2020/2021 Action Canada Fellowship

Phil was just named as 1 of 15 Action Canada Fellows for the 2020-2021 cohort.

The Action Canada Fellowship is Canada’s top accelerator of policy leaders that aims to enhance emerging leaders’ understanding of the country and public policy choices for the future.

This Fellowship year will be a bit different for the 15 new Fellows due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like most organizations, we will have to adjust and pivot to a dramatically changed global context and we are confident that we can offer a different but equally meaningful and rich Fellowship to the AC cohort of 2020/21 by adopting a suitable approach to converting our current program to a blended program format consisting of a mix of online plenary, small-group and individual sessions as well as hopefully a number of in-person study tours across Canada.

This year’s Fellows will also have an opportunity to work directly on policy solutions for rural and urban dimensions of the future of work in a post-pandemic world.

You see the whole list of fellows here.

New paper published in Nature!

Phil was just published as a co-author on “Accelerated discovery of CO2 electrocatalysts using active machine learning” in Nature.

This project was a collaboration with Carnegie Melon University and Phil’s PhD group at the University of Toronto where we used artificial intelligence to discover a new copper-aluminum catalyst for electrochemical CO2 conversion to ethylene.

This marks the last project that Phil was involved in during his PhD!

Mentor at Creative Destruction Lab – Matter Stream

Phil recently joined Creative Destruction Lab as a Mentor, helping early-stage cleantech entrepreneurs build successful startups. Phil is joining the Matter Stream, focused on bringing advanced materials to market.

The Matter Stream at CDL-Toronto will provide technical and business guidance, as well as access to capital, to entrepreneurs working on discovering, developing or recycling advanced materials across the value chain.

CDL startups work with mentors to sharpen objectives, prioritize time and resources, raise capital, and engage with experts working on the frontiers of research.

The startups attend up to five in-person objective-setting sessions between October and June. CDL is a non-profit organization. There are no fees for participation and CDL does not take any equity. Learn more about the CDL program.

Virtual OECD Meeting – Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, and Converging Technologies

Phil recently participated in a virtual OECD Meeting on April 20th, 2020 – the 11th Session of the Working Party on Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, and Converging Technologies.

Phil served as a commentator on a project on Collaborative Platforms – providing responses and reactions to work done on assessing collaborative platforms for advanced nanomaterials. The outcome of the working party will be a policy report on the dynamic development of collaborative platforms in global science and technology.

SustainED Webinar Interview on Clean Technology

On April 23rd, Phil participated in an a SustainED Webinar Interview on Clean Technology.

SustainED Group is a sustainability education platform that empowers youth-led actions. SustainED aims to equip future leaders with an innate sustainable mindset with targeting programming to high school students, university students, and young professionals.

You can see Phil’s interview and Webinar online here: https://www.sustainedgroup.org/past-webinars/phil-de-luna

Podcast interview on Foreward – “How scientists can use story to maximize impact”

Phil was recently interviewed by award-winning storyteller and strategist Denise Withers on her podcast Foreward – How Stories Drive Change.

Scientists need to be able to tell the story of their work if they want to get grants, engage collaborators, shift policy or generate new knowledge. Unfortunately, that’s not something they learn to do in school. And that’s a problem for all of us, because the world needs to know about the incredible research being done, if we want to solve some of our most complex issues. 

For tips on how I’ve been able to use stories to advance my career and why it’s so important for scientists to do so check out the podcast here:

Panel at GLOBE 2020 on Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage – Feb 12, 2020

Phil hosted a panel discussion at GLOBE 2020 – A Tale of Time Frames: Opportunities and Challenges in the CCUS Ecosystem. GLOBE is a leading conference on climate change and sustainability.

Major international bodies, including the IEA and IPCC, acknowledge much of the world will not be able to meet their emissions reduction targets without carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). These technologies are often seen as a stepping-stone in the path to decarbonization. Extrapolating the role of CCUS over the upcoming ­­­­­several decades, this dialogue will answer challenging questions in this dynamic space:

  • What’s in the CCUS pipeline in Canada and abroad in between now and 2030? 
  • Who should be doing what to facilitate advancement and uptake of the technologies once they are viable at large scale? 
  • Looking beyond, what are the long-term challenges (technical, market, financing) for CCUS technologies in an increasingly decarbonized world?


  • Kate Chisholm, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal and Sustainability Officer, Capital Power
  • Eric Redman, Chief Executive Officer, Thunderbolt Clean Energy
  • Beth Hardy, Vice-President, Strategy & Stakeholder Relations, International CCS Knowledge Centre
  • Chris Severson-Baker, Alberta Regional Director, Pembina Institute