LEADERSHIP

 

MANAGEMENT BOARD

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MARJETKA LEVSTEK, PhD
Chair
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PROF. MIHAEL J. TOMAN, PhD
Vice-chair
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MOJCA VRBANČIČ, MSc
Member
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NATAŠA URANJEK
Member
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PROF. MILENKO ROŠ, PhD
Member
Polona Pengal
POLONA PENGAL, PhD
Member
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BRIGITA JAMNIK, PhD
Member

MARJETKA LEVSTEK, PhD

Following graduation from the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Marjetka Levstek, PhD (Chem. Eng.), started working at the Domžale-Kamnik Wastewater Treatment Plant where she became Head of Laboratory in 2010. In her 25-year career she has been, along with her regular laboratory work, heavily involved in the treatment processes at the wastewater treatment plant and in numerous research and development projects in wastewater treatment, both in Slovenia and abroad. Levstek has specialized in improving and optimizing operation of municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants, as well as in their standardization and obtaining permits for them. She has authored several scientific articles, conducted trainings for wastewater treatment plant operators, carried out on-site consulting, and has been an in-company mentor to many BSc and MSc students.

Levstek has loved water and water protection ever since she was a little girl, and she puts that same energy into running the Slovenian Association for Water Protection (SDZV) as its Chair, which she became in 2014. Her vision is to raise public awareness and the awareness of experts about water protection, and to connect all the water and water habitats stakeholders. Her main message is that waters of high environmental quality can be ensured to the future generations only if we are all united, connected and have a clear vision of water protection.

 

 

prof. dr. Mihael J. Toman

Mihael Jožef Toman is a Professor of Ecology and Inland Waters Protection at the Biotechnical Faculty at the University of Ljubljana and holds a PhD in ecology.  After graduating in biology in 1978 his first job was at the National Institute of Chemistry in the research group for chemistry, biology and water technology. He worked there for 15 years and narrowed his research to biological purification with active sludge and the role of the accompanying organisms in wastewater treatment. Toman was involved in the monitoring of rivers and lakes and specialized in biological methods for assessment of environmental quality. When he became Associate Professor in 1993, Toman continued with his research and started teaching at the Biotechnical Faculty. In 1998, he attained full professorship. Since then, Toman has been lecturing both in his home Department of Biology and in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the Biotechnical Faculty, as well as at the Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering. At the beginning of his teaching career, he worked and did research at the University of Copenhagen and at the Freshwater Biological Labs in HillerØd in Denmark for several years. After his return to Slovenia, Toman founded the Group for Limnology at the Chair of Ecology and Environment Conservation at the Biotechnical Faculty. He still runs the Group today. In his research, Toman collaborates with the National Institute of Chemistry and the Jožef Stefan Institute. There, he is an active member of the research group studying cycling of substances, especially the cycling of toxins in the environment and within food chain groups. He also collaborates with the Slovenian Environment Agency (ARSO) on the monitoring of fresh waters.

Toman’s bibliography comprises 420 items, mainly in the field of ecology and environment conservation. He has mentored 15 PhD, 16 MSc and over 100 BSc students; published over 40 scientific articles with an impact factor (IF) (they have been cited over 200 times) in international journals; and given lectures at 80 conferences in Slovenia and abroad. He is a visiting professor at the University KazNAU in Almaty. Toman frequently publishes articles in Slovenian journals to help develop Slovenian terminology. In his media appearances, he always draws attention to topical Slovenian and international environmental issues. He strongly believes that every researcher should engage with the public, especially because of the many misrepresentations related to environment conservation and sustainable development that circulate in the media.

Toman is Vice-chair of the Slovenian Association for Water Protection (SDZV), a member of ecological societies in Slovenia and abroad, as well as a member of different commissions, including the Biological Society of Slovenia (DBS), the Natural Sciences Society of Slovenia (PDS), the Triglav National Park (TNP) board, the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation board, the expert group for biology at the National Education Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, and the editorial boards of National Geographic and Proteus. He has written several textbooks, including Ekologija z varstvom okolja (Ecology and Environment Conservation), Varstvo celinskih voda (Inland Waters Protection), and Spoznajmo naše vode (Getting to Know Our Waters).

Science studies, biology in particular, seem to be interwoven in his DNA.  Toman dedicates his free time to nature and finds time for many hobbies connected to plants and animals. For years he studied butterflies of Slovenia and Durmitor creating a vast collection in his home. In addition, he is a great garden and biodynamic gardening enthusiast. He lovingly maintains his terraced ornamental garden Cvetlični breg (Flower Slope) at his home village Kamna Gorica. The garden, its technical and floristic design was even featured in a documentary series produced by the national television entitled Naši vrtovi (Our gardens).

He believes that any journey can be completed by taking small steps, that is why he feels that the mission of the Slovenian Association for Water Protection (SDZV) is to engage in an active partnership with local communities and the state with emphasis on expertise, raising awareness, and professional objectivity.

 

 

mag. Mojca Vrbančič

Mojca Vrbančič, MSc (Water Management and Communal Eng.), works at JP VOKA SNAGA, the Ljubljana Public Utility Company. She graduated from the Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering in Water Management and Communal Engineering. As Head of Sewage Facilities Maintenance, Vrbančič enjoys teamwork working with dedicated and creative experts. She manages over 60 sewage facilities, including wastewater pumping stations, municipal wastewater treatment plants, retention basins, and a vacuum station, which makes for a very dynamic workplace. Being a technologist at heart, she completed an MSc in wastewater treatment of the centrifuge supernatant at the Ljubljana Central Wastewater Treatment Plant in 2013.

Vrbančič became an active member of the Slovenian Association for Water Protection (SDZV) in 2014. It gives her much joy to be able to fulfil her mission also as a member of that creative team. Her guiding principle is positive attitude, with which even small steps can lead to big changes.

 

Nataša Uranjek

After finishing her studies at the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology in Ljubljana, Nataša Uranjek, BSc (Chem. Eng.), started working at the Public Utility Company Velenje as Head of Technology and Monitoring Department. At the beginning of her career, Uranjek was involved in water treatment and water quality monitoring in district heating systems, and then moved on to waste management.

Currently her main fields include drinking water treatment, water quality monitoring of drinking water, and wastewater treatment processes. Uranjek focusses on studying and optimizing wastewater treatment processes and on the anaerobic stabilization of biological sludge, in cooperation with various research institutions, such as the National Institute of Chemistry, the Jožef Stefan Institute, and the Institute for Environmental Protection and Sensors.

dr. Brigita Jamnik

Brigita Jamnik, PhD (Chem.), graduated from the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology at the University of Ljubljana in 1989. She then continued her studies there and in 1992 completed her MSc, followed by a PhD in Physical Chemistry in 1995.

After getting a job at JP VOKA SNAGA, the Ljubljana Public Utility Company, the main focus of her work shifted to problem solving in connection with the environmental issues in the municipal water and sewage systems management, and with the efforts to ensure regulatory compliance and wholesomeness of drinking water. Her work has increased the visibility of the above-mentioned topics in the general public. At JP VOKA SNAGA, Jamnik is Head of the Research Team. She has forged close ties with other research institutions and collaborated on several Slovenian and international projects, which provided a basis for expert decisions made in the company. Between 2008-2010, Jamnik was Head of an accredited chemical laboratory, between 2009-2012 she ran INCOME, an international project funded from the EU’s financial instrument LIFE+. Currently she is working on the safety of the drinking water supply and a communication campaign designed to raise environmental awareness among water users and retain their trust. Between 2010-2017, she was Chair of the Management Board of the Geological Survey of Slovenia.

 

 

dr. Polona Pengal

After graduating in biology from the Biotechnical Faculty at the University of Ljubljana, Polona Pengal, PhD (Biol.) first worked as a lab assistant at the Marine Biology Station Piran for a few months. While working as a fisheries expert at the Fisheries Research Institute of Slovenia between 2009 and 2015, she continued her studies and obtained a PhD in Biology in 2013. At FRIS, she managed different projects, including national fisheries resource monitoring and biological bycatch and discard sampling in accordance with the EU Data Collection Framework. She also worked as an independent expert in the Working Group on Fish Stock Assessment of the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), providing advice on fisheries management to ensure sustainable management of fish stocks.

In 2015, Pengal and her colleague founded a professional, non-profit, non-governmental organization called the Institute for Ecological and Ichthyological Research – REVIVO, of which Pengal is a Scientific Director and Project Manager. She has been the Slovenian representative in the Danube Sturgeon Task Force (DSTF) since 2016, and in the European Tracking Network (ETN) since 2018.

Pengal has mentored and co-mentored several undergraduate and postgraduate students, has regularly been giving lectures at various conferences and workshops both in Slovenia and abroad, as well as published several scientific and popular science articles. Since 2018, she has occasionally given lectures and conducted workshops on the importance of preserving ecosystems and biodiversity to ensure resilience to climate change at the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands as an invited expert. Within the framework of the EVREKA I and II projects, Pengal supervised the development of a series of field workshops for elementary and secondary schools designed to raise awareness among the youth on the importance and methods for water ecosystems conservation.

In 2018, Pengal worked with the Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering on the VORS project, part of the Creative Path To Knowledge initiative of the University of Ljubljana, in which she mentored students in their research of the impacts of barriers and in designing fish passage facilities to ensure river continuity for the Sava River.

Within the framework of the Horizon 2020 Programme, Pengal has participated in two European research projects: NAIAD and DRYvER, in which she has joined forces with leading European scientists to develop methods and tools for sustainable water management, transferring and applying the acquired knowledge and solutions to Slovenia.

 

 

prof. dr. Milenko Roš

Prof. Milenko Roš, PhD (Chemist), worked at the Institute of Chemistry for over 39 years. For 25 years, he was Head of the Laboratory of Chemistry, Biology and Water Technology (later renamed Laboratory of Environmental Studies and Engineering). In his scientific research and professional work, he has focussed chiefly on wastewater treatment, treatment of sludge from biological wastewater treatment plants, and metrology in chemistry. In addition, he was implementing electrochemical wastewater treatment systems.

Roš is a retired Professor of Water Pollution and Protection who lectured at different faculties (Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology – University of Ljubljana; at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences – University of Nova Gorica; at the Environmental Protection College in Velenje, and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering – University of Maribor). He has authored and co-authored many scientific articles published in Slovenian and international journals, books on wastewater treatment (Respirometry of Activated Sludge, printed in the USA, 1993; Biological Wastewater Treatment (in Slovenian), GV Založba, Ljubljana, 2001; Wastewater Treatment (in Slovenian), Visoka šola za varstvo okolja, Velenje, 2010; Wastewater Treatment Technologies (in Slovenian), Fit media, Celje, 2015), publications and articles on water terminology, as well as textbooks and collections of teaching materials. Roš has also authored and co-authored several patents in wastewater treatment and treatment of sludge from biological wastewater treatment plants.

For years Roš was Chair of the Slovenian Association for Water Protection (SDZV) and now remains its active member. He is also a member of many other Slovenian and international societies and associations, including the Slovenian Chemical Society, the European Water Association (EWA), and the International Water Association (IWA).

 

 

SUPERVISORY BOARD

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PROF. EUGEN PETREŠIN, PhD
Chair
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IZTOK ROZMAN, MSc
Member
Marjeta Stražar_kLemen Razinger Cistilna 26.10.2016 low res-DSC_7856
MARJETA STRAŽAR, PhD
Member

dr. Marjeta Stražar

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Iztok Rozman

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prof. dr. Eugen Petrešin

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HONORARY TRIBUNAL

Uroš Krajnc
UROŠ KRANJC, PHd
Chair
Andreja Žgajnar Gotvajn, UL - FKKT_DSC_8791
PROF. ANDREJA ŽGAJNAR GOTVAJN, PhD
Member
Miša Hrovat
MIŠA HROVAT
Member

dr. Uroš Krajnc

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prof. dr. Andreja Žgajnar Gotvajn

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Miša Hrovat

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