Prof. dr. Urban Bren was born in 1980 in Kranj. He began his professional career as a researcher at the National Institute of Chemistry and has been employed since 2014 at the University of Maribor as a higher education teacher at the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (FKKT UM), where he is the head of the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry and Chemical Thermodynamics. Prior to that, he gained managerial experience while performing the functions of the head of the Chair for Chemistry and the Vice Dean for Strategic Development at FKKT UM. His research work focuses on molecular modelling and computer simulations in the fields of chemical carcinogenesis and microwave catalysis. He boasts the authorship of 60 original papers, written between 2005 and this day, which were published in top international scientific journals and received 1300 citations according to SCOPUS, which resulted in an attribution of the h-index of 22 to dr. Bren. He is particularly proud of his joint publication with a 2013 Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry, prof. dr. Arieh Warshel.
Prof. dr. Urban Bren possesses a wealth of international experience: he was active in teaching and research at Loyola University Chicago, USA, for two years, and for four years at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria. Since 2008 he is also an expert consultant of the United Nations for computer-aided drug design. He received practically all awards aimed at younger Slovenian researchers (Prešeren Award, Samec Award, Pregl Award, Jožef Stefan Golden Emblem Prize), the Pregl Award for Exceptional Achievements in the field of chemistry and related disciplines, 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. In competitive public tenders, Dr. Bren acquired basic, applied, infrastructural and industrial projects amounting in financial value to EUR 5 million. He gained professional experience as member of the Management Board of the National Institute of Chemistry, of the Faculty and University Senate, of the Management Board of the Slovenian society Mlada akademija, of the Management Board of FKKT UM, as member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Chemistry with impact factor, as member of the ARRS working group MR+, as national coordinator of the Slovenian biobanking research infrastructure consortium BBMRI.SI, as expert evaluator at NAKVIS, and as representative of Republic of Slovenia in the COST initiative TN1301 Sci-Generation. Last but not least, dr. Bren is also well aware of the importance of popularization of science and consequently regularly publishes popular science articles, organizes round tables and gives newspaper, radio and television interviews.