Publish Date: 19.12.2019

Category: News from the University

At the University of Ljubljana we presented best research achievements in 2019. The largest and oldest university in Slovenia, which is currently celebrating its centenary, contributes over half of the scientific results to Slovenia’s treasury of knowledge. 

In the light of the centenary, University of Ljubljana Rector Prof. Dr Igor Papič, noted that the very first Rector of the University, mathematician Dr Josip Plemelj, was seriously committed to research: “By solving the Riemann-Hilbert problem in 1908 and through other achievements he gained a place among the leading mathematicians of the early 20th century. When he became the head of the newly established university in 1919, his renown attracted scholars and scientists from Slovenia and abroad. Research has thus been an integral part of the University ever since its founding.” Today the University of Ljubljana ranks among the top universities and research organizations from the new EU member states (EU13) in terms of the number of research projects. It is also the only Slovenian university to have acquired European Research Council projects, and University of Ljubljana scientists are ranked among the best in the world. “From humble beginnings we have therefore come a very long way, mainly due to our research. While it is clear that research is one of the foundations for the development of society and the state, we also have the persistent feeling that the state is not aware of this, as can be seen in the funding it allocates for research. Nevertheless our University is strengthening its research activity, as we know very well that only by creating new knowledge can we offer students what they cannot get elsewhere,” added the Rector. 

This year’s keynote speaker at the presentation of the best research achievements in 2019 of the University of Ljubljana was the young researcher at the UL Faculty of Pharmacy, Janja Mirtič, recipient of a L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science scholarship, intended for promising young Slovenian women researchers at the start of their careers. As part of her doctoral studies at the Faculty of Pharmacy, she has been developing new and advanced delivery systems for active substances and probiotic bacteria in medicine. In her speech she underlined two things: the importance of role models and making science accessible to the lay public. “I myself had a lot of luck during my education by being surrounded by numerous outstanding and determined women – teachers, professors and mentors. This encouraged me to follow their example, and I have always strived to take on their best qualities: wisdom, curiosity and determination, but of course also friendliness and humanity. I would especially like to mention the late mentor Prof. Saša Baumgartner, professor of Pharmaceutical Technology, the field in which I myself am now researching. Prof. Baumgartner always lectured with passion and always showed us, the students, practical examples, making concepts that were hard to grasp more plastic and therefore more easily understandable. She was also one of those rare professors who showed us her research results, her difficulties in research, and the difference between ‘textbook examples’ and actual results. In this way she showed the realistic side of researching and thus emphasised that negative results are results, too, and that you ca learn something new from each attempt, which in the end leads to successful research work,” said Ms Mirtič. She also underlined the promotion of science and scientific achievements in the general public. “At a time when everyone wants to tighten funding for things they don’t understand, it is our duty to highlight the significance and importance of what we are doing.” As Ms Mirtič said, it is the duty of all those who have devoted their lives to the advancement of science in society, to spread their love of research actively and passionately among the younger generations and the general public. 

In selecting the best research achievements in 2019 of the University of Ljubljana in 2019, the working group appointed by the Research and Development Work Committee of the University of Ljubljana considered mainly international visibility exhibited through citations and the influence of the journal in which the work was published. The selection was also influenced by the entirety of the achievement, whether it was interesting both for the broader profession and the general public, and its applicability. The Committee treated all proposals equally, regardless of the discipline and regardless of whether the research was basic or directly applicable. 

Photos from the event are available here. 

All photos were taken by Foto Studio NORA. 

 

The University of Ljubljana’s best research achievements in 2019: 

  1. Mechanism for identifying objects by means of detecting polarised light
    Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
    AUTHORS: Andrej Meglič, Primož Pirih, Aleš Škorjanc, Marko Kreft, Gregor Belušič (Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana), Marko Ilić (University of Sokendai, Japan), Martin F. Wehling (Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), USA) 

  2. Visible contribution to knowledge about constant innovation
    School of Economics and Business, University of Ljubljana
    AUTHORS: Miha Škerlevaj (School of Economics and Business, University of Ljubljana), Spencer Harrison (INSEAD), Arne Carlsen (BI Norwegian Business School) 
     
  3. New approach to improving the resolution of image data using artificial intelligence
    Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana
    AUTHORS: Vitomir Štruc, Klemen Grm (Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana), Walter Scheirer (University of Notre Dame, USA) 
     
  4. An important step towards more effective immunotherapy for allergy to bee venom
    Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana
    AUTHORS: Abida Zahirović, Borut Štrukelj, Mojca Lunder (Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana), Ana Koren, Peter Kopač, Peter Korošec (University Hospital, Golnik) 
     
  5. Water is a cage-like liquid
    Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana
    AUTHORS: Tomaž Urbič (Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana), Ken A. Dill (State University of New York at Stony Brook) 
     
  6. Formulation of the new philosophical concept ‘disparities’
    Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana
    AUTHOR: Slavoj Žižek Krečič 
     
  7. Revolutionary achievement in the field of self-treatment of blood sugar
    Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana
    AUTHORS: Tadej Battelino, Klemen Dovč 
     
  8. Development of procedure for manufacturing the first sustainable non-combustible textile from polyamide 6
    Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, University of Ljubljana
    AUTHORS: Jelena Vasiljević, Barbara Simončič, Andrej Demšar, Barbara Golja, Mirjam Leskovšek, Vili Bukošek (Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, University of Ljubljana), Marija Čolović, Ivan Jerman, Matic Šobak (Chemistry Institute)
     
  9. Positive environmental values are also developed through egoism
    Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana
    AUTHORS: Gregor Torkar, Urša Krašovec (Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana), Franz X. Bogner (University of Bayreuth) 
     
  10. Membrane nanostructures are an important factor in the interaction of cells with their surroundings
    Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ljubljana
    AUTHORS: Miha Fošnarič, Veronika Kralj-Iglič (Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ljubljana), Aleš Iglič and Samo Penič (Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana), Brian R. Graziano, Jason P. Town, Tamas L. Nagy, Nir Gov, Alba Diz-Muñoz and Orion D. Weiner (international associates)