UBC BCom and BASc “Energy Aware” Students Take Top Honours in National Competition


Vancouver — A team of students from the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business and Faculty of Applied Science have taken top honours at this year's edition of Canada's national Energy Efficiency Awards, becoming Canada's newest Energy Ambassadors.

Bachelor of Commerce students Janice Cheam, Salim Hassan and Derek Sawkins and Bachelor of Applied Science students Cyrus Irani, Tariq Amlani and Lauren Kulokas, were recognized today for Energy Aware, a company they formed to design, manufacture and distribute products to reinforce energy-saving behaviour.

Their company was formed during a unique collaborative UBC course called New Venture Design, which brings together fourth-year engineering and commerce students to design and market a new consumer product. The group's first product, PowerTab, allows homeowners, landlords and companies to track, in real time, the amount of electricity they are consuming. New Venture Design was developed by Sauder marketing professor Darren Dahl and Applied Science electrical and computer engineering professor Peter Lawrence.

"The course New Venture Design acts as the catalyst that brings together outstanding business and engineering students," said Dahl. "By merging their innovative thinking and different talents, the course provides a distinctive learning experience where the students can truly create something new and valuable."

"It is well-known that new engineering product design is a holistic process that not only includes knowledge and experience from different branches of engineering, but also from the relevant business specializations," said Lawrence. "In exercising their skills in a New Venture Design team, the UBC Business and Engineering students gain experience and confidence in their abilities to succeed in this process. We are extremely proud of these students."

Early this year, the students won first place for Energy Aware at Enterprize, a national business plan competition and conference hosted by the Sauder School of Business.
Launched in the fall of 2002, Energy Ambassadors is an annual competition that gives students national recognition for their energy efficiency ideas. The competition is managed by Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency, which is fostering improved energy efficiency across the economy as part of Canada's strategy for meeting its climate change commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.

Energy Ambassadors are undergraduate students who, as part of their academic studies, have contributed to Canada's understanding of energy efficiency or reduced energy consumption. For more information on the program visit

About the Sauder School of Business at UBC 

The Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia is Canada's leading academic business school. Recognized globally for its contributions to management practice through its innovative research and teaching, the school is dedicated to opening worlds of opportunities for its students, alumni and associated communities. For more information on the Sauder School of Business, visit

About the Faculty of Applied Science 

UBC's Faculty of Applied Science consistently ranks among the top tier of engineering schools in North America, providing outstanding and distinctive academic programs, and engaging in research and professional service aimed at enhancing the well-being of society across a broad range of human endeavors. For more information on the Faculty of Applied Science, visit

For more information, contact:

Leanna Yip 
Director, Marketing and Communications, Sauder School of Business

Sherry Green 
Communications Officer
UBC Faculty of Applied Science