University of Otago

Professor Sally Brooker

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Brooker's Bunch

Recent PhD graduates

Paul Croucher
Robert Kelly

Geoffrey Dunbar
Paul Plieger
Tony Davidson
Ian Hewitt
Yanhua Lan
Rongqing Li

Recent postdocs

Paul Smith
Duncan de Geest
Craig Depree
Udo Beckmann
Graham Motson
Wolfgang Mohr
Carsten Brandt
Markus Weitzer

Others

Vikas Aggarwal
Janna Ewing
Shaun Presow

A. Vikas Aggarwal A. Vikas Aggarwal

Currently: Manager for Strategy and Corporate Development at the CHT Group (www.cht.com) (since 2016))
Previously: Researcher within the Innovation Department of CHT GmbH (www.cht.com) in Tübingen (Germany) (2013-2015)
PhD-Thesis with Prof. Sigurd Höger in organic & polymer chemistry, University Bonn (Germany), including a research project with Prof. Kris Matyjaszewski at Carnegie-Mellon-University (Pittsburgh, USA)(2008-2012)
Chemistry Diplom (Diplom Thesis with Prof. Stefan Bräse in organic chemistry) at KIT (Karlsruhe, Germany) including a research project in New Zealand with Prof. Sally Brooker (March-August 2005)

Update in 2017

After completing my degree at the university of Karlsruhe / KIT I moved on to the University of Bonn and engaged in the synthesis and investigation of functional molecular spoked wheels. In addition, I was given the opportunity once more to spend some time abroad and worked on a side project involving ATRP at CMU in Pittsburgh.

The next step involved joining a mid-sized but multinational corporation, based in Tübingen (Germany). In 2013 I entered the company as researcher within the innovation department and engaged primarily in the development of novel chemical effects especially for the textile industry.

Three years later, in 2016, I then switched to my current position in Strategy and Corporate Development. My current tasks are quite different from what I learnt as chemist, however the ability to analyse problems and the training in solution based thinking, that I gained during my experiences in research, come in handy every day.

Comments from 2005
I worked in Sally’s research group on the development of new porphyrin-like ligands and complexes from March to August 2005.

The exciting opportunity to study at the University of Otago in New Zealand was set up as a result of discussions I had with Sally whilst she was on sabbatical leave with Professor Annie Powell at the University of Karlsruhe in summer 2004.

Though my study in NZ was not part of any exchange programme funding was (and still is) available for German students (or citizens from any EU-country who are studying in Germany) from http://www.das-neue-bafoeg.de/ more specifically http://www.auslandsbafoeg.de/. Also if you don’t receive any ‚normal‘ Bafög you could be eligible for ‚Auslandsbafög‘ as long as you enrol as a full time student at the University of Otago. For me the full time course comprised the research project (CHEM480) and research report (CHEM468) with Sally, and a third year special topics lecture course (CHEM371). Funding then included airfare, tuition fees up to 4600 €(Euro), travel and health insurance costs and a monthly living allowance. My NZ research project has been credited as my vertiefungspraktikum in inorganic/organic chemistry in Germany.

Now back home in Germany I’m continuing my studies at the University of Karlsruhe to graduate as a Diplom Chemist in 2007. Even though my visit to New Zealand has extended the time I need to complete my studies here, going there was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made: Thanks to Sally I was able to experience what research in chemistry means in reality. Working on a project under her supervision was a great experience and lots of fun due to her enthusiasm and guidance, the very helpful staff at the chemistry department, the fourth year students I spent most of the time with and last but not least all those ‘group meetings’ at Sally’s place...

Altogether NZ is a wonderful country and studying fulltime for 5 months at the University of Otago and then travelling for another 7 weeks with a backpack provided me with a very diverse range of experiences! Back in Germany I’m missing the friends I made and the friendliness of the people in New Zealand. I definitely will return sometime!!

Contact details:
Vikas@gmx.de

 
Professor Sally Brooker
Department of Chemistry, University of Otago, New Zealand
Last modified February 2006 by Stephen Read