Physics graduate student passes away

Yu Qian was a graduate of the University of Science and Technology of China working toward his doctorate in physics at U.Va.


Yu Qian was involved in the Physics Department and local Chinese Christian church communities.

Courtesy U.Va. Physics Department

Physics graduate student Yu Qian has passed away, according to a University-wide email sent Thursday by Dean of Students Allen Groves. At the time of his death, Qian was working in Oak Ridge, Tenn. at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he planned to collect data for his Ph.D. thesis. 

Qian was from Gaoyou, China and a graduate of the University of Science and Technology of China before he began his studies at the University in 2016.

Groves’ email included a joint statement by Stefan Baessler, associate professor of physics and Qian’s research advisor, and Huangxing Li, Qian’s fellow graduate student, who said Qian “was a brilliant and remarkable young man.”

“His friends at U.Va. and in the Chinese Christian church communities both in Charlottesville and in Oak Ridge enjoyed his company,” Baessler and Li said. “Yu was considerate, sincere, loving and unselfish and gave completely of himself to others. He will be missed by all of us.”

Groves’ email also offered sympathy on behalf of the University community.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Yu’s parents, Hua Li and Pinxiang Qian, and other family members in China; his friends; fellow students; associates in Tennessee; and faculty members whose lives he touched,” Groves wrote.

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