If you have a specific article you're searching for, Summon is a good place to start. Summon lets you simultaneously search the Library's book collection and many full text journal articles.
If you're searching for articles on a topic, you'll probably want to search a database which is more focused on engineering than Summon. Here are some starting points for finding engineering journal articles or conference proceedings. Look for the UBC eLink icons to check for full text articles.
You may also want to search the following databases. Please note that not all of the articles you find in these databases will be available full text. You can check in Summon or the UBC Library Catalogue - or ask a librarian - to see if older articles are available in print at the Library. If UBC does not have an article, you can usually request it through Interlibrary Loan at no charge.
There are search operators you can use throughout most databases, which help to include and exclude results.
A good way to brainstorm relevant keywords is through controlled vocabulary or subject headings. They describe what the article is about, and can be found in the detailed view of an article record. The vocabulary or headings make up a list in the database known as a thesaurus. The thesaurus contains synonyms, as well as broader and narrower terms.