Dr. Bren Mark B. Felisilda
Bren hails from the Philippines, where he finished his Bachelor's degree from Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan in 2008. After a teaching stint for four years, he pursued his Master's degree at Hanbat National University (South Korea) with Prof. Jang Myoun Ko, where he developed bimetallic electrocatalysts for environmental applications. Before graduating in 2014, he got a scholarship for a Ph.D. program at Curtin University (Australia). Working with Prof. Damien Arrigan, he explored the use of electrochemistry at the interface between two immiscible electrolyte solutions (ITIES) to characterize various biomolecules and their potential applications.
While his Ph.D. thesis was under examination, Bren was awarded an internship with the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) Science Policy team. Here, he looked into Australia's research funding schemes and how it compares with other OECD nations. After graduating in 2018, Bren worked with A/Prof Joselito Quirino at the Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science (ACROSS, Tasmania) to develop alternative chromatographic stationary pseudophases based on surfactants. He also served as a grants officer helping researchers tailor their applications for that specific NHMRC funding cycle. In 2019, he came back to Prof. Arrigan's group to develop a chemical sensor to demonstrate the integrity and performance of water recycling reverse osmosis systems in collaboration with Water Corporation (Western Australia).
Recently, Bren was awarded a PD2PI Fellowship funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 program under a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions agreement (MSCA-COFUND #847413) based at the Institute of Physical Chemistry – Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland) working with Dr. hab. Martin Jönsson-Niedziółka. As his co-mentor, he will be working closely with Dr. Micheál Scanlon at the University of Limerick (Ireland), aiming to explore the synthesis of conducting polymers at soft electrified interfaces, its characterization, and potential applications.