Yuqing Du receives Governor General’s Silver Medal


Engineering physics graduate Yuqing Du has been awarded the Governor General’s Silver Medal, which recognizes undergraduate students who have achieved the best academic record out of all their peers throughout their university careers.

Each year, UBC awards three silver medals — one in the Faculty of Arts, one in the Faculty of Science, and one in all other faculties and UBC Okanagan — on behalf of the Governor General of Canada. The Governor General’s Academic Medals are among the most prestigious awards that students in Canadian schools can receive.

Some of Du’s accomplishments are described in the following citation by Andre Marziali, the director of UBC’s engineering physics program: 

Yuqing is a kind, generous, and humble superstar. Without making a big deal of it, she has made her way through Engineering Physics, one of the most analytically rigorous programs we offer, taken extra courses in Honors Math on top of the already challenging workload, and achieved averages as high as 96 per cent while taking up to 30 credits per term — double the workload of a normal UBC degree. In between exceptional school terms characterized by straight A+ grades, she worked at companies like Tesla and Google, developing critical hardware and software including systems to test the Tesla Model 3 vehicle controllers. With an incredible breadth of skill, she helped the UBC Rocket team win first place in the 2017 competition, and then assisted the UBC Formula Electric team as they made an impressive showing in their 2018 competition. Most recently, Yuqing has been researching human-robot interaction, designing software to help robots navigate busy paths and sidewalks. She will continue this line of work in graduate school, as she heads to the University of California at Berkeley to pursue a PhD in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

Created in 1873 by Lord Dufferin, Canada’s third Governor General after Confederation, “to encourage academic excellence across the nation,” the Governor General’s Academic Medals have since been bestowed upon over 50,000 people, including well-known Canadians such as Pierre Trudeau and Gabrielle Roy.

More information about Du may be found on her APSC Rising Stars page. Another APSC graduate, Shekoofeh Azizi, was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal for earning the highest academic record out of all UBC doctoral students this year.