Our Team

Click here to view a Future Energy Systems organizational chart.

M. Anne Naeth, PhD, PAg, PBiol, FSTLHE, FCSSS


Anne Naeth is a Professor of land reclamation and restoration ecology in the Department of Renewable Resources, and recently served as Associate Dean Research and Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences. Since 2011 she has been Director of the Land Reclamation International Graduate School, established with the first University of Alberta NSERC CREATE grant. Since 2017 she has co-led the Future Energy Systems Land and Water theme.

In 2018 Anne was named Director of Future Energy Systems. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing all strategic and administrative operations, and guiding the development of research partnerships with other research organizations, industry, and government, locally, in Canada, and internationally. She works closely with researchers and university administrators to ensure the program meets the requirements of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, while delivering meaningful research outcomes and valuable opportunities for faculty, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and other highly qualified personnel. 

In 2019, Anne was named Director of the University of Alberta Energy Systems Signature Area of teaching and research. In this capacity she ensures continuity of the Future Energy Systems research community, leverages institutional relationships to develop meaningful research partnerships, and develops new energy systems teaching and learning programs.

Anne completed her BSc, MSc, and PhD at the University of Alberta, and was the first student at the institution to complete a graduate degree in the field of land reclamation. She joined the Department of Renewable Resources in 1993.

Contact Anne at anaeth@ualberta.ca.

Kenneth Tam, MA

Assistant Director

Kenneth Tam joined FES as Communications Associate in 2017, was appointed Communications Manager in 2019, and Assistant Director in 2023. He came to the University of Alberta in 2014 to serve as Communications Coordinator for the Alberta Land Institute. His past experience includes service as Communications Consultant for Kitchener–Waterloo Member of Parliament Peter Braid, and as a Balsillie Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, working for Canada’s former Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Paul Heinbecker. Hailing from Newfoundland, he holds a Masters degree in history and is an award-winning novelist with extensive experience in the Canadian publishing industry. 

As Assistant Director, Kenneth plays a leadership role in strategic development for FES, providing strategic counsel, interfacing with other University of Alberta units, and helping identify and support the establishment of key external partnerships. Leading the Communications and Outreach portfolio, he supervises the Outreach and Engagement Lead, Research Communications Coordinator, and Multimedia Content Producer.

Samuel Ferraz, MSc, EIT

Program Manager

Samuel Ferraz holds a BSc in mechanical engineering at Simón Bolívar University in Venezuela, and an MSc in project management for environmental and energy engineering from the Institut Mines-Télécom Atlantique in France. He joined Future Energy Systems in February 2018, and has held positions related to international partnerships, communications, and program coordination before taking up his current role.

As Program Manager, Sam manages administrative, financial, and human resource operations of the FES program, and provides strategic advice to the Director and Assistant Director. Leading the Administration and Finance portfolio, he supervises the Program Financial Analyst, Operations and EDI Coordinator, and Administration Assistant.

Administration & Finance

Responsible for administrative processes and protocols, annual reporting, oversight of the FORUM project management system, and compliance with Canada First Research Excellence Fund regulations. Contact the team at fes@ualberta.ca.

Janet Leung, BSc, BCom

Program Financial Analyst

Janet Leung holds a BCom and a BSc in psychology from the University of Alberta. Prior to beginning work at the University of Alberta in 2013, she was employed in the oil and gas and investment banking sectors in Calgary. She joined the Future Energy Systems team in 2022.

As Program Financial Analyst, Janet provides high level financial account support, including post award and day-to-day administration of research funding provided to the University of Alberta by CFREF and its partners, ensuring requirements from each are met. Janet performs financial analyses and oversees the early identification of discrepancies with an excellent attention to detail, and has a close working relationship with researcher departmental and faculty administration staff.

Anil Kumar Vinayak, MSc

Operations and EDI Coordinator

Anil Kumar Vinayak holds a BTech from Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore in India, and an MSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alberta. During his MSc program, Anil was a Teaching Assistant and Mentor in the Faculty of Engineering. His past experiences include serving as a Marketing Lead, Research Assistant, and Content Writer. A Future Energy Systems program alumnus, Anil joined the FES team in April 2023. Hailing from India, Anil is a published poet and has a multicultural background having lived and worked in three countries.

As Operations and EDI Coordinator, Anil assists the Program Manager by providing administrative and logistical support in developing and maintaining FES strategic research partnerships, facilitating coordination and communication with all FES governance bodies, supporting the ongoing relationship between FES and CFREF, and developing programs that advance the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion within FES initiatives.

Abigail David, BA

Administration Assistant

Abigail graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Psychology. During her degree, she worked as a peer tutor at the Centre for Writers, where she helped both undergraduate and graduate students with their academic writing projects. After graduating, she came back to the Centre for Writers to work as Administrative Assistant, supporting daily operations and helping the Centre transition to the Dean of Students portfolio. She then worked as Administrative Assistant in the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies and Community Service Learning in the Faculty of Arts. In 2018, Abigail moved to the Faculty of Science Student Services as Undergraduate Program Coordinator, where she helped provide administrative program support. Abigail joined the FES team in January 2024.

As Administration Assistant, Abigail assists the Program Manager and team with daily administrative operations, including data validation, maintenance of the Forum project management system, facilitation of annual and final reporting, and support of events and other initiatives.

Communications & Outreach

Manages the FES website, writes stories about FES researchers, provides tours of FES facilities, and manages events that connect research with industry, government, and the general public. Responsible for providing professional development training for FES research personnel. Contact the team at fescom@ualberta.ca

Valerie Miller, PhD

Outreach and Engagement Lead

Valerie Miller (she/her) holds a PhD in land reclamation from the University of Alberta, which focused on building soils using mine waste at a diamond mine in northern Canada. During her PhD program she was a teaching assistant, primary instructor, community volunteer coordinator, and a volunteer with various science outreach organizations including TELUS World of Science - Edmonton, Nature Kids, Let’s Talk Science, and Alberta Envirothon. She was a founding member of the Future Energy Systems Peers in Research Communication (PIRC) group.

As Outreach and Engagement Lead, Valerie manages the Energy Explorers training program, coordinates the extensive FES outreach and engagement program, and works with numerous external partners to provide public access to FES research and researchers. She is the author of The Energy Adventures of Tommy and Remi series.

Elyse Dzenick, BCS

Research Communications Coordinator

Elyse Dzenick holds a BCS from MacEwan University. She is an experienced communicator, having spent time in the agency and nonprofit worlds. Her experience in performing arts, public relations, and economic development provide a unique perspective to her communications work and related projects. She joined FES in December 2022. 

As Research Communications Coordinator, Elyse identifies and executes stakeholder facing opportunities for researchers, including speaking and exhibiting opportunities at major industry and government events. She supports all communications efforts and initiatives, from liaising and events, to writing and editing FES research stories, and managing the program newsletter.

Kaitlin Pylypa, BFA

Multimedia Content Producer

Kaitlin holds a BFA in fine arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, and is an experienced professional artist with a specialization in architectural subjects. She is a graphic designer with specific training in illustration, photography, and video production. She joined the Future Energy Systems communications team in 2021. 

As Multimedia Content Producer, Kaitlin develops and distributes FES video and online outreach materials, and creates communications assets such as infographics to help make advanced FES research more accessible to stakeholders, government, and members of the public. She illustrates The Energy Adventures of Tommy and Remi series. 


Provides technical and strategic research advice to the FES Director and the senior administration team members. 

Amit Kumar, PhD, PEng

Deputy Director

Since September 2012 Amit Kumar has held the NSERC/Cenovus/Alberta Innovates Associate Industrial Research Chair in Energy and Environmental Systems Engineering. He is the Cenovus Energy Endowed Chair in Environmental Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta. His research group works on integrated energy and environmental modeling, life cycle assessment, and techno-economic assessment of conventional and non-conventional energy systems.

Amit received his BSc in energy engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India, and his MSc in energy technology from the Asian Institute of Technology. He completed his PhD at the University of Alberta in 2004 and rejoined the university after completing his Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of British Columbia. He has served as Deputy Director with Future Energy Systems since 2017. In this capacity he works closely with the FES Director on strategic research and outreach goals.