Driven by a desire to learn and discover, engineering graduate earns highest academic honours

The goal is to learn, not to score perfect grades. Engineering physics (co-op) student Scott Wilson did both.

Matthew Menzies - 11 June 2019

(Edmonton) Scott Wilson is an engineering physics co-op program graduate recognized for his outstanding academic achievement over his course of study by winning a number of prestigious awards.

Most recently, he won the Governor General's Silver Medal and the CD Howe Memorial Fellowship for having the highest academic standing in the Faculty of Engineering, two of the highest convocating undergraduate awards awarded by the University of Alberta.

Wilson was always driven by a desire to learn and discover throughout his academic career and maintained near-perfect grades through one of the most intensive programs of study at the university.

"You should always do the best you can," he said. "During my first year, I was very concerned with getting a 4.0 and making sure my marks were top-notch. As the years went by, I realized that they're not as important. It's more important to really absorb the material and learn what you need."

And learn he did, particularly through his five co-op work placements, during which he had the opportunity to work on a number of distinct engineering problems.

From working with lasers in the Ultra-Cold Atomic Physics Lab to developing software with medical chemistry applications, Wilson has experienced a lot for such a young man.

Although he worked tirelessly on classwork and co-op duties, he was still surprised to find out he had been awarded such prestigious honours as the Governor General's Silver Medal and the CD Howe Memorial Fellowship.

"My mom almost cried. My dad was shocked, he thought it was amazing. They were just as shocked as I was, to," he said.

"It took me a while to really believe it," he added. "Each time it was a shock to the system."

Wilson's tireless work ethic and determination to succeed have landed him a job at Edmonton-based Eleven Engineering, where he will work to engineer a ubiquitous protocol for wireless audio transmission devices. This job that will allow him to combine his engineering expertise with his musical mind.

"I play bass and guitar in my spare time," he said. "Sometimes I do think about math while I'm playing music. If I'm looking at a guitar string, I think of the ratio of the different strings of the octaves."

Wilson is a driven graduate, and his commitment to academic excellence has set him on a path to achieve even more as an engineer.