UBC IT Celebrates 2019: Winner of Two Hermes Creative Awards and more


2019 was another breakthrough year for UBC IT, filled with new initiatives, enhancement on information security, winning awards, and reaching new milestones. We would like to thank and acknowledge our staff and colleagues for their contribution and dedication to supporting IT at UBC. Below is a quick overview of some of our accomplishments and events this year.



Data Privacy Day: January 28 commemorates the signing of the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. We posted some top privacy tips that faculty, staff, and students to follow to reduce their exposure to online threats and to protect their online information, identity and privacy. 

MARCH 2019

Follow the Leader – Lessons from Female CIOs in Higher Education: A panel of three leading female CIOs discussed their leadership journey and provided advice to young professionals pursuing their career path to leadership at this inaugural event of “Follow the Leader”. 

UBC Emerging Media Lab’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre Grand Opening: UBC Emerging Media Lab, an experimental space for the UBC community to evolve learning by exploring emerging media, such as augmented, mixed, and virtual reality, opened a new location at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.  This space is being used to host orientations, demos, developments, and meetings.

APRIL 2019

Updated Information Security Standards: The Office of the CIO has drafted final amendments to the UBC Information Security Standards that govern the use and protection of university data and computing resources.

MAY 2019

UBC Studios win Platinum and Gold from Hermes Creative Awards: UBC Studio’s work with the School of Kinesiology and Environmental Sciences received accolades from the annual Hermes competition, which honors the conceptual design for marketing and communication programs and emerging technologies.

Creation of IT Capital Planning Committee: The newly formed committee, chaired by Peter Smailes, Vice-President, Finance and Operations, prioritizes and endorses IT enabled projects focusing on the institutional level to UBC Executive (projects $250K+).

Launch of Application Ecosystem Program: Hiring of AEP contractors began, as IT staff prepare to review and assess applications that will require a retrofit, integration, or sunset decision in anticipation of the Workday go-live for April 2020.

JUNE 2019

UBC IT Critical to Congress 2019 Success: More than 140 IT staff contributed to the success of Canada’s largest interdisciplinary conference, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

3rd Annual Research Computing Summer School: For the third consecutive year, the annual Research Computing Summer School sold out. Co-hosted by ARC and WestGrid, the summer session is open to anyone with an interest in high-powered computing, scientific visualization, and machine learning.

UBC IT Service Integration Assessment: An assessment is launched to review possible integration of IT services between the Okanagan and Vancouver. Skills assessment and workforce planning will be a component of the assessment.

JULY 2019

UBC and Amazon Web Services announce Canada’s First Cloud Innovation Centre (CIC): At Amazon’s annual IMAGINE conference, an announcement was made that UBC would be the first CIC of its kind in Canada to provide students, staff and faculty access to cloud technology to advance projects, along with employing Amazon’s innovation processes.

UBC Studio updates UBC Vancouver Campus on Google Streetview: Capturing more than 15,000 photos while driving throughout the Vancouver campus, the Streetview has amassed more than 850K views.



Launch of Inaugural IT Summer Lecture series: UBC IT staff were invited to four lunch ‘n learn sessions featuring IT presenters giving their “encore presentations” from BCNET and CANHEIT. Presenters included staff from Data Governance, Advanced Research Computing, and Operations.



IRP kicks off Town Hall for IT Community: More than 200 IT professionals gathered for a Town Hall on September 30 to hear more about how the IRP would impact IT services to the campus.



Faculty and staff double attendance at 2nd Annual Privacy Matters Symposium: The event wrapped up Cybersecurity Awareness Month at the institution, which included a Cybersecurity Passport Campaign.

Launch of Sockeye:  UBC’s Advanced Research Computing infrastructure, Sockeye, is now available to UBC researchers across all disciplines, significantly increasing UBC’s computing and storage capacity and supplementing the national platform for digital research infrastructure.

Enhanced CWL Multi-factor Authentication: 90% of UBC’s faculty and staff have enrolled in Enhanced CWL and are using multi-factor authentication as part of a year-long implementation.



UBC becomes first 5G Smart Campus in Canada: As of November 5, UBC is the first campus in Canada to be fully outfitted with 5G wireless technology as part of its multi-million-dollar partnership with Rogers Communications.


What’s next for us?  We definitely have some major projects in the works, including the kick off of Amazon CIC and celebrating Data Privacy Day in January.   If you would like more information on any of the above-mentioned accomplishments, please contact ubcit.communications@ubc.ca