The Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute (Blusson QMI) is thrilled to announce that Dr. MengXing (Ketty) Na, a Postdoctoral Fellow who was supervised by Professors Andrea Damascelli and David Jones during her PhD studies, has been awarded a Governor General’s Gold Medal for her PhD dissertation titled Electron-phonon coupling in the time domain: TR-ARPES studies by a cavity-based XUV laser.

Image: Dr. MengXing (Ketty) Na, Postdoctoral Fellow, Blusson QMI. Credit: Paul Joseph, UBC.

Blusson QMI Scientific Director Prof. Andrea Damascelli congratulated Dr. Na and said the Medal is a testament to her outstanding academic record.

“Ketty’s research examines exciting electronic properties manifested in quantum materials, and presents a significant advancement in our ability to identify, isolate, and study electron interactions in these fascinating materials,” said Prof. Damascelli.

Dr. Na said receiving the Governor General’s Gold Medal is an immense honor and a humbling experience.

“I am filled with gratitude for this recognition of my work and the opportunity to contribute to the field of condensed matter physics. It serves as a testament to the dedication and support of the incredible team of mentors, colleagues, and collaborators who have played a pivotal role in my journey,” said Dr. Na.

Dr. Na said she chose condensed matter physics as a field of study because of its profound impact on shaping the modern technological landscape.

“Exploring the fundamental properties of matter and how they interact at the atomic level not only fascinates me, but also holds the promise of developing innovative technologies for the betterment of society,” said Dr. Na.

The Governor General’s Academic Medals were created in 1873 to encourage academic excellence across Canada. Over the years, they have become the most prestigious award that students in Canadian schools can receive. Gold medals are awarded to a Doctoral, and a Master’s student completing a thesis who achieved the most outstanding academic record.

Medals are presented on behalf of the Governor General by participating educational institutions, along with personalized certificates signed by the Governor General. There is no monetary award associated with the Medal.

“I have learned that no breakthrough is achieved in isolation; rather, they are the result of collective effort and the synergy of diverse perspectives. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my supervisors, Andrea Damascelli and David Jones, whose mentorship has been invaluable. Their support, encouragement, and belief in my abilities have helped me navigate through challenges and grow as a researcher,” Dr. Na said.

“I am also indebted to my fellow colleagues and lab mates, who have greatly enriched my academic and personal life. Furthermore, I would like to extend my appreciation to the funding agencies, institutions, and research facilities that have provided the resources and infrastructure necessary for my research endeavors. I am truly grateful for the collective efforts that have led to this prestigious recognition.”

The award was presented to Dr. Na in-person on stage at UBC Vancouver’s Chan Centre during the graduation ceremonies on May 25, 2023.

Image (left to right): Prof. Andrea Damascelli, Scientific Director, Blusson QMI; and Dr. Ketty Na, Postdoctoral Fellow. Credit: Paul Joseph, UBC.