Slovenian Congress Ambassadors 2020

(in alphabetical order of their last names)

Honorary Congress Ambassador of Slovenia 2020

Prof. Igor Papič, PhD, Chancellor of the University of Ljubljana

Congress ambassadors of Slovenia, scientific events

Msc. Dejan Bratuš, MD-PhD, University Medical Centre Maribor

Msc. Violeta Bulc, Vibacom d.o.o., InCo gibanje

Prof. Marko Čepin, PhD, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering

Prof. Zlatko Fras, MD-PhD, MD, PhD, FESC, FACC, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, President of Slovenian Society of Cardiology

Prof. Primož Gradišek, MD-PhD, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Chair of Slovenian Resuscitation Council

Prof. Mitjan Kalin, PhD, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

Prof. Matjaž Kavčič, PhD, Institute Jožef Stefan

Prof. Izidor Kern, MD-PhD, University Clinic of Respiratory and Allergic Diseases Golnik

Prof. Blaž Koritnik, MD-PhD, University Medical Centre Ljubljana

Msc. Aleksandra Majić Skrbinšek, PhD, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Biotechnology 

Prof. Matjaž Mikoš, PhD, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering

Ms Vesna Nahtigal, The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia

Prof. Albin Pintar, PhD, Slovenian Chemical Society, National Institute of Chemistry

Saša Podgoršek, PhD, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts

Prof. Marko Pokorn, MD-PhD, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Pediatric Clinic

Prof. Andreja Pucihar, PhD, University of Maribor, Faculty of Organizational Sciences Kranj

Prof. Andrej Simončič, PhD, Agricultural Institute of Slovenia

Aleksander Šinigoj, PhD, Palsit d.o.o.

Prof. Polona Šprajc, PhD, University of Maribor, Faculty of Organizational Sciences Kranj

Prof. Joško Valentinčič, PhD, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

Congress ambassadors of Slovenia, sports events

Mr Tomaž Barada, Sport centre Barada
Mr Franci Petek, PhD, Institute of Sports of the Republic of Slovenia Planica
Mr Jernej Slivnik, Slovenian Rowing Federation
Mr Uroš Zupan, Ski Association of Slovenia

INTERVIEWS WITH CONGRESS AMBASSADORS

(English subtitles available)

Prof. Igor Papič, PhD, is a regular professor at the Faculty of Engineering in Ljubljana and the chancellor of the University of Ljubljana since 2017. He is the Head of the Laboratory of Electricity Networks and Devices. Between 2011 and 2013 he was the Deputy Dean for the Pedagogics Department and the Chancellor of the faculty between 2013 and 2017. He has been involved in numerous national and international research projects focused on researching the quality of electric energy and the concept of smart networks. He was elected chancellor of the University of Ljubljana for the period from 1. October 2017 to 30. September 2021. Through his active participation in CIGRE, CIRED and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) he helped bring several meetings and conferences to Ljubljana and Slovenia. The University of Ljubljana, under Prof. Igor Papič’s leadership, is further strengthening its strategic collaboration with important Slovenian scientific and research institutions as well as the international environment.

Prof. dr. Igor Papič

University of Ljubljana, chancellor

Msc. Dejan Bratuš, MD-PhD, works at the University of Medical Centre Maribor, where between 2009 and 2019 he was head of the Department of Urology. He is active both on a national, as well as on an international level. He is the deputy coordinator of urology at ZZS and a member of RSK for urology at the Ministry of Health. Msc. Dejan Bratuš is also a member of the European Society for Sexual Medicine. Dejan Bratuš is the member of NAS Advisory Board, representative of Slovenia in CEUS, a member of the European Association of Urology (EAU) as well as the representative of Slovenia and Science Communication Manager at the COST action CA18124. His recognisability in international associations has contributed to hosting the ESSM Congress (European Society for Sexual Medicine) in Ljubljana in 2019. The congress is the largest annual event, organised by ESSM. It is a valuable expert contribution, and important for informing the public of the importance of sexual health.

Msc. Dejan Bratuš, MD-PhD

For the organization of the event: Congress of the European Society for Sexual Medicine, ESSM 2019, Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, 2019

Msc. Violeta Bulc is primarily an entrepreneur and innovator. She holds a degree in Computer Science and Information Technologies from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in the field of Information systems. As an entrepreneur, she built her career in several esteemed Slovenian companies and her company. She continued as the Deputy PM of the Slovenian Government and minister of the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy. Between 2014 and 2019 she acted as the European Commissioner for Transport. Today, she is the curator of the project Ecocivilisation and special delegate of the UN’s Road Safety Collaboration. Violeta Bulc is the author of three books and numerous articles. She has won the FENIKS award three times, awarded by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia for the best consulting event of the year. It is to her credit that Slovenia hosted the prestigious international event The Trans-European Transport Network Days, Ten-T Days in 2018.

Msc. Violeta Bulc

For the organization of the event: The Trans-European Transport Network Days, Ten-T Days, Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre, Ljubljana, 2018

Prof. Marko Čepin, PhD, is a Professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Ljubljana. He teaches subjects connected to electro energetics. His field of expertise is conventional and alternative sources of electrical energy, including renewable sources. His research field includes energetics, electric power plants and the reliability of electro energy systems. He is the President of the European Safety and Reliability Association (2019-2020) and the joint editor of the scientific magazine Reliability Engineering and System Safety (2019-2022). Marko Čepin has written over 50 articles, published in world-acclaimed scientific magazines, as well as his own book.

Prof. Marko Čepin, PhD

For the organization of the event: European Safety and Reliability Conference, ESREL 2017, Grand Hotel Bernardin, Portorož, 2017

Prof. Zlatko Fras, MD-PhD, MD, PhD, has been the head of The Division of Internal Medicine under the University Medical Centre Ljubljana for several years. As a specialist of internal medicine, cardiology and vascular medicine, he continues to work and help patients directly, which is one of his life’s missions. He is the President of the Slovenian Society of Cardiology, member of the ISCVDP (International Society of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention), as well as a member of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Prof. Zlatko Fras helped organise several regional and international congresses, and his active membership under EAPC (European Association of Preventive Cardiology) helped attract EuroPrevent 2018 Congress to Ljubljana.

Prof. Zlatko Fras, MD-PhD, MD, PhD

For the organization of the event: Evidence-based cardiovascular prevention: A lifelong endeavour, EuroPrevent 2018, Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, 2018

Prof. Primož Gradišek, MD-PhD, a specialist in anesthesiology and surgical intensive care, is the Chair of the Slovenian Resuscitation Council, which is the representative organ of the Slovenian Society for Emergency Medicine. The Council is the leading authority in the field of resuscitation on a national level. Prof. Primož Gradišek represents Slovenia in the European Resuscitation Council (ERC), the official organisation for providing the standards for resuscitation, as well as publishing guidelines and training in Europe and beyond. It is one of the most esteemed and known medicine associations in the world. The ERC 2019 hosted in Ljubljana and attended by participants from around the world, is a testament to Slovenia’s efforts in the field of resuscitation medicine.

Prof. Primož Gradišek, MD-PhD

For the organization of the event: Resuscitation 2019, Controversies in Resuscitation, ERC 2019, Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre, Ljubljana, 2019

Prof. Mitjan Kalin, PhD, is the Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Ljubljana, where he works as a professor and head of the Laboratory for tribology and interface nanotechnology and the Head of the Chair for Tribology and Maintenance Systems. His fields of research are tribology and surface and contact engineering. His works include his acclaimed study on lubrication mechanisms of DLC coating. He is one of the pioneers and leading researchers in the world in this field. He has published over 160 articles with more than 3000 quotes and H-index 32, 2 scientific monographs, 10 book chapters and has developed 11 patents, including US and European ones. In his career, he has led 39 leading international, three-year projects. He has also cooperated in 150 industrial projects with acclaimed companies across Europe, Japan and the USA. Prof. Mitjan Kalin is the Deputy President of the International Tribology Council, consisting of all national and international Tribology Societies, Groups and Associations from around the world.

Prof. Mitjan Kalin, PhD

For the organization of the event: European COnference on TRIBology - ECOTRIB 2017, Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, 2017

Prof. Matjaž Kavčič, PhD, is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute Jožef Stefan at the Department of Low and Medium Energy Physics. He also teaches at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics in Ljubljana and the Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School (IPS). His area of expertise is the development and use of Experimental atomic and molecular physics, X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray detectors and synchrotron light applications. A large number of scientific articles and numerous affiliations with international and national scientific organisations are a testament to his proclaimed work. Prof. Matjaž Kavčič is a member of the Executive Board of the international X-ray Spectrometry magazine and a member of the European X-ray Spectrometry Association.

Prof. Matjaž Kavčič, PhD

For the organization of the event: European Conference on X-Ray Spectrometry, EXRS 2018, Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre, Ljubljana, 2018

Prof. Izidor Kern, MD-PhD, joined his colleagues at the University Clinic Golnik already during his study at the Faculty of Medicine. After successful specialisation and learning at the University of British Columbia in Canada, he took over the Cytology and Pathology Laboratory at the University Clinic Golnik. He is active as a professor at both Faculties, as well as the Angela Boškin Faculty of Health Care. He is internationally involved in his area of expertise with his research works. Throughout his career, he has been preparing various meetings for his colleagues. Together with colleagues they successfully organised an international conference for pathologists from Central Europe at Bled. He is extremely proud of his coworkers at Golnik Clinic, with whom he annually organises the Golnik Symposium, where they share knowledge and experience with international colleagues. From this year onwards he will be the Chair of Pulmonary Pathology at the European Society of Pathology. His new role will allow him to attract new congress events to Slovenia.

Prof. Izidor Kern, MD-PhD

For the organization of the event: Golnik Symposium 2017, 2018, 2019, Rikli Balance Hotel, Bled

Blaž Koritnik, MD-PhD, is a specialised neurologist and the representative of the Neurophysiology Department at the Division of Neurology of the University Medical Centre Ljubljana. Since 2012 he has been a professor of neurology at The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ljubljana. He has been participating in the research of the brain with various neurodegenerative diseases and he got his PhD from this field in 2009. Between 2005 and 2007 he went to King’s College in London. His field of expertise are diseases of peripheral nerve systems, nervous system disorders and ALS diseases. As a member of SiNAPSA, The Slovenian Neuroscience Association he has been actively spreading awareness and knowledge regarding the importance of brain health and diseases to the public. In the past 15 years, he has organized and co-organised over 25 national and international meetings, including the ENCALS meeting, which took place in 2017 in Ljubljana. Since 2017 he has been organising the annual Clinical Neurophysiology Symposium Ljubljana.

Prof. Blaž Koritnik, MD-PhD

For the organization of the event: ENCALS meeting 2017 Ljubljana, European Network to Cure ALS, Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, 2017

Msc. Aleksandra Majić Skrbinšek, PhD, works as a researcher and head of projects at the Biology Department of the Faculty of Biotechnology in Ljubljana. Her work is primarily focused on finding effective solutions for environmental problems. After graduating, she dedicated her career to social aspects of safeguarding and preserving wild animals. Furthermore, she researched the public’s interference and relations towards wild animals. In her 20-year long career, she has cooperated in several safeguarding and research projects, particularly that of Slovenia and Croatia. She is a member of the international IUCN/SSC specialist group “Large carnivore initiative for Europe”. As part of the EU project LIFE DINALP BEAR she led the organisation of the 26th International Conference on Bear Research and Management, the prestigious global scientific conference. The noted conference takes place under the International Bear Association (IBA) every two years. The conference took place at the Grand Hotel Union in Ljubljana in 2018.

Msc. Aleksandra Majić Skrbinšek, PhD

For the organization of the event: Life with bears – 26th International Conference on Bear Research and Management, 26th IBA Conference, Grand Hotel Union, Ljubljana, 2018

Prof. Matjaž Mikoš, PhD, is the Dean of the Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering and a professor of hydrology and engineering hydrology. He teaches at the PhD and Masters level and specialises in hydro-meteorology, sediment transport, fluvial and torrent hydraulics, and erosion & sedimentation processes. He is a member of numerous international associations: International Association of Hydrology and the American Chapter, as well as the New York Academy of Science. He is also the Deputy President of the International Consortium on Landslides and Chair of Science and Technology Advisory Board of the INTERPRAEVENT Association. Matjaž Mikoš has organised over 30 meetings of international rank. The 4th World Landslide Forum in 2017 placed Ljubljana and Slovenia in the centre of the scientific society in the field of landslide research and mitigation.

Prof. Matjaž Mikoš, PhD

For the organization of the event: 4th World Landslide Forum, WLF4, Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, 2017

Since the start of 2020, Ms Vesna Nahtigal has been working as the head of industry policies at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, where she actively helps to cooperate with other organisational units of GZS in ensuring the use of industry politics. She is also the Head of the Metal-processing Industry Association. From 2006 to 2020, she was an advisor to the Director at The Institute of Metals and Technology (IMT) and played a key role in organising the International Conference on Materials and Technology in Portorose. Her work is dedicated to promoting the industry, developing human resources and defining the role of ecological policy.

Ms Vesna Nahtigal

For the organization of the event: International Conference on Materials and Technology, IMT, Grand Hotel Bernardin, Portorož, 2019

Prof. Albin Pintar, PhD, is the Head of the Laboratory for Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the National Institute of Chemistry in Ljubljana. He acquired his PhD at the University of Ljubljana in 1996. He was a visiting professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan) and the Ircelyon Institute (Villeurbanne, France). His research interests are heterogeneous catalysis, environmental catalysis, synthesis and characterization of heterogeneous catalysts, kinetics and mechanisms of catalytic reactions, wastewater treatment by means of advanced oxidation processes and process intensification. He is the author of over 150 articles, published in prestigious scientific magazines and has developed several international patents. In 2011, he received the prestigious Zois Award for important scientific achievements in the field of chemical engineering. He is the President of The Slovenian Chemical Society and the regional manager of the RSC Advances magazine. His recognisability in international associations helped him attract the EAAOP-6 Conference to Slovenia.

Prof. Albin Pintar, PhD

For the organization of the event: 6th European Conference on Environmental Applications of Advanced Oxidation Processes, EAAOP-6, Hotel Bernardin Portorož, 2019

Saša Podgoršek, PhD, is an associate professor of German language at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana and the President of The Slovenian Association of LSP Teachers. She teaches the German language at the Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology Department and the Department of History of Art at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. She actively researches the methodology of teaching German, The foreign language teacher's role in ICT-supported instruction and use of technology in teaching a foreign language. Saša Podgoršek is part of several national and foreign scientific projects, is the author of a textbook for high-school and the editor in chief of several magazines. As a visiting professor, she was active at the Gießen University in Germany and was part of several student exchanges at universities across Italy, Great Britain and Russia. Saša Podgoršek is the President of The Slovenian Association of LSP Teachers, the organisation that in 2017, as part of its 20th anniversary, organised their first international conference.

Saša Podgoršek, PhD

For the organization of the event: First International SDUTSJ Conference, Rimske Terme, Rimske Toplice, 2017

Prof. Marko Pokorn, MD-PhD, has been the Director of The Division of Paediatrics of the UMCL since 2019. He is also a professor at the Department of Infectology at the Faculty of Medicine. Before becoming the Director of The Division of Paediatrics, he worked at the Department of Infectious Diseases in Ljubljana, where he specialised in respiratory and infectious diseases of children, the Kawasaki disease etc. He is a member of ESPID and EBIJS (European Bone and Joint Infection Society). In 2019, together with his colleague Prof. PhD. Goran Tešović, he was in charge of organising the 37th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID). The meeting was one of the largest congresses in Slovenia in recent years. The ESPID annual meeting hosts leading international experts in the field of paediatrics, infectology, microbiology, axiology and immunology, who discuss and find solutions to various infections.

Prof. Marko Pokorn, MD-PhD

For the organization of the event: 37th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases, ESPID Annual Meeting, Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre, Ljubljana, 2019

Prof. Andreja Pucihar, PhD, is a professor of Information Systems at the Faculty of Organizational Sciences, which is part of the University of Maribor. She is also the head of the MIS study programs. She focuses her research into innovations in the field of information systems, in particular, digital transformation and digital business models. Her research achievements are regularly published in national and international magazines and conferences. She has over 20 years of experience with industrial and international European projects, which were predominantly focused on digitalisation, digital transformation and support to small and medium-sized companies. Since 2009, she has been the leader of establishing Bled eConference as an international conference on digital business. The Bled eConference has been operational in this field since 1988. Andreja Puciher is also the co-editor of magazines, such as the Electronic Markets - The International Journal on Networked Business and the Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research.

Prof. Andreja Pucihar, PhD

For the organization of the event: 32nd Bled eConference - Humanizing Technology for a Sustainable Society, Rikli Balance Hotel, Bled, 2019

Prof. Andrej Simončič, PhD, is the Director of the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia and President of the Slovenian Committee for Agriculture. He is also a member of EFSA - European Food Safety Authority Association. In this year, he became a part of the esteemed group of representatives of science, industry and society from the field of environmental care and sustainability. The individuals, together with the Slovenian President Borut Pahor, will set the guidelines and recommendations regarding sustainability and environmental politics. Prof. Andrej Simončič, PhD strives to achieve a cohesive and smart agricultural policy concerning climate change. As an esteemed member of the European Weed Research Society, he helped Ljubljana host the 18th European Weed Research Society Symposium in 2019.

Prof. Andrej Simončič, PhD

For the organization of the event: 18th European Weed Research Society Symposium, EWRS 2018, Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre, Ljubljana, 2018

Aleksander Šinigoj, PhD, is the Director and founder of Palsit d.o.o., which specialises in information security and event organising. This year’s INFOSEK Conference took place for the 18th year in a row and is the largest event in Slovenia in the field of information security. Aleksander Šinigoj is also a professor and coaching master for personal and business growth. He helps economists, doctors, athletes, psychologists, entrepreneurs and others to achieve better results. He has worked for several respectable companies in Slovenia and abroad. He has given lectures around the world, precisely, on four continents and is the author of several audio programmes and books. His innovative approaches ultimately lead to individuals achieving their goals and positive change in life. Everything he teaches others about is implemented and transferred to his personal life. He strives to organise various workshops and events in Slovenia in the future.

Aleksander Šinigoj, PhD

For the organization of the event: INFOSEK Conference, Perla, resort & entertainment, Nova Gorica, 2019

Prof. Polona Šprajc, PhD, acquired her PhD at the Faculty of Organizational Sciences in Maribor. Since 2001, she has been employed at the University of Maribor as an Associate Professor. She is the mentor of several diploma theses and dissertations. She teaches at the Department of Organization and Management of Information Systems. She is the author of numerous scientific monographs and scientific articles, which have been featured at several national and multinational conferences. She is the President of The Programme Committee of the International Conference on Organizational Science Development. Polona Šrajc actively promoted the activities of the faculty, and from 2016 to 2020 she was the Vice Dean of education at the Faculty of Organizational Sciences. At the moment, she is Acting Dean of the Faculty of Organizational Sciences Kranj.

Prof. Polona Šprajc, PhD

For the organization of the event: 38th International Conference on Organizational Science Development, Congress Centre Portus, Portorož, 2019

Prof. Joško Valentinčič, PhD, has been active in the field of research and development for over 20 years. He has cooperated in the development of numerous projects. He used methods of experiment construction, inductive studying and neuron networks in his researches. He has organised over ten international conferences and workshops in the field of management and innovative technologies. On top of that, he organised the World Congress on Micro and Nano Manufacturing. Currently, he is Head of the Laboratory for Alternative Technologies, member of the COMPETE Research Centre, member of the Executive Committee of the International Institution for Micro Manufacturing (I2M2) and member of ELAPHE d.o.o.

Prof. Joško Valentinčič, PhD

For the organization of the event: World Congress on Micro and Nano Manufacturing, WCMNM 2018, Remisens Hotel Metropol, Portorož, 2018

During his active sports career, Tomaž Barada has won six European and three World Championship titles in taekwondo and was crowned the king of taekwondo at the prestigious tournament in Tokyo. Furthermore, he was a six-time European kickboxing champion, a two-time amateur world kickboxing champion and five-time professional world kickboxing champion. In 1995, he received the Bloudek Award, the highest recognition for a sportsperson in Slovenia. Since 2002, he has been the head of Sport Association Maribor and Sports Centre Maribor, as well as the Deputy President of the Slovenian Olympic Committee. His international activities and his involvement as a member of the AEFT and WAKO Executive Committee, has enabled him to attract international competitions to Slovenia.

Mr Tomaž Barada

For the organization of the event: European Taekwondo Championship and European Kickboxing Championship, Maribor, 2018

As a former active athlete, Mr Franci Petek has dedicated his life to sports. From 1998 he worked at the Anton Melik Geographical Institute. In 2017, he took over as President of the Ski Association of Slovenia and in June 2020, he was named the Director of ZŠRS Planica. The goal of ZŠRS Planica is to support important national and regional events. In particular, encouraging and supporting physical education, sports recreation, quality sport, para-sports and development of sports facilities. Next to organising FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Finals, Franci Petek cooperates with the organisation of many other sports and business events.

Mr Franci Petek, PhD

For the organization of the event: FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Finals, Planica 2017, 2018

Jernej Slivnik is the head of organisational teams for grand sports events for Bled, such as the European Rowing Junior Championship 2012, World Rowing Cup 2015, 2017 World Rowing Masters Regatta, and both the 2019 and the 2020 World Rowing Winter Championship. By organising big sports events, Jernej Slivnik connects the local community with tourism and sport, which generates further development and investments for the destination and the sport. His activities have had a great promotional effect. Jernej Slivnik is a member of the FISA World Rowing Federation Events Commission. In the following year, he is planning on organising the European Rowing Championship and the European Masters Regatta.

Mr Jernej Slivnik

For the organization of the event: World Rowing Masters Regatta - Senior World Rowing Championship, Rowing Centre Bled, 2017

In Autumn 2020, Uroš Zupan became the Director of the Ski Association of Slovenia. Since his early career, he has been unmistakably connected to sports, particularly winter sports. After graduating at the Faculty of Sports in Ljubljana, he was a member of the ZUTS - SZS Committee for Alpine skiing and then the head of sports and wellness programmes of Rogla. Soon after, he became the sports director of Unior Celje Skiing and Deputy Director of RTC Krvavec. He helped organise numerous sports competitions. He is a member of the Chamber of Mountain Centres Slovenia under the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia. As the Director of the Ski Association of Slovenia, he will cooperate and help organise sports events of the highest rank. Next to the traditional sports event, Slovenia will also host 3 world cups in the following years. The first one will be the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Finals Planica this December in Planica, the Biathlon World Championship in February 2021 and the biggest event - the Nordic Ski World Championship 2023 in Planica.

Mr Uroš Zupan

For the organization of the event: World FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Kranjska Gora and Golden Fox, FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Finals Planica and Ljubno, Biathlon Pokljuka, Planica cross-country skiing and FIS Snowboard World Championship Rogla