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Now a postdoctoral fellow at MIT, materials researcher David Zhitomirsky won the Governor General's Academic Gold Medal for his work in the Sargent Group at U of T Engineering (Photo courtesy David Zhitomirsky).

U of T electrical engineer David Zhitomirsky (ECE PhD 1T5) has won a Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal for 2015, one of just three awarded at the University of Toronto.

Zhitomirsky’s completed his PhD this semester under the supervision of Professor Ted Sargent in The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. He studied energy transport properties and electronic doping in quantum colloidal dot films for optoelectronic devices. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Grossman Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“I wanted to continue working on energy materials, and I still do a bit of work with quantum dots along the same lines, but my main thrust is materials that can absorb sunlight and then they store the energy in different confirmations…we call them solar thermal fuels,” says Zhitomirsky.

Outside of the lab, Zhitomirsky plays classical guitar and piano, and takes on the occasional arts and crafts project.

Gold Academic Medals are awarded to students graduating with the highest academic average from a university graduate program. The medals were created in 1873 by Lord Dufferin, Canada’s third Governor General, to encourage academic excellence. They are some of the most prestigious awards Canadian students can receive. Bronze and silver medals recognize achievement at the high school and undergraduate levels, respectively. Zhitomirsky previously earned a Governor General’s Bronze Medal as a high school student.

“David Zhitomirsky is a world-class researcher, and I’m gratified to see his work recognized with this prestigious award,” says Professor Farid Najm, chair of ECE. “My sincere congratulations to David — I look forward to following his career at MIT and beyond.”

Governor General’s Academic Medals were presented at a ceremony on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

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