Engineering Physics Grad Laura Fedoruk (‘10) Thanks the Barber Centre for the Gift of Life-Long Learning
When Laura Fedoruk was seven years old, she used to max out her library card, checking out piles of books to feed her tremendous curiousity.
The 2010 UBC graduate in Engineering Physics still likes to delve into a lot of things, and UBC Library’s I.K. Barber Learning Centre remains her favourite place to do so. “The Learning Centre re-opened in my second year,” Laura recalls. “I remember being so energized and excited the first time I came to sit and study in this building.”
“The day I learned about the official opening I called my mother to tell her,” she adds. “I realized that this would be somewhere that I could feel more at home than in my own room, away from the distractions of life with roommates.”
Laura put in countless hours at the Library, achieving academic excellence, as well as a reputation as the go-to expert on “the best spot to study in, regardless of the season, time of day, mood of the room, noise levels, and access to electrical outlets,” Laura recounts with a smile.
Her senior lab project with two other Engineering Physics students won the prestigious 2010 Roy Nodwell Prize for a wave powered pressure generator that provides a green energy source for desalinating water. So promising is the technology, the project’s faculty sponsor has filed a provisional patent through UBC’s University-Industry Liaison Office.
Laura also did a coop stint working on a feasibility study for an alternative energy strategy at UBC. Her interest in alternative energy endures. She is now pursuing a career as a sustainable building analyst – work that unites her love of buildings with her interest in green energy. “Even though I’m in a technical field, I’ve always had an artistic eye for things, and I want to help our society to affordable sustainability, ” Laura says.
That interdisciplinary approach took hold studying quantum physics and environmental philosophy, and working the help desk in the Chapman Learning Commons. “I always find it interesting that in university, we have such segregated classrooms – by discipline,” Laura reflects. “In the Learning Centre, you get to bring all these things together. It’s a place where you can grapple with the whole concept of what this university could produce.
“The Barber Centre has provided a space for sharing knowledge, ideas, and, very importantly, potential, she adds. “The potential for each one of us to be better tomorrow than we are today.
“I am proud to have been a part of this community,” Laura continues, “and would like to extend my sincerest thanks the people – Mr. and Mrs. Ike Barber, and Kay and Lloyd Chapman – who have given so generously. They have helped make my experience at UBC – and those of my peers – an engaging, enlightening journey. Thank you for giving us the gift of life-long learning.”