tina Olfatbakhsh, has implemented an AI-based framework for composite materials property prediction using non-destructive testing. Her research can be extended to smart fabric materials design and process optimization. The research was reported on UBC Okanagan News, Kelowna Capital News, Canadian Artificial Intelligence News (ASK AI), and Composites Manufacturing Magazine News.


December 17, 2021

UBCO team, UBCO AR Solutions, is selected as a finalist in the OpenCV AI Competition 2022 sponsored by Microsoft Azure and Intel. The proposed project is developing a Small-scale Digital Twin in Supply Chain 5.0 under the supervision of Dr. Abbas Milani. Our proposal was chosen from over 120 submissions and is among 22 university teams in North America. For more information about the competition, please visit competition’s website.


August 20, 2021

Tina Olfatbakhsh, Ph.D. candidate at CRNO, won the second prize for the best poster in the online Materials 4.0 Summer School 2021 organized by the Dresden Center for Computational Materials Science (DCMS) at Technische Universität Dresden. You can check the poster’s recording on this YouTube link.


March 3, 2021

UBCO team, Okanagan Smart Composite Manufacturers, is selected as a finalist in the OpenCV AI Competition 2021 sponsored by Microsoft Azure and Intel. The proposed project is developing an AI-based image processing unit for real-time detection of wrinkles under the supervision of Dr. Abbas Milani and Dr. Apurva Narayan. Our proposal was chosen from over 1400 submissions and is among 13 university teams in North America. For more information about the competition, please visit Competition’s webpage.


September 8, 2020

Prof. Abbas Milani has been named a member of the RSC’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, Canada’s “first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership.” For more information about the RSC, the newly elected fellows and the incoming class of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, please see the UBC announcement and the RSC’s release.


May 11, 2020

The Capstone project “Development and Optimization of a Basic Industry 4.0 Framework” supervised by Dr. Abbas Milani was placed first in the mechanical category in the 2020 ENGR 499 Capstone Competition. The student team worked with CRN researchers to take an existing Industry 4.0 basic system, provide a systems analysis and develop new automation modeling and design strategies, using thermal and mechanical-based industrial application case studies in the composites manufacturing area. For more detailed information, please visit Awards’s webpage. You can also check the presentation’s recording on YouTube.


February 13, 2020

Sorayya Kazemi, MASc student at CRN Okanagan Laboratory will be competing with other graduate student in the campus-wide Three Minute Thesis competition at UBC Okanagan. Sorayya was chosen as the school of engineering’s top nominee in the 3MT Faculty Heats. We wish Sorayya best of luck in the next round!

December 7, 2019

Publication in Science! The team of chemists and composite materials researchers from University of Victoria and UBC Okanagan discovered a broadly applicable method of bonding plastics and synthetic fibres at the molecular level in a procedure called cross-linking. The cross-linking takes effect when the adhesive is exposed to heat or long-wave UV light making strong connections that are both impact-resistant and corrosion-resistant. Even with a minimal amount of cross-linking, the materials are tightly bonded.
Visit here to read the full story.


September 24, 2019

As the growing industrial demand for multifunctional bio-friendly raw materials is pushing researchers to develop value-added and energy-saving biocomposites and processesUsing polymers and natural stone slurry waste, researchers at UBC Okanagan are manufacturing environmentally friendly stone composites.
Visit here to read the full story.


September 22, 2019

UBC Study Finds Health Isn’t the Only Issue with Bacteria Growth. The research, coming from the School of Engineering and biology department, examined the impact of fungal mould growth and associated microbes within structures on university campuses. The study focuses on the observed biodeteriorative capabilities of indoor fungi upon gypsum board material (drywall) and how it affects a building’s age and room functionality.
Visit here to read more about this interdisciplinary research, .


September 9, 2019

A multi-disciplinary team of researchers from the Composites Research Network and the Department of Biology, in collaboration with MIT and the National Research Council of Canada, have been studying the development and application of bio-sourced composites – specifically flax and hemp fibres. These materials are plentiful in Canada and can be mixed with other materials to create cheaper, recyclable and effective composite material products that are used by a range of industries, including in transportation.
Read the full story here.


May 16, 2019Researchers at UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering have developed a low-cost sensor that can be interlaced into textiles and composite materials. While the research is still new, the sensor may pave the way for smart clothing that can monitor human movement. Read the full story here.


Feb 11, 2019

Congratulations to Sorayya Kazemi, MASc student at CRNO who won the first place prize (Mechanical Engineering-Oral presentation) in 2019 School of Engineering Graduate Symposium.


Aug 6, 2018

A new multi-step characterization methodology has been proposed at CRN to investigate the wrinkling/de-wrinkling behavior of textile composites. This method consists of an experimental testing step using a biaxial fixture frame and a numerical modeling step for optimization of the forming processes. Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has published an article about this successful research in Advanced Textile Source. You can check out the full article on this link.


June 06, 2018

Hossein Montazerian has been identified as one of the UBC rising stars of the class 2018. During his time at CRNO, Hossein developed highly stretchable sensors embedded inside textile composites to monitor the deformations over the course of characterization and forming process all the way through the in-service conditions. He is now off to UCLA to continue his cutting edge research in the exiting field of 3D bioprinting. Read the full story here.


May 17, 2018

A group of UBC Okanagan students have turned their collective minds to the streets and built the first-ever personal belongings carrier. Read the full story on Yahoo!CanadaOkanagan Edge, and The Guardian


May 8, 2018

Researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) have devised a new method to rid textile composites of wrinkles while being manufactured.

Read the full story at Design Engineering, Science Daily, Textile Today, Materials Today, UBC website, and, Accelerate Okanagan.


September 4, 2017

Masoud Haghi Kashani, PhD candidate at CRNO received the 2017 Graduate Dean’s Thesis Fellowship at UBC Okanagan. This was a competitive fellowship that recognizes excellence in graduate research and study. Masoud’s research on characterization of woven fabrics has gained worldwide attention among the composites community over the recent years . The project student group under his lead won the Material Subroutine code competition award in the American Society of Composites conference (ASC 2017).


August 17, 2017

Hossein Montazerian, research assistant with UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering and CRNO lab, has identified a way to model and create artificial bone grafts that can be custom printed.

Read the full story at UBC Website, Techsite, and Nanowerk.


May 8, 2017

Armin Rashidi, PhD student at CRN Okanagan lab was identified as a 2017 SAMPE Seattle scholarship winner.

Scholarships are offered each year for full-time study at an accredited, non-profit institution of the student’s choice. This scholarship program is administered by the SAMPE Seattle Chapter Student Relations Committee overseen by the SAMPE Seattle Chapter Board of Directors.


August 2016

Dr. Abbas Milani received Service Contribution Gold Medal by Academics World Organization at 71st International Academic Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovations (IACETI), Prague, Czech Republic, August 2016.


Former UBC/CRN Student, Dylan Schuetze won The Best Presentation Award at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ 51st Annual Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference. During his time at CRN Okanagan lab, Dylan proposed the application of his approach in minimizing oscillations of a vehicle passenger seat and enhancing the stiffness of a composite aircraft wing to avoid resonance. Read the full story here.

He has recently started his own company. To find out more about Dylan’s activities please visit here.


May 2015

Armin Rashidi, MASc student at CRNO won The Best Poster Award at UBC Okanagan’s Second Annual Engineering Symposium.


Dr. Abbas Milani received the Researcher of the Year award, UBC Okanagan, March 2015
Read more


Dr. Abbas Milani received the Faculty of the Year award, Co-Op Engineering Program, 2013
Read more