Our Team

The UBC STAR team is a network of investigators, recruiters and integrators, supported by a cohort of operations and technical services staff.


Dr. Keith Culver

Dr. Keith Culver is Professor of Management and Associate Dean for Regional Innovation practice at UBC’s Okanagan campus. As a legal theorist concerned with conflict and its resolution in contexts from sustainable communities to military rules of engagement, Keith is most at home in interdisciplinary collaborations benefiting from his skill at asking questions and creating problem-solving synergies.

He guides the UBC STAR Management Committee in developing the overall strategic direction, oversees partnership development, and leads UBC STAR’s use of the federal Industrial and Technological Benefits policy to enable partner companies to invest in R&D collaborations.

Prior to joining UBC in 2011, Keith held the International Chair in Eco-Innovation at the UniverSud Paris consortium of universities in France, where he led a multi-university, interdisciplinary research program focused on environmentally high-performance cities and rural areas of the future. His work with Michael Giudice in their books Legality’s Borders (OUP 2010) and The Unsteady State (2017) is widely regarded as some of the most innovative curent work in analytical legal theory.

Management Committee

Dr. Shahria Alam

Associate Professor, Engineering

Dr. Gino DiLabio | molecular & materials modelling

Dean, Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science
Associate Director, Regional Socio-Economic Development Institute of Canada

Dr. Abbas Milani | Advanced Materials and Fabrication

Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Director, Materials and Manufacturing Research Institute

Dr. Hadi Mohammadi

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Paul Van Donkelaar

Professor, Health and Exercise Sciences
Associate Vice-Principal, Research

operations team

Derek Gratz Partnership Development

Derek supports rapid implementation of the tools needed to enable university-based researchers to work with partners. From non-disclosure agreements to research contracts and guidance through the Canadian research funding support system, Derek answers ‘how to’ questions about partnership with universities. Derek holds a Master of Environmental Design and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design.

patrick gall | research network facilitator

Patrick supports large, interdisciplinary research networks and provides project management support, including governance and reporting. He works closely with the director and UBC STAR research teams to help identify research opportunities, develop funding proposals, and support new and emerging research partnerships.

Ryan Mandau Lab Technician

Ryan provides technical support in the UBC STAR Hub and STAR Impact Research Facility (SIRF), including setup and testing of the blast simulator and ballistic range, as well as prototype design and materials testing for all UBC STAR affiliated research projects. He also provides our research teams with specialized user training on equipment and safety.