BEng, MSc, PhD
Wen Li obtained BEng degree in Material Science and Engineering at Tongji University in Shanghai and her MSc and PhD in Chemistry at The University of Manchester in UK.
Prior to joining Brookes Bell, Wen worked at CustoMem Ltd, a London-based bioengineering start-up for wastewater treatment. Multidisciplinary researcher experience enables her to develop wide skills in organic chemistry, analysis chemistry, advanced material characterisation, and novel composite materials development. She joined Brookes Bell as a cargo scientist in December 2018.
Wen has attended on vessels and at commodity facilities to investigate cargo deterioration, design sampling protocols, oversee sampling to International Guidelines and to design, oversee and interpret analytical procedures for a variety of commodities.
Wen’s MSc research concerned development of photocleavable lipids and studying the products formed after irradiation while her PhD research topic involved application of dynamic combinatorial chemistry (DCC) concepts to lipid self-assembly and lipid interactions with graphene surfaces. Her research enabled her to develop skills in a variety of analytical chemistry techniques, including NMR, FTIR, LC-MC, GC-MS, SEM, TEM, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and dynamic light scattering (DLS).
At CustoMem Ltd, her combined scientific research and engineering background enabled her to develop synthesis of innovative products, characterise them (e.g. with SEM, TEM, TGA) and reliably scale up their production from lab (mg) to industrial (kg) scale – a challenging milestone with variable, bio-based raw materials. This resulted in a patent application for a product showing market leading performance to remove micropollutants (e.g., PFASs) from wastewater. She also supported the project with analytical chemistry skills (e.g., LCMS, GCMS) and developed a novel method for analysis of used firefighting foam (AFFF) process water.
She has wide interests in engineering, scientific and innovative environmental-friendly projects.
- PhD in Chemistry, The University of Manchester. Dissertation: ‘Synthetic Vesicles from Stimuli-responsive Amphiphiles’
- MSc in Chemistry, The University of Manchester. Dissertation: ‘Sulfonyl Hydrazides as Novel Caged Lipids for use in Biochemistry’
- BEng in Material Science and Engineering, Tongji University. Dissertation: ‘Proton Conductive Materials based on Hollow Silica Spheres’
Previous Employment History
- CustoMem Ltd. - Process Development Manager
- CustoMem Ltd. - Product Development Intern
- The University of Manchester - Laboratory Teaching Assistant
Surveying and Consultancy Experience
- Responsible for the product production process and scale up of production.
- SOP update and management
- Resource planning, supporting the ongoing budgeting process
- Planning, scheduling and executing agreed development plans to scale-up lead product candidates
- Representing the company at road shows, exhibitions and conferences
- Customer communication to understand customer needs regarding deliverables & technical expectations
- Supporting with appropriate IP Rights protection strategies (patent, trade secret, trademarks, copyright etc.) around products, processes, commercial insights, brand and other areas of commercial priority
- Li, W, Mcmanus, D, Liu, H, Casiraghi, C and Webb, S 2017, 'Aqueous dispersions of nanostructures formed through the self-assembly of iminolipids with exchangeable hydrophobic termini' Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.
- UK, Patent No. 1805058.3, 28 March 2018. (Pending, Title: Chemical Cellulose Product)
Other Entrepreneurial Experience
- World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting of New Champions – Tianjin, China. Wen represented CustoMem Ltd. and invited to speak about female led entrepreneurship.
- North-West Europe BioBase4SME Innovation Camp – York, UK. The workshops for Bio-based SMEs from UK and EU. The aim was to train entrepreneurs to run their business. Courses included IP, value proposition, leadership, operations, branding, pitches to investors, and networking.
- Imperial Venture Mentoring Service (IVMS) Launch – London, UK. Wen represented CustoMem Ltd. pitched to investors and mentors.
- Manchester Enterprise Summer School – Lake district, UK. The aim was to explore business opportunities in this area using enterprise skills learnt from workshops. ‘The best pitch’ award out of six teams.