Isaac Richman: Engineering excellence lives close to home

Thanks to the Stober Foundation Award, first-year engineering student Isaac Richman is focusing on solutions for wildfires with computer-assisted design.

For Isaac Richman, higher education had a sweet spot — right in his backyard. 

"The Okanagan is right here, close to home, and UBC is one of the best schools in Canada for engineering," says Isaac. 

Born in Vernon and raised in the nearby village of Lumby, BC, Isaac's desire to attend UBC Okanagan is not just due to its proximity — but also to family history and his passion for engineering. 

"I like designing things; I like building things. I had considered becoming a millwright," he says, "But I think engineering just has a broader aspect and is more varied, which is more interesting to me — to have more things I could do with it, with more applications." 

Living on the Okanagan campus, Isaac's first year at UBC has been made possible through donor support — including the Stober Foundation Award and the Centennial Entrance Award. 

"Living on campus is a big part of the university experience," he says. "The award has made it easy to focus on my studies, and be part of the community, without being overly concerned about my financial situation." 

His parents had studied at UBC Vancouver, obtaining bachelor's degrees in agricultural science. Growing up surrounded by this educational legacy, Isaac knew UBC's engineering program's quality and proximity to home, made it an ideal choice. 

“My parents are also thankful for the scholarship, it makes it easier for them to fund my schooling without excessive worrying," Isaac adds. 

One of the highlights of Isaac's studies in engineering is his involvement in a computer-assisted design project (CAD).  

"It could be very impactful. For one of our projects using CAD — the whole team is focusing on designing something to fight wildfires," he says, emphasizing the real-world potential of their engineering projects. 

While prioritizing his coursework, Isaac delved into extracurricular activities by volunteering with Red Frogs — an international volunteer organization that educates students on safe behaviour around drugs and alcohol. This unique involvement showcases Isaac's commitment to a positive and supportive community on and off campus. 

As 2024 begins, Isaac looks forward to meeting new people, making friends, and exploring opportunities for collaboration. His combination of academic curiosity, extracurricular engagement, and passion for innovative projects exemplifies UBC Okanagan's commitment to nurturing well-rounded, forward-thinking students. 

He appreciates this opportunity and sees an exciting future at UBC — and has these words for donors. 

"Thanks so much for your support and for encouraging me in my studies! The Stober Foundation Award has made things so much easier for my first and second years." He pauses, before adding, "I'm going to try to do something important with this opportunity." 

Other students like Isaac live close to UBC, but need help bridging the gap. Consider giving to the FORWARD for Students Fund and welcome them to higher education.