Phil De Luna (Ph.D, Materials Science) is a world-leading expert in carbon conversion technologies, artificial photosynthesis, clean energy materials, and machine learning for materials discovery.
De Luna is currently serving as Program Director, Materials for Clean Fuels Challenge Program at the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada. He leads a multi-disciplinary collaborative 7-year $57M research program to develop made-in-Canada novel materials to produce clean and sustainable energy. He is the youngest director in NRC’s over 100 year history.
De Luna was 1 of 10 finalists worldwide in the $20M Carbon XPRIZE and 1 of 20 semi-finalists worldwide in the $7M OCE Solutions 2030 Challenge. He co-founded CERT, a carbontech venture that converts CO2 into ethylene, where he helped raise >$2M in non-dilutive funding.
De Luna is a member of the Board of Directors of CMC Research Institutes – a non-profit organization focused on developing solutions to reduce industrial carbon emissions. He serves on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED) Advanced Materials Steering group studying international collaborating research platforms. He is also a Mentor in the Matter and Climate Streams of Creative Destruction Lab, helping technology and science based startups succeed.
De Luna was named to the 2019 Forbes Top 30 Under 30 – Energy list, 2019 GreenBiz Top 30 Under 30 list, is a Governor General’s Gold Medalist, a 2020 Mission Innovation Champion for Canada, NSERC Canada Graduate Scholar, a Massey College Junior Fellow, and a CIFAR Bio-Inspired Solar Energy Graduate Fellow. He was in the 2019 Creative Destruction Lab – Rockies Energy stream, a highly competitive technology accelerator program, and the Next36, Canada’s premier entrepreneurship program. De Luna was also a 2020-2021 Action Canada Fellow – Canada’s top accelerator for policy leaders.
De Luna earned his BSc Chemistry from the University of Windsor before earning his MSc Chemistry at the University of Ottawa. He has been a visiting scholar at Stanford, UC Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and the Canadian Light Source. He was a researcher at the IBM TJ Watson Research Center in the summer of 2016 and the Toyota Research Institute in the summer of 2018 where he worked on biosensing and machine learning for batteries and fuel cells respectively.
De Luna has published 41 papers in high-impact journals such as Science and Nature. His research has been featured in mainstream media such as CBC, Newsweek, The Independent, VICE, and others.
De Luna enjoys exploring new cities, bouldering, longboarding, live music in small intimate venues, watching Raptor’s games, and cooking delicious food. On weekends you can find Phil roaming the streets of Toronto listening to the newest Drake songs.