Dr. Phil De Luna was named 1 of 50 emerging leaders in the Globe and Mail's Changemakers list, an annual editorial award program that recognizes emerging innovative leaders who are changing business today.
Phil is the director of the Materials for Clean Fuels Challenge program at the NRC's Energy, Mining and Environment Research Centre. Originally from the Philippines and born in Taiwan, Phil immigrated to Canada with his family in 1996 at the age of 5 and grew up in Windsor, Ontario. He earned his Bachelor of Science (BSc) from the University of Windsor, his Master of Science (MSc) from the University of Ottawa and his doctorate (PhD) in materials science from the University of Toronto. He was also the recipient of the Graduate Governor General's medal for his doctoral research, which identified new electrocatalytic materials for the conversion of carbon dioxide into renewable fuels and feedstocks.
Since his appointment as director of the Materials for Clean Fuels Challenge program at the NRC, Phil's work has been focused on advancing research and development in carbon dioxide conversion, hydrogen production and artificial intelligence for materials discovery, with more than 40 projects across 4 countries: Canada, Germany, the UK and the U.S Phil puts his expertise to work to develop clean-energy technologies, working tirelessly with his team to help decarbonize Canada and achieve net-zero greenhouse gas commitments. He also leads a multi-disciplinary, collaborative 7-year, $57 million research program to develop made-in-Canada novel materials to produce clean and sustainable energy.
From his office, based at the NRC's advanced materials research facility in Mississauga, Phil collaborates with the public, private and academic sectors to develop the technologies needed to reduce Canada's contribution to global warming, as well as shifting green technology innovations from the lab to the marketplace. His research on carbon dioxide conversion and accelerated materials discovery has been published in high-impact journals and was on the Highly Cited Researchers list from Clarivate for being in the top 1% of citations by field and year in the Web of Science. He regularly gives talks and speeches, participates in panel discussions and interviews on climate change, clean technology, science, diversity and innovation.
Phil hopes that this recognition will help bring more attention to the important work that the NRC does to solve Canada's biggest challenges.
Phil has earned many accomplishments: Member of the College, Royal Society of Canada, Carbon XPRIZE Finalist, Mission Innovation Champion for Canada and Clean 50 Emerging Leader to name a few.