Publish Date: 10.09.2010

Category: News from the University

The young chemists who attended this year’s Chemistry Olympiad in Tokyo, winning three bronze medals and one special commendation, received the congratulations of University Rector Professor Doctor Stane Pejovnik. The successful team, which consisted of grammar school students Žiga Perko, Božidar Aničić, Valter Bergant and Nejc Petek under the mentorship of Prof. Dr. Darko Dolenc and Dr. Andrej Godec, was received by the Rector together with the Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology Prof. Dr. Anton Meden.

  Dr. Darko Dolenc: “The boys did a lot of additional work while preparing for this demanding world competition. The knowledge that they had to acquire and show at the competition surpasses the grammar school level and goes deep into the faculty level.”

  Dr. Andrej Godec: “Their knowledge goes beyond the requirements of the matura examination, so we do not see it as sensible for these boys to have to undergo the matura examination as well. They are not only successful in chemistry however – they have a brilliant orientation. They got around Tokyo as though they were at home.”

  Dr. Anton Meden: “The boys prepared for the competition throughout the year. 70 candidates apply to begin with. We initially choose twenty of them and finally just a handful of the best. In previous years, there were girls in the team but this year none of the girls managed to join. We hope to see the boys at our faculty. However, the selection procedure is fierce.”

  Božidar Aničić (Maribor Second Grammar School): “There were only some 40 girls at the Tokyo Olympics. I found the practical part of the competition rather difficult, the theoretical part less so. I plan to continue my studies at the Maribor Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.”

  Nejc Petek (Litija Grammar School): “Throughout the year, we drove to Ljubljana every week to prepare for the competition. Towards the end, it was even every day. However, we had to do a lot of work at home as well. For me, the most difficult part of the competition was the experiment where we had to synthesize by oxidation. I plan to continue my studies at the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology at the University of Ljubljana.”

  Valter Bergant (Kamnik Grammar School): “For me, the most difficult part was the experiment where we had to determine the concentration. I liked the photometry task. Like Nejc, I plan to enrol in the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology at the University of Ljubljana.”

 Žiga Perko (Maribor Second Grammar School): “For me, the theoretical part was more difficult but I found the task involving the tetrodotoxin found in Fugu (a popular fish in Japan) very interesting. It has some complex molecules. I’m in my fourth year of grammar school right now and I plan to continue my studies at the Imperial College London or the Oxford University.”

  Rector Prof. Dr. Stane Pejovnik: “Please allow me to congratulate you on your success. You have got to know the world around you and seen that you can work with it. You have distinguished yourselves and left a good impression. I hope that you become our students. The current employability prospects for chemists are very good.”