International Science Council

The International Science Council was established following the decision of the UNIRI Senate, and operates as an advisory body of the University Management and the Council for Science of the University of Rijeka for research and science issues and the development of strategies and policies in the field. Members of the International Science Council are distinguished scientists who, based on the experience and practices of reputable scientific institutions, can contribute to the development of the University through their valuable input, advice, and activities.

Prof. Igor Štagljar, M.D., Ph.D.

University of Toronto, ON, Canada

Professor Igor Štagljar, a Croatian molecular biologist, was born in Zagreb in 1966. He graduated in molecular biology at the Faculty of Science of the University of Zagreb in 1990. He is a professor at the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the Donnelly Center of the University of Toronto, Canada. He earned his Ph.D. at ETH Zürich (Switzerland) under the supervision of professors Charles Weissmann and Markus Aebi and trained in the laboratories of professors Walter Schaffner and Ueli Hübscher (University of Zurich, Switzerland) and Stanley Fields (University of Washington, USA). He is one of the world leaders in the field of proteomics/chemical genomics developing high-throughput technologies to facilitate the study of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) of various human membrane proteins involved in cancer. He has published more than 140 research papers listed on PubMed, holds 8 patents, and has been recognized as one of the best inventors in Canada.

Prof. Željko Ivezić, Ph.D.

University of Washington, WA, USA

Željko Ivezić earned his M.A. degree in mechanical engineering and physics from the University of Zagreb and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Kentucky. After developing software for the first digital sky survey (Sloan Digital Sky Survey at Princeton University) for seven years, he became a professor of astronomy at Washington University. His main area of expertise includes statistics and big data applications in astronomy. He is the author of over 300 publications in leading journals and has over 75,000 citations. He is currently the scientific director of the largest project funded by the American Science Foundation, The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which will collect about 20,000 gigabytes of astronomical data every night, starting from 2021. There is even one asteroid named after him – 202930 Ivezic.

Prof. Aleksandra Kanjuo Mrčela, Ph.D.

University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Aleksandra Kanjuo Mrčela teaches Sociology of Labor and Economic Sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. She is a researcher at the Center for Research on Organizations and Human Resources at the Institute of Social Sciences in Ljubljana and has participated in the organization of numerous Slovenian and international projects and collaborations. She has been a visiting researcher at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. She is currently the head of the Doctoral School at the University of Ljubljana and a member of the Steering Committee at EUA-CDE. Since 2003, she has been the coordinator of the National Center for the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound, Dublin). She is a member of the Experts’ Network in the fields of employment, social inclusion and gender equality, and editor of the scientific journal Social Politics. She is interested in working organizations, work, industrial relations, the position of women in the economic sphere, economic democracy, and ownership and post-privatization changes in Slovenian companies.

Assoc. Prof. Iva Skov, Ph.D.

Aalborg University, Denmark

Iva Skov was born in 1988. She earned her Master’s degree in 2012 at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Shipbuilding of the University of Zagreb and earned her Ph.D. in 2015 at Aalborg University in Denmark, where she has been working as an associate professor in the field of energy planning and renewable energy systems since 2019. In her research work, she focuses on the green transition of the transport sector, specifically the integration of electro fuels (PtX) into energy systems with a high proportion of renewable energy sources. Her research work includes analyzes of energy systems from technical, socio-economic, and political perspectives. She is the recipient of two prestigious awards, the EliteForsk Travel Grant (2014) and the award for the best research project for the project Solid Oxide Electrolysis for Grid Balancing. Since 2021, she is an international member of the Croatian Academy of Technical Sciences in the Department of Energy Systems.

Prof. Igor Mezić, Ph.D.

University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Igor Mezić works in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), dynamical systems, control theory and applications to security, energy efficient design, and operations in complex systems. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rijeka and earned his Ph.D. in Dynamical Systems at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Mezić is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Mathematics and the Director of the Centre for Energy Efficient Design at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is also the co-founder and CTO at AIMdyn, Inc. and Chief Scientist and CTO at Mixmode.ai. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He won the NSF CAREER Award from National Science Foundation, the George S. Axelby Outstanding Paper Award on “Control of Mixing” from IEEE and the United Technologies Senior Vice President Award for Science and Technology Special Achievement Prize in 2007. He is the recipient of the 2021 Crawford Prize, awarded once in two years to a researcher in Dynamical Systems Theory.

Prof. Dražen Prelec, Ph.D.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA

Dražen Prelec earned his M.A. degree in applied mathematics and then a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Harvard University. He currently holds several teaching positions at MIT: the Sloan School of Management, Department of Economics, and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. He is interested in psychology and neuroscience of decision making, behavioral economics and neuroeconomics, risk, self-control and consumerism, and the development and research of normative decision theory. Prof. Prelec also developed the so-called Bayesian truth serum, a method of evaluating the subjective opinions of group members in a situation where there is no independent way to assess their honesty and knowledge. He is also currently working on developing a system for evaluating individual and collective assessments in domains where there is no external truth criterion, for example in the case of long-term forecasts, political and historical conclusions, or legal interpretations. He is a recipient of numerous prestigious awards such as the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.

Prof. Igor Žutić, Ph.D.

University of Buffalo, New York, USA

After completing his postgraduate study program in physics at the University of Zagreb, Igor Žutić earned his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Minnesota. Following his specialization at the University of Maryland and the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, he became a professor at Buffalo University, New York State University. Professor Žutić is interested in the study of spintronics or spin electronics, which studies the basic phenomena and possible applications of spin and magnetism in materials. The spin direction in electrons is used to store data in hard disk drives, but many other possibilities are currently being explored for using spin in lasers or quantum computers that are fault resistant. His review article on spintronics has been cited over 6000 times, and his various theoretical predictions have been experimentally confirmed. He has won several prestigious awards, including the National Science Foundation Career Award. Due to his special achievements in the field of spintronics, Žutić became an honorary member of the American Society of Physicists in 2016.

Assoc. Prof. Jasenka Gudelj, Ph.D.

Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice, Italy

Jasenka Gudelj is an associate professor of art history and architecture at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice. She earned her Ph.D. in 2008 at the Scuola Studi Avanzati (Venice, Italy), and completed her post-doctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Art at the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome. From 2000 to 2020, she was employed at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Zagreb. She led research projects on the artistic heritage and identity of Schiavoni immigrant communities in early modern Italy, and she is currently the principal investigator of two projects: “Architectural culture of the Eastern Adriatic in the early modern period” of the European Research Council (ERC) and “Architectural culture of contact regions: Marche and Friuli” of the Ministry of Universities of the Italian Republic. Her research interests include the art of the Renaissance and Baroque, the history of the city, and the theory of architecture and urbanism.

Prof. Nenad Ban, M.D., Ph.D.

ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Professor Nenad Ban, a Croatian molecular biologist, was born in Zagreb in 1966. In 1990, he graduated in molecular biology at the Faculty of Science of the University of Zagreb in the group of academics Željko Kućan and Ivana Weygand-Đurašević. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside in 1994, and from 1995, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University in the laboratory of Professor Thomas Steitz. Since 2000, he has been leading a research group at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics of the Federal Technical University (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, ETH) in Zürich, where he has been a full professor of structural molecular biology since 2007. His field of research is the process of genetic message translation, i.e. protein biosynthesis. He has been a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina since 2008 and the American Academy of Sciences since 2021.

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