Publish Date: 30.11.2017

Category: News from the University

Prof. Dr. Matevž Dular from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, is among the recipients of the European Research Council's (ERC) funds this year, with total available funds from the ERC of about two million euros. The CABUM Project - An Investigation of the Mechanisms in the Interaction Between Cavitation Bubbles and Cotaminants will lead to a better knowledge of the physical background of a cavitation phenomenon that could be used in the future for environmentally friendly cleaning of drinking and waste water. The importance of the success of Prof. Dr. Dular is that only four researchers in Slovenia have so far received such funding.

Lasting for five-years, the CABUM project will employ seven researchers, with the project leader being Prof. Dr. Matevž Dular, one of the youngest full time professors at the University of Ljubljana. The project explores the phenomenon of cavitation, where bubbles appear in the liquid in case of a sudden decrease in pressure and, later in a higher-pressure area, immediately collapse. It is a process that until recently was considered undesirable because it causes noise, vibration and erosion in water machines. In recent years, however, under specific conditions, it has started to be used for the cleaning of surfaces, improvement of chemical processes, wastewater treatment and elsewhere.

Prof. Dr. Dular, project manager at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ljubljana, explained: "The idea behind the CABUM project is based on the lessons we learned during the multi-year cooperation with sectors of the economy. Clearly, gaps in the knowledge of the physical background of cavitation appear and thus limit the introduction of this technology into advanced industrial processes."

The recipient also emphasised that he and his team will explore the dynamics of cavitation bubbles in interaction with bacteria and viruses, which will open the door to energy efficient and environmentally friendly water purification in the future.

The significance of the funding obtained for the project is highlighted by the fact that, of the 1149 applications considered by the PE (Physical Sciences and Engineering) panel, only 151 applications were granted funding (statistics). More information on this year's projects can be found at the European Research Council (ERC) website.

About Professor Matevž Dular

Prof. Dr. Matevž Dular was born in 1979. He graduated in 2002 and received his doctorate three years later at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana. He was elected as a full professor in 2017. He worked abroad for more than four years (TU-Darmstadt, Arts et Metiers Paris Tech, FH Heidelberg, University of Colorado). He led several projects for the European Space Agency ESA. The field of his research covers both basic and applied research in the field of cavitation and wider dynamics of liquids. He is employed at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Laboratory for Water and Turbine Machinery.


European Research Council

The European Research Council was established by the European Commission with the aim of financing excellent researchers and their research teams to carry out ground-breaking and risky research, with promising new fundamentals. The specificity of the ERC calls is to promote pioneering studies, i.e. those fundamental researches that can lead to important discoveries and, later, to applied research and practical innovation relevant to Europe's competitiveness. More at link.