Engineering graduate receives Governor General’s Gold Medal

Lakshmi Varaha Iyer, a recipient of the Governor General’s Gold Medal, receives congratulations from UWindsor president Alan Wildeman and chancellor Ed Lumley, Saturday at Convocation.Lakshmi Varaha Iyer, a recipient of the Governor General’s Gold Medal, receives congratulations from UWindsor president Alan Wildeman and chancellor Ed Lumley, Saturday at Convocation.

An engineering graduate was honoured for his outstanding academic achievement this past weekend during the 108th Convocation ceremonies held in the St. Denis Centre.

Lakshmi Varaha Iyer, who received a PhD in Electrical Engineering in 2016, received the Governor General’s Gold Medal from Provost and Vice-President, Academic, Douglas Kneale.

The medals were established in 1873 by Lord Dufferin, Canada’s third Governor General after Confederation, to encourage academic excellence across the nation. Over the years, they have become the most prestigious award that students in Canadian schools can receive, recognizing a student graduating with the highest grade point average among peers.

During his time at UWindsor Dr. Iyer received, among other honours, an NSERC Canada Graduate Doctoral Scholarship; a Tri-Council Recognition Scholarship; and the University of Windsor Graduate Scholarship and Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity.

“I'd like to explicitly thank Dr. Narayan Kar, his Canada Research Chair Program, and the University of Windsor,” Iyer said.

“This award is the result of continued guidance from Dr. Kar, Dr. Kaushik Mukherjee, and collaboration with other like-minded professors, fellow researchers, and technologists in the CHARGE labs, as well as sponsoring industries. This award is ours. I am immensely grateful to the Almighty for all the favours received and thank my parents for my upbringing, as well as family and well-wishers for their continued support in my quest for knowledge and excellence.”

Iyer’s publication record is among the top one percent of all graduate students in the history of the Department of Electrical and Computing Engineering, and he is noted for developing novel and advanced design approaches that are now used extensively by practising engineers and research peers.

“Dr. Iyer has a proven record of accomplishment, passion, hard work, dedication, and eagerness to innovate,” said Dr. Kar, Iyer’s faculty supervisor. “I am extremely proud and happy that Dr. Iyer received this prestigious Governor General’s Gold Medal as he has been an exemplary researcher and a leader among his peers. I see an evolving global research leader in the area of electrified transportation.”

Three Board of Governor Medals were also given to Ahmed Naji in civil and environmental engineering, Alex Smith in electrical and computer engineering and Alessia Coletta in mechanical, automotive and materials engineering.