International Scientific Council

The International Scientific Council was established under the decision of the UNIRI Senate, and it is an advisory body of the University Management and the Scientific Council of the University of Rijeka for scientific issues and the development of strategies and policies in the field. Members of the International Scientific 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. Ivan Đikić, M.D., Ph.D.

Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Ivan Đikić earned his M.A. degree in medicine and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Zagreb, after which he joined the Joseph Schlessinger group in New York. In 1997, he started his group at the Ludwig Cancer Research Institute in Sweden, and soon accepted a position of a professor at Goethe University, where he was appointed the director of the Institute of Biochemistry II. Professor Đikić is also the founder of the Buchmann Institute for Molecular Science (BMLS), where he still has a laboratory today. His research is dedicated to deciphering the molecular mechanisms of cellular signaling pathways that are relevant in human diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and inflammation. Among other things, he is known for pioneering research into the role of ubiquitin (Ub) protein. His research has been published in the most prestigious scientific journals. He received numerous awards for his work, including Ernst Jung Prize and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, and has been accepted to the German Academy of Sciences “Leopoldina”, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), Academia Europaea and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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.

Prof. Danica Kragić Jensfelt, Ph.D.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

Danica Kragić Jensfelt holds an M.A. degree in mechanical engineering from the Faculty of Engineering in Rijeka and a Ph.D. in computer science from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. She has been a visiting researcher at Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and the INRIA Rennes Institute. She is currently a professor at the School of Computer and Communication at KTH and is the Director of the Center for Autonomous Systems. She researches in the fields of robotics, computer vision, and machine learning. Among other things, she is working on developing a sophisticated vision system as well as a system for manipulating and capturing objects for robots. Professor Kragić is a recipient of the prestigious IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Academic Career Award and is a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences and the Swedish Royal Academy of Engineering. She holds an honorary doctorate from the Lappeenranta University of Technology. She is an honorary member of the IEEE, the world’s largest organization bringing together technology experts. She chaired the IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Computer and Robot Vision and was a member of the IEEE RAS AdCom.

Prof. Igor Mezić, Ph.D.

University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Igor Mezić earned his M.A. degree in mechanical engineering from the Faculty of Engineering in Rijeka and a Ph.D. in applied mechanics from the California Institute of Technology. As a postdoctoral researcher, he visited the Warwick Institute of Mathematics at the British University and shortly thereafter transferred to the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he founded a research group in the field of nonlinear dynamics. In the meantime, he teaches at Harvard for two years, after which he returns to the University of California, Santa Barbara, and participates in the founding of the Institute for Energy Efficiency, where he performs several duties to this day. Mezić focuses on many fundamental, mathematical topics in nonlinear dynamics and complex systems, with applications to fluid mechanics, nanotechnology, energy efficiency in buildings, and environmental pollution and social science mathematics. He has won numerous awards in several scientific fields. He is an honorary member of the American Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and the American Society for Physics, and a founder of three technology companies.

Prof. Vedran Mimica

Illinois Institute of Technology, IL, USA

Vedran Mimica is a professor of architecture and urban planning at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago. Following the invitation of Herman Hertzberger, he joined the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam where he was the last dean of the Institute from 2007 to 2012. He has taught at numerous schools of architecture such as the Architectural Association (London), ETH (Zurich), Sorbonne (Paris), Columbia University (New York;), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California (UCLA) and the Catholic University (Santiago de Chile). He participated in the editing and publishing of several key books of contemporary Croatian architecture. For nine years, he was an independent expert on the European Union Award for Contemporary Architecture “Mies van der Rohe”, and he is the co-founder of the MCHAP Award (Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize). He has curated the International Architectural Biennale Rotterdam (2007), as well as the Croatian presentation at the 2006 Venice Biennale.

Prof. Nenad Mišćević, Ph.D.

University of Maribor, Slovenia, and Central European University (CEU), Hungary

Nenad Mišćević studied philosophy and sociology at the University of Zagreb and the University of Chicago. As a postgraduate student, he attended the University of Paris-X (Nanterre), with Paul Ricoeur, and earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Ljubljana. He has taught at universities in Rijeka and Split and currently holds a teaching position at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Maribor and is a visiting lecturer at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest. He is a former president of the European Society for Analytical Philosophy and the Croatian Philosophical Society, and a member of the editorial board of many journals: International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Acta Analytica, Analysis and Agora. His areas of interest include continental philosophy, epistemology, philosophy of perception, and political philosophy.

Prof. Winfried F. Pickl, M.D., Ph.D.

Medizinische Universität Wien, Austria

Winfried F. Pickl earned his M.A. degree in medicine at the University of Vienna. He received his postdoctoral specialization in immunology from the Vienna Institute of Immunology and molecular biology at Harvard University. Through his research, he has greatly contributed to the molecular and functional characterization of T-cell activating antigens and monocyte-derived dendritic cells. His current scientific interests include a better definition of the immune synapse. He is currently the Head of the Department of Cellular Immunology and Immunohematology at the University of Vienna and holds courses in molecular, cellular, and clinical allergy at a doctorate level. He is the president of the Austrian Society of Allergology and Immunology (ÖGAI), a member of the council of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS) and a treasurer of the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS).

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.