Leading earthquake engineering scientist gets Zois Prize

Portorož, 20 November - Peter Fajfar, a leading global earthquake engineering scientist and the founder of modern earthquake engineering in Slovenia, received in Portorož on Friday the Zois award for lifetime achievement, the top science honour in Slovenia.

His achievements have significantly contributed to earthquake engineering in Europe and the world. His methods for analysing buildings have become a basic tool in the research of earthquake resistance and his works are very frequently cited in scientific papers around the world, the jury said.

Fajfar (1943), a professor at the Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering, has written the first Slovenian textbook on the dynamics of buildings and is a co-author of the first comprehensive monograph on earthquake engineering in the former Yugoslavia.

He has been the editor of international journal Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics since 2003 and is a member of the editorial boards of several scientific journals on earthquake engineering around the world.

In 1995, he received a national award for extraordinary achievements in construction.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport also gave out its Zois awards for individual achievements.

Mitja Kalin was honoured for his achievements in nanoengineering for molecular control of boundary lubrication and friction, Tomaž Pisanski for his research in discrete mathematics, and Borut Štrukelj for his achievements in pharmaceutical biotechnology.

The Puh Award for outstanding discoveries and inventions was conferred on a group of researchers at the company ETI Elektroelement and the Jožef Štefan Institute for their contribution to the development of a special type of ceramic with a low stretching coefficient.

The title of Slovenian Science Ambassador went to Matija Strlič, a heritage science professor at University College London and a professor of the Ljubljana Chemistry Faculty. He was honoured for his contribution to Slovenia's development and reputation in science and higher education.