David Bressler, Ph.D,

Full Professor,
Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences

Dr. David Bressler is a Full Professor appointed within the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences where he studies the conversion of biomass to valuable materials and chemicals. Dr. Bressler earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Cell Biotechnology from the University of Alberta.

His general area of research is the industrial application of chemical, thermal, and biological systems for the conversion of biomass into higher value materials, chemicals, and value-added commodities. The program is very applied and is resourced through numerous partnerships with leading enzyme companies as well as agricultural, chemical and forestry industries. He is the holder of several patents and patent applications in the areas of renewable biofuels and in the production of renewable biomaterials.

Dr. Bressler is also the inventor and technology founder behind Forge Hydrocarbons, a novel thermochemical lipid-to-hydrocarbon based technology company, with internationally awarded patents, that has commenced building commercial facilities in Sombra Ontario with expected completion fall 2018.

He is named to Canada’s Clean 50 for 2017, being named one of the top 50 people in clean tech in Canada. He is the 2012 recipient of BioAlberta’s Scientific Achievement and Innovation Award, which recognizes an individual for a breakthrough innovation with commercial application. He is also the recipient of the 2011 ASTech – Dow Agriscience Innovation in Agricultural Science. His areas of expertise are Biomaterials, Fermentation, Pyrolysis, Biotechnology, Biorefining, Biofuels, and Platform Chemicals.

David Layzell, Ph.D

University of Calgary

David Layzell is a Professor at the University of Calgary and Director of the Canadian Energy Systems Analysis Research (CESAR) Initiative. In CESAR, he studies the energy systems of Canada and models the costs, benefits and tradeoffs of technologies and policies driving energy systems transformation. Between 2008 and 2012, he was Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE), a cross-faculty, graduate research and training institute at the University of Calgary.

Before arriving in Calgary, Dr. Layzell was a professor at Queen’s University (Kingston) and the Executive Director of BIOCAP Canada, a research foundation focused on biological solutions to climate change. While at Queen’s, he founded a scientific instrumentation company called Qubit Systems Inc. and was elected ‘Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada’ (FRSC) for his research contributions.


Dawn Fenton, M., B.

Director of Sustainability & Public Affairs,
Volvo Group North America

Dawn Fenton serves as the Director of Sustainability & Public Affairs for Volvo Group North America. She has been in this position since 2011 and has responsibility for coordinating Volvo Group’s North American sustainability and CSR activities. Prior to joining the Volvo Group, Dawn spent 6 years as the Director of Policy at the Diesel Technology Forum, where she led the organization’s policy outreach and educational efforts.  She also spent 5 years working in the Washington, DC office of Asea Brown Boveri. Dawn has worked in the government relations field for over 20 years across a range of energy, environment, sustainability, foreign policy and trade-related issues in the public, private and non-profit sectors.  She received her master’s degree from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and her bachelor’s degree from Tufts University.

Don Roberts, B.A.E, M.F.E, M.B.A.

Nawitka Capital Advisors Ltd.

Don Roberts is CEO of Nawitka Capital Advisors Ltd., a strategic advisory and investment banking boutique focusing on the Global Renewable Energy, Clean Technology and Forest Products Industries.

Prior to founding Nawitka Capital Advisors, Don served as a Vice-Chair of Wholesale Banking, and Managing Director in Investment Banking with CIBC World Markets Inc. In this position he founded and led the Bank’s cross-functional Renewable Energy & Clean Technology Team. Before entering investment banking, Mr. Roberts was a highly ranked equity research analyst for over 15 years. Forbes Magazine recognized him as one of the top brokerage analysts in North America.

Mr. Roberts is a Board Director/Advisor for four corporate and non-profit organizations; an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia, Visiting Scholar at Peking University’s Center for Energy & Development, and Mentor with the Pierre Trudeau Foundation.

Mr. Roberts earned a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of British Columbia, a Master’s degree in Forestry Economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MBA and doctoral studies in International Finance and Economics from the University of Chicago. He is also a certified Board Director with the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Doug Beever

Senior Director, Sustainability & Stakeholder Relations,

Doug Beever joined Agrium in 1987 and has held roles of increasing responsibility including, Manager, Marketing Services; Senior Director, Corporate Relations and his current role as Senior Director, Sustainability & Stakeholder Relations. He is responsible for Agrium’s Government Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and initiatives.

Prior to joining Agrium, Doug worked for Monsanto Canada Inc. He is a graduate of the University of Manitoba, where he earned his Masters degree in Soil Science.

Doug is involved with a number of industry associations including the Canadian Fertilizer Institute, The Fertilizer Institute, the International Fertilizer Industry Association and the International Plant Nutrition Institute and sits on many of their respective committees.

He also participates on the Boards of the Nutrients for Life Foundation Canada, the Climate Change Emission Management Corporation, Alberta Innovates, Energy and Environmental Solutions, and Agriculture for Life. Additionally, he is a member of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Thematic Group, responsible for making recommendations to the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Doug and his family reside in Calgary, Alberta. He also owns a small farming operation east of Rivers and Oak River, Manitoba.