Behind the career: Engineering Physics

Being a engineering researcher - Yuqing


  • Degree: Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Grad year: 2019
  • Program:
  • Campus: Vancouver

PhD Student and AI Researcher at the Berkeley Artificial Intelligent Research (BAIR) Lab 

Since graduating from UBC Engineering Physic in 2019, Yuqing has found her niche in doing research with UC Berkeley on robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI). With an interest in how robots can work in real life settings to empower and uplift people, Yuqing says her favourite part of being a being a research engineer is not only “being able to build things and seeing things to work in real life,” but even just knowing “the potential impacts that [her] work may have on other people.” 

However, It was not until completing her co-op terms did Yuqing start to pursue the route of being a research engineer.  

“Deciding to go into research was a roundabout journey that came about trying a bunch of different things in co-op during undergrad, in both industry and in research.” Yuqing explains. From being software engineer intern at Copperleaf Technologies to a hardware engineer intern at Tesla and Google to a Research Assistant at UBC’s Collaborative Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Systems (CARIS) Lab, Yuqing’s exploration as a UBC engineering student was limitless.  

Through trying out all these different decisions, Yuqing discovered how much she loved the autonomy of being a researcher.  

“What I found was that with some of the industry positions, I would be working on projects that [would] contribute to some high-level goal that the company had in mind, but may not necessarily align with what I was personally really curious about. What I thought was really valuable about working in research positions (and the research position I have now) is that I am able to explore ideas that I truly find interesting.”  

Yuqing recalls signing up for conference the first year of her PhD just to go attend and listen to the speakers. Fast-forward one year, and Yuqing’s own research was being accepted, allowing her to give presentations and speak about her work and interests. “It felt really surreal to reflect on how just one year prior, I was struggling to even just get to attend the conference, and a year later I was presenting on what I thought was cool and interesting.” Yuqing’s career journey reminds all students to never settle until they find a career they are truly passionate about, and to find a career worth celebrating. 

Two UBC Engineering Physics students preparing for the annual summer robot competition.

Engineering Physics

EngPhys students build a solid foundation in applied physics and a blend of electrical and mechanical engineering, while gaining extensive engineering design experience.

Engineering Physics
UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. E-commerce Cart A shopping cart. Time A clock. Chats Two speech clouds. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Social Media The globe is the default icon for a social media platform. TikTok The logo for the TikTok social media platform. Calendar Location Home A house in silhouette. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Mail An envelope. Telephone An antique telephone. Play A media play button. Search A magnifying glass. Arrow indicating share action A directional arrow. Speech Bubble A speech bubble. Star An outline of a star. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. User A silhouette of a person. Vimeo The logo for the Vimeo video sharing service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service. Future of work A logo for the Future of Work category. Inclusive leadership A logo for the Inclusive leadership category. Planetary health A logo for the Planetary health category. Solutions for people A logo for the Solutions for people category. Thriving cities A logo for the Thriving cities category. University for future A logo for the University for future category.