CCUCC Chemistry Doctoral Award

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of University Chemistry Chairs (CCUCC), the CCUCC Chemistry Doctoral Award is presented to recognize outstanding achievement and potential in research by a graduate student whose PhD thesis in chemistry was formally accepted by a Canadian university in the 12–month period preceding the nomination deadline.

View the Terms of Reference and list of Past Winners

The 2017 winner of the CCUCC Chemistry Doctoral Award is:


Cristina Mottillo
McGill University

Cristina Mottillo obtained her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from McGill University in 2011, before pursuing her PhD studies at McGill under the supervision of Tomislav Friščić. Her PhD research was focused on the development of solid-state mechanochemistry and accelerated aging methodologies as more environmentally-friendly alternatives for the synthesis of porous metal-organic materials. Mottillo’s research endeavours also included fundamental studies conducted at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Paul-Scherrer Institute, and Canadian Light Source, to elucidate the mechanisms of mechanochemistry and structural properties of metal-organic materials. During that time, she co-authored 15 peer-reviewed journal articles and presented her research at numerous local, regional, and international conferences. Mottillo was named an FRQNT Doctoral Scholar and was awarded the 2014 Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship, two Sigma Xi Grants-In-Aid of Research, as well as numerous travel grants for the dissemination of her work at scientific meetings. After completing her PhD, Mottillo has continued to work in the Friščić group as a postdoctoral scholar and is also chief scientific officer of ACSYNAM, a spin-off company from the McGill University, Department of Chemistry. In her role as CSO, she is developing the greener manufacture of advanced porous metal-organic materials while continuing to pursue fundamental solid-state research.

Past Winners

2016
Stephen Winter
Physikalisches Institut, Goethe-Universität (For research carried out at University of Waterloo under advisor Richard Oakley)

2014
Gabriel Ménard
Harvard University (For research carried out at University of Toronto under advisor Douglas Stephan)

2013
Zachary M. Hudson
University of Bristol (For research carried out at Queen’s University under advisor Suning Wang)