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Phil De LunaUWindsor chemistry alumnus Phil De Luna has been listed in the “Top 30 Under 30 in Energy” by Forbes magazine.

Chemistry alumnus recognized as rising entrepreneur in field of energy

A Faculty of Science alumnus has been listed among 2019’s Top 30 Under 30 in Energy by Forbes magazine, an annual ranking of distinguished young entrepreneurs, leaders, and stars.

Phil De Luna has won recognition for his contributions to the field of energy, as he is currently working on ways to convert carbon dioxide into renewable fuels and feedstocks. He earned his honours bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the University of Windsor in 2013.

“He is a wonderful exemplar of the exceptional students here at UWindsor, and of what we can do here at the University of Windsor to facilitate both their personal and career goals,” says James Gauld, head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

De Luna is currently pursuing his PhD in materials science engineering at the University of Toronto and expects to complete his dissertation by the end of 2018 — in only three years.

He is also one of 10 global finalists for the $20 million Carbon XPrize, a competition to develop technologies to convert industrial carbon dioxide emissions into consumer products. He has completed research internships at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in New York, at UC Berkeley in California, and at the Toyota Research Institute in Silicon Valley.

“This is a well-earned recognition for all his hard work and tremendous efforts,” says Dr. Gauld, who had De Luna as a volunteer and honours student in his research lab. “At the Faculty of Science, and in the Department of Chemistry in particular, we are all very proud of what he has achieved thus far and of what we believe he will be able to achieve in the future.”

De Luna immigrated to Windsor when he was five years old, and still fondly remembers his time at the University of Windsor.

“I’m tremendously proud of the University of Windsor,” says De Luna. “Prof. Gauld offered me the opportunity to learn by doing. Everything started here at the University of Windsor when he took me on as one of his volunteers — I fell in love with research because of his lab and the work I did there.”

—Darko Milenkovic