SoCS Grad Student Receives Young Innovator Award

Nic Durish, MSc Computer Science student in the School of Computer Science was recognized by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce with the Young Innovator Award. The award was presented June 28th at the Annual Guelph Chamber of Commerce Awards of Excellence Gala. 


The award, presented by CEPS Dean, Mary Wells, "recognizes an individual under the age of 25 who has demonstrated innovative leadership in their chosen field of profession or study" and who "is dedicated to solving an important and current challenge".

Since his undergraduate degree, Nic has been involved in innovative pursuits. His work on Sustain-A-Bin and ElecTrickle garnered him first place at the Feeding 9 Billion Challenge and the Net Zero Hackathon, respectively. He also won the Pitch for Progress Competition, was top 3 in the nation-wide ScotiaBank EcoLiving Award Competition, and has had his work featured in AgInnovation Ontario.

As a graduate student, his innovative spirit hasn't slowed. Since September of 2017, he took on the role of one of the lead developers on the community-led eNuk health and environment monitoring application, and he has been working to quantify the digital divide. He's contributed an invited paper to a special edition of the International Journal of Circumpolar Health, has co-authored 5 conference posters, 4 conference presentations (one invited), and 2 workshops presentations. He has been accepted to speak at the upcoming International Congress on Circumpolar Health (Denmark), and the Arctic Circle conference (Iceland), and has submitted to present at 3 other conferences this year. He helped develop a new website for the eNuk team, recently won 3rd place in the recent Student 2 Minute Challenge at this year's CPHAZ Symposium, and is currently drafting a 2nd paper for peer review. Nic has received a graduate scholarship worth $18,000 per year, as well as several travel grants. Nic was also awarded a Polar Knowledge Canada Northern Science Training Program to support his research investigating the digital divide.

Finally, Nic's efforts extend beyond the discipline of Computer Science. Prior to starting his Master's research, Nic and his fiance converted an old school bus into a sustainable tiny home and travelled across the country. The home was a hit at last year's Hillside Festival.

Congratulations Nic. This award is very well deserved.