UBC Volcan Wins for Historical Accuracy at TMS Bladesmith Competition

From left to right: Rachel Miner (Eng Physics), Douglas McKinnon, Kerrie Ye, Connor Gingera (MTRL Eng), Haoyi Yue (Mech Eng), Simon McMillan (Arts).

The 2024 UBC Volcan Team made their mark at the annual Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS) Meeting & Exhibition in Orlando, Florida. This year, six student members had the opportunity to participate in the conference, accompanying their debut entry into the TMS Bladesmithing competition. TMS Bladesmithing is a biennial competition that combines the historical art of blacksmithing with modern design and analysis techniques employed across various engineering faculties, focusing on content from materials engineering.

UBC Volcan’s entry, led by Douglas McKinnon (Materials Engineering), designed their entry based on a historical copper dagger artifact native to the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. The team successfully created a damascus steel by forge welding plates of 1095 and 15N20 steel to create an optimal balance between hardness and toughness. The blade was complemented by a diamond willow wood handle, Dall sheep’s horn pommel, and a handcrafted tanned moosehide sheath adorned with family beadwork.

UBC Volcan Team’s final blade design, inspired based on an artifact native to the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations.

Their dedicated efforts over several months handcrafting the perfect blade have earned them a prestigious award for Historical Accuracy. This achievement marks the Volcan Team’s debut participation in the event, underscoring the significance of their success.

To learn more about UBC Volcan, please visit the team’s website.