John Zhou, Ph.D.


Vice President- Clean Energy, 

Alberta Innovates

Dr. Zhihong (John) Zhou is the Vice President Clean Energy at the newly amalgamated Alberta Innovates. In this role, John is responsible for Alberta’s strategic direction and innovation in oil and gas industry, clean technology, and water and land management. Previously, he served as CTO and Acting CEO of Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions (AI-EES).

John spent two years on nuclear energy at Ontario Hydro before joined the Alberta Research Council (ARC) in 1990. He worked at ARC as a researcher in energy and environmental technologies, and in 2000 became a business unit manager in Advanced Materials. He is an inventor with seven US patents, two of which led to commercial success. In 2009, John initiated a 25-member international industry consortium, Materials and Reliability in Oil Sands (MARIOS) and was its founding director.

At AI-EES, John was the Executive Director for Environmental Technologies (2010), and Water and Environment (2012) and Chief Technical Officer (2014). He was Acting CEO (2016) before AI-EES was merged into Alberta Innovates. He is a co-chair for Energy Collaboratory and Environment Collaboratory in Government of Alberta.
John earned his Ph.D. (Geology) from the University of Western Ontario. He served as an associate editor for an international journal, Applied Geochemistry, from 1997-2000, and was an associate editor for the Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology, from 2015-2016. John is a board member of the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada (PTAC) and the Alberta Chamber of Resources (ACR). He is a professional geologist (APEGA) and a life member of Petroleum Engineering Society (SPE). In 2015, John was named an Energy Futures Lab Fellow, one of 40 influencers from across Alberta chosen by the Energy Futures Lab to help accelerate the transition to a more sustainable energy system.