"Contacts made in SCI can be very useful when looking for a job, or when writing up proposals with industrial partners and sponsors."
What are your research interests?
My research aims to bring electrochemical engineering and applied electrochemistry into the XXI century. In particular, I am interested in redox and acid-base flow batteries, 3D printed electrochemical reactors, electrodeposition of noble metals, PEM fuel cells, electrochemical hydrogen pumps and analysis of electrodes using X-ray computed tomography. I have also collaborated with experts in hydrodynamic simulation to study porous electrodes and mesh separators in membrane stacks.
How did you first get involved with SCI?
In 2016 I won the ‘best poster prize’ at a SCI conference. I was a PhD student back then. I talked to the hosts about SCI and realised that it was easy to get involved. Thus, I volunteered to organise the same event the following year. This was the 2017 Electrochemistry Postgraduate Conference. After attending several of their meetings, I then became an early-career representative with the SCI Electrochemical Technology Group. I continued to be closely involved in these events, especially during my first postdoc.
What do you hope to gain from your involvement with SCI?
I hope to encourage scientists and engineers to consider the problems and opportunities found in industrial electrochemistry and electrochemical energy storage and conversion. Fundamental electrochemistry and electrochemical engineering are complimentary and play important roles in the development of more efficient and sustainable technologies. I would also like to advocate the educative role of electrochemical reactors in the formation of chemists.
Why would you encourage your peers to join SCI?
SCI organises interesting events aimed to promote a realistic approach towards the chemical sciences. Members can benefit greatly from expertise originated directly in industry. SCI membership is also useful to get discounts at several of their own events and at co-sponsored events in the UK. I personally find Chemistry & Industry magazine very interesting and it helps me to keep up to date. In 2018, I was even asked to write a short feature on my involvement as a member of SCI.
Dr. L. Fernando Arenas
Visiting Academic at University of Southampton - Electrochemical Engineering