Incorporating An Engineering Background In Filmmaking

"These experiences have allowed me to use my interest in filmmaking to make informative videos about our work."

Matthew Paulino

Matthew Paulino

  • Degree: Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Program:
  • Campus: Vancouver
  • Year: 4th year (as of August 2023)

Why did you want to study engineering?

In high school I got very interested in renewable energy and solar panel technology. I wanted to learn more about these areas and studying engineering was a way to do that.

Why did you decide on UBC Engineering?

I am from the Philippines, but I knew of UBC because of its reputation as being a leader in sustainability. Moving here was my first time living in Canada and it was certainly a challenge to move across the world away from my family.

How did you choose Materials Engineering?

Although Materials Engineering wasn’t my first choice of study, I have no regrets at all because it’s worked out really well. Materials are fascinating – they are around us everywhere, and I enjoy learning about how they work, how they are produced and how they can be made more sustainably. My other main passion is filmmaking, and being in materials engineering gives me lots of interesting topics to consider making videos about! 

Take A Look At Matthew’s Promotional Video About Materials Engineering

Tell us about some of the extracurriculars you’ve been involved with.

In first year I was part of UBC Solar, which is an engineering design team that builds and races solar-powered racing cars. That was really fun. In third year, I joined the UBC chapter of Engineers Without Borders and was part of a smoke-free home venture which designs, builds and distributes eco stoves to families in Guatemala. In third and fourth year I was also part of a national engineering conference on sustainability that brought in students from across Canada to explore these topics in depth. Being involved in these experiences has also allowed me to use my interest in filmmaking to make informative videos about our work.

UBC SolarUBC Chapter of Engineers Without BordersCheck out Matthew’s Video on the Smoke-Free Homes initiative

Tell us about your fourth-year capstone project.

I was part of a group that worked with SeaBrick, a startup company that is developing bricks made of kelp rather than concrete, for use in construction projects. Unlike concrete, which is a major source of carbon dioxide emissions, kelp sequesters carbon, making it an interesting material for construction. Our job was to optimize the materials and manufacturing process to create a kelp-based brick so that the brick would be the same strength as a block of Portland cement.

The project was a great opportunity to apply all of our engineering knowledge while working with the client on this complex problem.

 It was also meaningful to me because one of the company’s goals is to empower First Nations communities to harvest the kelp for the bricks. The project was a great example of how engineers use their technical knowledge to have a social impact.

SeaBrick Read About Matthew's Capstone Project

What’s next for you after you graduate in May 2024?

I’m not sure yet! I’d like to find a way to incorporate my engineering background and interest in filmmaking, perhaps in a technical communication role to raise awareness of sustainability and technology.

Any advice for other international students moving to UBC?

It can be hard at first to be away from home and your family and culture. Try and find a community on campus – it might take some time and trial and error, but be your authentic self and you will find people you connect with.

UBC materials engineering student at a co-op placement at Vector Aerospace

Materials Engineering

What’s it made of and why? If you ask these questions about the products that surround you or dream about creating the building blocks for substances that haven’t yet been invented, you should explore materials engineering.

Materials Engineering

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