Phil was just awarded the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Canadian Graduate Scholarship (CGS) Award. This highly competitive national award is valued at $105,000 over 3 years. NSERC awards the CGS to the top 10% of applicants in the country. Phil would like to thank his current supervisors Dr. Jun Nogami and Dr. Ted Sargent for their continued support and his undergraduate supervisor Dr. James Gauld for his advice and steadfast mentorship.
Phil was part of the team which designed the world’s most efficient catalyst for storing energy as hydrogen by splitting water molecules. Phil helped edit the paper, contributed to discussions, and designed the BET surface area experiments! You can download the paper here. This is his first paper with the Sargent group.
Phil was just nominated for Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 Award by the national non-profit The Starfish Canada. Co-founded by David Suzuki Foundation public engagement specialist Kyle Empringham, The Starfish celebrates young people with its Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 program. Every year, 25 youth are recognized for their efforts to create environmental change. The group recognized is diverse, from community gardeners and outdoor recreationists to scientists and advocates.
Phil has just accepted an offer for a summer internship at the TJ Watson Research Center about 50 mins north of NYC. He will be working under the supervision of Dr. Ruhong Zhou at the Computational Biology Research Center performing molecular simulations on enzyme catalysis. This highly competitive position at IBM is offered only to a select few and is an excellent opportunity to work on industry oriented problems as well as learn highly valuable new skills.
Phil recently gave an invited talk at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center entitled “Solar Fuels: Can plants teach us how to convert CO2 into fuel?” with Dr. Sasha Voznyy from the Sargent Group. He had the opportunity to present his research to Ajay Royyuru the Director of the Computational Biology Center and Christine Kretz the Director of Business Development, and their colleagues.
In addition to presenting research, Phil also had the opportunity to tour the IBM ThinkLab, see the Watson supercomputer (which beat Ken Jennings on Jeopardy), and learn about all the exciting science going on at IBM research.
Phil’s paper on an ultra-microporous metal-organic framework (MOF) for CO2 capture and storage just appeared online at Science Advances. This work was done at the University of Ottawa during Phil’s M.Sc Chemistry degree. He was responsible for all computational modelling of the material, writing the paper, and comparison to existing materials.
Essentially, this material is a crystalline nano-porous framework which is stable, scalable, with extremely high CO2 uptake. Intriguingly, this MOF has very tiny pores, which may seem counter-intuitive for high CO2 capture. The pore sizes are the optimal fit for a high density of CO2 binding sites with the additional benefit of cooperative binding. You can download the PDF here.
Phil recently visited the SUNCAT group at Stanford headed by Prof. Jens Nørskov. He stayed for a week learning advanced computational techniques to model CO2 reduction and oxygen evolution catalysts. Michal Bajdich and Leanne D. Chen were wonderful hosts and mentors teaching Phil some new first-principles techniques and how to model proper thermodynamics of materials.
Phil recently attended a Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) conference on Bio-Inspired Solar Fuels on Dec. 11th to 13th in downtown San Francisco. This exclusive conference featured leading world experts from Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, Harvard, Penn State, and Caltech. He presented a record-breaking CO2 reduction catalyst which operates at low over potentials and 95% faradaic efficiency which means this material can convert almost all CO2 at lower energy cost.
Phil was just awarded the Atsumi Ohno Scholarship worth $10,000 at the Materials Science and Engineering Department in the University of Toronto. Dr. Atsumi Ohno graduated from the University of Toronto with a Ph.D in Metalurgical Engineering in 1963 and continued onto Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan as a professor. In 1989 he provided a generous research endowment to the university which funds the annual Atsumi Ohno scholarship. Phil is the only recipient for this year.