Izr. prof. dr. Urban Bren was born 1980 in Kranj. He started his professional career as a researcher at the National Institute of Chemistry. Since 2014, he is employed at the University of Maribor as a university teacher at the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology (UM FKKT). He is the head of the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry and Chemical Thermodynamics. He already acquired management experience as the head of the Chair of Chemistry and as the Vice-Dean for Strategic Development at the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology. In his research work, he deals with molecular modelling and computer simulations in the fields of chemical carcinogenesis and microwave catalysis, where since 2005 he can boast with 33 original scientific papers published in the leading international scientific journals with 730 citations according to SCOPUS, resulting in the h-index 18. He is especially proud of the joint publication with the winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, prof. dr. Arieh Warshel in 2013.
Izr. prof. dr. Urban Bren has extensive international experience. For two years, he conducted pedagogical and research work at the Loyola University Chicago, USA and for four years at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria. Since 2008, he is also the qualified expert of the United Nations for the field of computer aided drug design. He received practically all awards intended for younger Slovene researchers (Prešeren Award, Samec Award, Pregl Award, Jožef Stefan Golden Emblem Prize) as well as the prestigious Best Fellow Prize of the World Federation of Scientists, which selected him among a worldwide competition as one of the best thirteen young scientists contributing most to the research of Planetary Emergencies. Participating in competitive Calls, dr. Bren acquired basic, applied and industrial projects amounting to EUR 2.5 million. He gained his professional experience by being a member of the Management Board of the National Institute of Chemistry, of the Faculty and University Senate, of the Management Board of the Fellowship Mlada akademija Slovenije, of the Management Board of FKKT UM, as the member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Chemistry with impact factor, as a member of the MR+ ARRS working Committee, as an expert evaluator at NAKVIS as well as the representative of RS in the COST TN1301 Sci-Generation. After all, dr. Bren is well aware of the importance of science popularisation and therefore regularly publishes popular scientific papers, organizes round tables and gives interviews for newspapers, radio and television.