Nick Vukotic poses with Proto Manufacturing’s benchtop powder X-ray diffraction system.Nick Vukotic poses with Proto Manufacturing’s benchtop powder X-ray diffraction system.

Chemistry grad turns in gold-medal doctoral performance

Soon after taking up graduate study, Nick Vukotic was drawn into sessions brainstorming a problem that had eluded his advisor Stephen Loeb—and others around the world—for years. Dr. Vukotic’s design solution led to a cover article in Nature Chemistry that is now ranked as the most-accessed article of May 2012 in any chemistry journal.

His creativity and problem-solving ability saw Vukotic complete his doctorate in chemistry with a grade average of 96 percent, earning him the Governor General’s Gold Medal for the highest academic standing at the graduate level among his cohort. He will receive the award during the first session of Convocation at the St. Denis Centre on Saturday, October 17.

Vukotic received his BSc in 2009, then began Master’s studies before early transfer to a PhD program. He received graduate scholarships from 2009 to 2014 and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship in 2009 and 2010; the NSERC Canada Graduate Master’s Scholarship in 2010 and 2011; and the NSERC Graduate Doctoral Scholarship from 2011 to 2014. He is the author of 16 publications in refereed journals and a book chapter. Four more manuscripts based on his work are currently in progress.

Serving a post-doctoral fellowship under the Ontario Centres of Excellence TalentEdge program, Vukotic works on the development of x-ray diffraction instrumentation for Proto Manufacturing.