Invited speakers

Plenary speakers


Prof. Dr. Barbara Malič
Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Barbara Malič is Scientific Councillor and Head of Electronic Ceramics Department, Jožef Stefan Institute, and Professor of Chemistry of Materials at Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School, Ljubljana, Slovenia. She obtained her PhD (1995) in Chemistry at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. She is author or co-author of more than 250 papers, 10 book-chapters, more than 150 technical reports, 1 EU/US/Chinese and 4 Slovenian patents. Her research topics include lead-based and lead-free ferroelectric, piezoelectric and electrocaloric ceramics, multilayer structures, solution-derived functional-oxide thin films and inkjet printed nanostructures. In 2019 she became Fellow of European Ceramic Society. In 2010 she received Zois recognition for achievements in the research of ferroelectric ceramics and thin films and in 2020 Zois award for achievements in the research of electrocaloric ceramic materials.


Dr. Ute Resch-Genger
Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), Berlin, Germany

Dr. Resch-Genger is head of division Biophotonics at the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM). She is co-chair of the steering committee of the Methods and Applications in Fluorescence (MAF) conference series and member of the editorial advisory board of Bioconjugate Chemistry and editorial board of the IOP journal Methods and Applications in Fluorescence (MAF). Her research interests include photophysics of molecular and nanocrystalline emitters, rational design, characterization, and application of stimuli-responsive optical probes, and signal enhancement, multiplexing, and encoding strategies, particularly lifetime multiplexing in the life and material sciences. Additionally, she develops methods including optical probes for the quantification of surface groups on 2D- and 3D-supports. As a senior scientist at a national metrological institute, she is responsible for concepts for the validation of optical-spectroscopic measurements and their traceability. In this context, her research group develops and provides optical reference materials (fluorescence standards) for different fluorescence techniques.

Dr. Lukas Palatinus
Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Praga, Češka

Lukas Palatinus studied mineralogy and geochemistry at the Charles University in Prague. During his PhD. At the University Bayreuth, Germany he focused on the crystallographic analysis of modulated structures. Later, during the post-doc stay at the EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland, he developed the program Superflip for the solution of the crystallographic phase problem for periodic and aperiodic crystals, using the iterative dual space algorithms.
Since 2009, Dr. Palatinus is the head of the group of electron crystallography at the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague. He and his co-workers are developing methods for crystal structure analysis from electron diffraction data, with the main focus is on the structure refinement from 3D electron diffraction using the dynamical diffraction theory.

Keynote speakers

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kristina Žužek Rožman
Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia

She is the leader of the Group for Magnetic materials and Electrochemistry on Department for nanostructured materials and is an Assoc. Prof. on International Postgraduate School of Jozef Stefan. Her main scientific interests include rare earth elements (REEs) permanent magnets and electrochemistry of nanostructured material. Her bibliography contains 80+ scientific papers and several patent and patent applications on permanent magnets and long track record on working with industry (Magneti Ljubljana, Kolektor Group, ABB Switzerland). She successfully supervised several PhDs and post-docs in the field of permanent magnets and electrochemistry, receiving a prize for one of the best supervisors of the year 2019. She is involved in several national (2 ongoing) and EU projects with recent MSCA ITN Marie Curie DEMETER, MSCA IF OCARINA and H2020 PASSENGER. She is a member of many professional scientific associations like EIT Raw Materials Association and Global Rare Earth Industry Association (GloREIA) and European Sustainable Energy Innovation Alliance (ESEIA).


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Griša Močnik
University of Nova Gorica and Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Prof. Dr. Griša Močnik works in the field of aerosol optical properties. He is the head of the Center of Atmospheric Research at the University of Nova Gorica and a research associate at Jožef Stefan Institute. He received his doctorate from the University of Ljubljana on photothermal and photoacoustic methods for investigation of highly absorbing and scattering samples.

He has been a principal investigator in numerous international and national research and development projects in the field of aerosol instrumentation and laser devices. His work is mostly focused on the development of novel instrumentation for research of aerosol optical properties and application of this instrumentation – in particular measurement of black carbon and other light absorbing carbonaceous aerosols. For 10 years he was the director of research and development SME. His current research includes development of a direct method and instruments to measure aerosol absorption using photo-thermal interferometry; source apportionment of carbonaceous aerosol for local studies and in context of long-range transport; aerosol vertical profiles; and methods for emission measurements. He mentored PhD students working on source apportionment using aerosol optical properties and measurement of real-world emission indexes of vehicles and the use of these in air quality models. He served as a member of the United Nations ECE expert group on Black Carbon. He is a member of the editorial board for the journal “Aerosol Science and Engineering” and “Atmosphere”.


Prof. Dr. Irena Kralj Cigić
Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Irena Kralj Cigić is Professor of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, where she also obtained her PhD in Chemistry. She lectures on classical and instrumental analytical chemistry, food analysis, and characterisation and stabilisation of cultural heritage materials. She is also involved in teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design of the University, where she teaches natural sciences in the frame of the conservation/restoration programme.

Her main research interest is analytical chemistry, where she focuses on separation techniques, mainly gas and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. She is interested in diverse topics related to cultural heritage materials, representing complex matrices, where sample preparation is a crucial segment of analysis. She is currently a Co-I on the EU H2020 “Active & intelligent PAckaging materials and display cases as a tool for preventive conservation of Cultural HEritage” and member of the Editorial Board of the journal Heritage Science.


Dr. Sebastijan Kovačič
National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Dr. Sebastijan Kovačič received his PhD from the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Maribor (FKKT UM) in 2011. From 2011 until 2015 he has worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Institute for Chemistry and Technology of Materials (Graz, Austria) and Technion (Haifa, Israel). Since 2014 he is a Research Associate at the Slovenian National Institute of Chemistry, where he currently leads a small research team of two PhDs and several Masters, and is an Assistant Professor with Habilitation from Chemistry at FKKT UM. His research field is interdisciplinary and involves the synthesis of various porous materials with peculiar properties, including nanocomposites, hydrogels or carbons and their role in water, air and soil remediation. Recently, hierarchical porous photocatalytic materials enriched his research portfolio. His research work has received both national and international recognition. In 2017 he received »Hershel Rich Technion Innovation Award«, and in 2020 National award »Excellence in Science«.


Prof. Dr. Maja Leitgeb
Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Maribor, Slovenia

Prof. Dr. Maja Leitgeb is head of the Group for Biocatalysis in the frame of the Laboratoy for Separation Processes and Product Design at the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Full Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Maribor, Slovenia. She is a pioneer in the research field of applied biocatalysis in Slovenia. Involved in many international and national projects her interests include biochemical reactions in conventional media and under extreme conditions, such as supercritical fluids, synthesis of nanostructures for biomedical applications in the form of magnetic nanoparticles and enzyme nanoclusters, formation of biostructures with antimicrobial activity and stabilization of biocatalysts using different immobilization techniques. In addition, her research in the field of bioseparations focuses on lysis of microbial and plant cells to isolate bioactive substances from these sources. For her achievements she received Messer Griesheim award. She successfully supervised several PhDs and post-docs where many fellows received prestigious Krka and Henkel awards. In 2021 a one-year scholarship from the World Federation of Scientists in Geneva was granted to a post-doc fellow under her supervision.



Dr. Igor Mihelič
MELAMIN d.d. Kočevje, Slovenia

Dr. Igor Mihelič graduated in 1998 at the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana, where he was employed as an assistant in the field of chemical engineering. At the faculty, he participated in various project groups in the field of research and development in cooperation with industry and managed R&D projects. In 2002 he received his PhD with the thesis “Modeling of polymerization, adsorption and hydrodynamics of GMA-EDMA monolithic carriers”. From 2002 to 2006 he was employed at MELAMIN d.d. Kočevje as a R&D project manager. Since 2006 he has worked as the head of the R&D department with more than 25 employees and as the investment project manager. As part of his professional career he has led a large number of various R&D and industrial investment projects so far. Dr. Igor Mihelič is a certified engineer in the field of chemical engineering, member of the MST Management Board at IZS and a member of the European Chemical Industry Council for the Solvent Resins Manufacturers (CEFIC – SRM).