A total of 77 teams competed in the 2018-2019 Textron Aviation/Raytheon Missile Systems/AIAA Foundation Student Design/Build/Fly (DBF) Competition, held April 11-14, at the Tucson International Modelplex Park Association (TIMPA) Airfield, Tucson, Arizona. Fifty-six teams were from within the United States, while 21 came from abroad, including the winning team – from the University of Ljubljana. In second place was the ream from Georgia Tech, while third place was taken by Austria's FH Joanneum of Applied Sciences.
The team of 17 students from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering took part in it under the mentorship of Dr. Viktor Šajn, and was led by the engineering student Timotej Hofbauer. The group chose to build the aircraft entirely from composites with the help from sponsors Pipistrel, Akrapovič, and Zavod404.
Speaking about the project, and quoted on the University’s website, Hofbauer said: “We have been building the aircraft for more than half a year and committed more than 2000 hours of work to it. We succeeded in building an incredibly fast and light composite aircraft that can reach speeds of over 100 km/h and is capable of flying at the competitive speed for more than 10 minutes. The aircraft, ready to fly, weighs approximately 9 kg, of which 35 % constitute the batteries alone. It can carry 18 “bombs” and has a wing span of 2.5 meters.”
As noted in the related press release from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Foundation, “the DBF competition encourages and recognises excellence in aerospace engineering skills at the undergraduate and graduate levels by challenging teams to design and fabricate a radio-controlled aircraft conforming to strict guidelines, submit a written report about the aircraft's design, and fly their aircraft over a defined course while carrying a payload and landing it without damage. This year, the design simulated a multi-purpose aircraft to support carrier operations.”
More photos from this year’s event can be seen here, while the following video (from 2018) gives a flavour of the event.
STA, 5 April 2019 - The University of Maribor and the company SAB-LS signed a contract in Maribor on Friday, April 5, on the launch of the first Slovenian nanosatellite into orbit. Trisat is to fly into space on a light European Vega rocket that is to be launched from French Guiana in August.
Trisat has been developed at the Maribor Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in cooperation with the Slovenian company Skylabs.
According to the chancellor of the Maribor university, Zdravko Kačič, the launch of the nanosatellite will be an important step in the internationalisation of the Slovenian space industry and a recognition for its technology.
"It is a proof that a student project can develop into an important project for the Slovenian industry and environment," he said.
"Nanosatellites are an important segment in the present-day space industry, because they can bring new technology into space in a cost-efficient and quick way. The new technology can thus be evaluated much quicker and cheaper, which reduces financial risks in this field," he said.
Trisat, weighing only 4.4 kilos, is capable of taking multispectral images of Earth in short-wave infrared spectrum with a camera unlike any other in space at the moment.
It will be deployed at the altitude of 500 kilometres in a Sun-synchronous orbit by the Vega rocket launched by Arianespace, a company developing launch solutions for the European Space Agency (ESA).
The rocket will carry some 50 satellites, including another Slovenian satellite that is larger than Trisat, called Nemo HD, which has been developed by Vesolje-SI, the Slovenian centre of excellence for space sciences and technologies.
The company SAB-LS will act as Arianespace's subcontractor for deploying nanosatellites as part of the ESA's programme Small Spacecraft Mission Service.
The signing of the contract, on Aptril 5, was also attended by Economic Development and Technology Minister Zdravko Počivalšek, who said the move set the course for the development of Slovenian technology and proved that Slovenia was an important partner in space technology and thus also of the ESA.
Slovenia became an associate member of the ESA at the end of 2016.
The head of the Trisat project, Iztok Kramberger, stressed that Trisat, whose lifespan has been estimated at six years, was almost entirely a product of Slovenian know-how. It has been developed and manufactured in Slovenia, except for the solar panels, he noted.
You can learn more about the project here
STA, 5 April 2019 - Physicist Jure Žalohar has combined a number of seismic studies to come up with a new way to potentially predict earthquakes in the future. His theory suggests earthquakes are not coincidental but are caused by synchronised processes in the Earth's crust.
Žalohar's theory was introduced in his book The Omega-Theory: A New Physics of Earthquakes, which was released in May 2018.
It is based on a number of studies conducted by seismology, geophysics, and maths experts in the past two decades and could prove effective if put into practice through an IT system.
Seismology or the study of earthquakes tried to forecast earthquakes in the 20th century by taking into account various precursors, such as animal behaviour, regional transformations of topography, changes in the speed of primary and secondary seismic waves, or radon gas emissions.
These efforts were only partially successful, with many studies focusing on possible causes for earthquakes, but none of them coming up with the exact way of predicting them.
In 1997, journal Science published an article saying that earthquakes could not be forecast. The bold claim did not discourage scientists from continuing their research.
They succeeded in developing two theories; the theory of the Earth's tectonic plate movement and the theory of the epicentre mechanism. The majority of earthquakes occur at or near the boundaries between tectonic plates.
Žalohar's Omega theory, which could be described as a rotation theory of earthquakes, is based on the already established phenomenon of the plates' splits tending to be parallel and intersecting.
According to Žalohar, the plates are "enormous omega cells", experiencing earthquake sequences stemming from parallel splits, with the famous golden ratio determining the number of those splits. Earthquakes are thus connected between themselves and affected by the Earth's rotation.
The Omega theory suggests that earth tremors are not coincidental but a result of "highly synchronised processes" in the Earth's crust, which indicates they could be predicted.
The software programme T-Tecto was created on the basis of the theory, currently providing only one model of earthquake forecasting which includes a 64-day prediction.
An IT centre that could build on that and further develop the method would require additional funding and special training for monitoring personnel, said Žalohar.
The ability to forecast earthquakes would also entail potential ethical issues in case it was not confined to authorised organisations.
All our stories about earthwuakes and Slovenia can be found here
Regular readers of Mladina, the left-leaning review whose editorials we summarise each weekend (along with those of the right-leaning Demokracija, and – on occasion – Reporter) may have noticed the arresting advertisements that appear on page 3, and yet which don’t seem to promote any company or product.
Theme Ecological Disasters. Author: Studio Marketing; Petja Montanez, Matej Kodrič
Theme: Genetic engineering. Author: Studio 360, Agencija Tovarna vizij, Vladan Srdić, Dragan Arrigler
Theme: Greed. Author: AV Studio
Theme: AIDS. Author: Studio Marketing; Janez Čadež, Radovan Arnold, Jerneja Trbuha Kukec
Theme: Greed. Author: SOZD
The page, known as Proglas and edited by Viva Videnovic for almost two decades, has been a feature of the magazine since 1997. It was introduced to provide a platform for Slovenian creatives to use the tools of their trade to engage in social commentary, enabling them to demonstrate their ingenuity and wit to a degree that’s not always possible with regular advertising.
Theme: Extremism. Author: Yin + Young
Theme: EU. Author: New Moment Ljubljana
Theme: Loneliness. Author: Pristop
Theme: Child abuse. Author: Mediamix; Toni Tomašek, Miha Bevc, Aleksandar Jordačevič
Theme: Success. Author: Yin + Young
In exchange for working pro bono, Mladina gives the contributors total freedom to create whatever they want, as long as it addresses that month’s theme. These have included all the pressing or passing social issues of the day, such as AIDS, mental health, over-consumption, social media, feminism, genetic engineering, economic imperialism, ecological catastrophes, fascism, tourism, sexual harassment, the precariat and so on.
"Enjoy drinking water" Theme: Water. Author: Blaž Razpotnik
(How much a space the size of a page of Mladina - 291mm x 215mmwould cost in Ljubljana). Theme: Apartments. Author: Pristop
Theme: Greed. Author: Studio 360, VladanSrdić
"Star Wars" Theme: War. Author: Yin + Young, Domen Husu, Samo Muhič, Marin Bulog, Jure Ljubeljšek
What you see in this story are thus just a few of the more than 1,000 works that have been published over the years. If you’d like to see more of Proglas, and what the Slovenian advertising industry is capable of when allowed to do what it wants, then follow the related page on Facebook, or see the whole archive on Mladina.
STA, 30 March 2019 - The University of Maribor (Univerza v Mariboru) will launch a centre for smart cities and communities, a platform linking researchers, the corporate sector and local communities who strive to develop and adopt high-tech solutions for more effective urban management and thus higher quality of life.
"University's fragmented knowledge about urban issues will be integrated and given new content," explained the university's representatives.
They believe that the new platform could also assist city administrations and companies which are developing smart city devices and services, pushing the university to the forefront of the future sustainable development of cities, especially in east Slovenia.
Stressing that smart urban management has become a societal challenge already acknowledged by many developed cities, the university pointed out that the smart city concept included all key aspects of managing a city.
These include security, transport management, logistics, sustainable spatial planning, water and energy supply, post-office services, waste management and local food supply.
STA, 22 March 2019 - Slovenia's top science and research institution, the Jožef Stefan Institute (IJS), will mark its 70th anniversary over the course of the coming week, having started with an open day last Saturday, March 23. Between Monday and Friday, top researchers from across the globe will speak in Ljubljana about their work at the cutting edge of science.
Perhaps the top event of the coming week will be a talk by top robotics expert Vilay Kumar, the dean of Penn Engineering, a graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania.
Taking place as part of the main ceremony marking the IJS's 70th anniversary on Wednesday, Kumar's talk about flying robots will be "very interesting visually," IJS head Jadran Lenarčič has told the STA.
The anniversary week will start with an open day tomorrow, allowing the public to take one of several tours of the institute's laboratories.
On Monday, a day after the actual birthday of the late Jožef Stefan (1835-1893), considered one of the top Slovenian scientists, the 27th annual Jožef Stefan Days will officially open.
Zdenka Badovinac, the director of Modern Galerija, will deliver a talk ahead of the opening of an exhibition titled Irwin: NSK Guards and Processions.
The next day, Bart De Moor of KU Leuven will talk about the role of new technologies and data science in biology in the future, while Rosario Rizzuto, a rector at the University of Padua, will talk about calcium signalling in cells.
After the main ceremony on Wednesday, Thursday will feature a talk by Jean-Claude André, the inventor of 3D printing, while the Jožef Stefan Days will wrap up with a talk by Geoff Webb of Monash University, a top data scientist.
The institute will also name the winner of an annual competition for young researchers. This year, the winner will get between EUR 300,000 and 350,000 to set up their own lab.
March 21, 1949, is the birthdate of the man who – until the arrival of Melania Trump – was arguably the most famous living Slovene, the “rock star philosopher” and Ljubljana-native Slavoj Žižek, who can still be seen walking the streets of the city when not holed up in his apartment writing or travelling to one of his many lectures, debates, interviews or other public appearances around the world. So in honour of the 70th birthday of man who’s done so much to put his hometown and country on the international intellectual map, we present 70 quotes on various topics and in no particular order to make you think, smile, frown or throw your electronic device across the room in frustration. Vse najboljše, Mr Žižek, and for the rest of you – enjoy your symptoms!
STA, 5 March - The women's magazine Onaplus has picked lawyer and lecturer Sara Ahlin Doljak as the winner among twelve inspirational Slovenian women whose professional achievements defined the past year and who led by example.
Ahlin Doljak, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, has not let her disability be an obstacle to success, the judging panel said in awarding Doljak the title Ona 365 (She 365) for 2018.
Speaking through a speech generator device Tobii, Doljak shares important professional as well as personal insights and her voice deserves to be heard by everyone, the jurors said. Doljak lectures at the European Law Faculty in Ljubljana and Nova Gorica.
"She incidentally makes us ponder - who are we and most importantly, what we could be. Despite the challenges life imposes on her, she thrives. Each time she stresses how large life is and her esteem for it. And that family is everything," said Onaplus editor-in-chief Sabina Obolnar.
"She doesn't conceal bitter moments and self-reflections. And one day she realized that she learned everything besides living," Obolnar added at Tuesday's award ceremony in Ljubljana, which also marked the 25th anniversary of the magazine.
Obolnar also pointed out that all twelve nominees are exceptional and successful women who honour life and despite being less visible in the media, leave a great legacy behind.
The 12 nominees for the title included successful surgeon Saba Battelino, who managed to restore hearing of a five-year-old, the first blind translator from Norwegian to Slovene Irena Mihelj, successful journalist, presenter, and author Mojca Širok, and ski star Ilka Štuhec.
Prime Minister Marjan Šarec was also present at the ceremony and congratulated the nominees.
STA, 5 March 2019 - Ivo Štandeker, a Slovenian journalist killed while reporting from besieged Sarajevo at the start of the war in Bosnia in 1992, will be posthumously honoured by the city of Sarajevo with the Citation of the City of Sarajevo.
The Citation is conferred on Bosnian or foreign citizens, companies and organisations for their contribution to Sarajevo's development in a number of fields.
Štandeker is considered one of the finest and most critical Slovenian reporters from the 1990s.
He was wounded during the Serb shelling of the Sarajevo borough of Dobrinja on 16 June 1992 and died a few hours later in a hospital in Pale.
Also wounded alongside Štandeker was US photojournalist Jane Schneider, with whom he had wanted to get to a spot from where they could take photos of a nearby hill where the Serb troops were stationed.
A decision to honour Štandeker (1961-1992), war correspondent for the magazine Mladina, has been taken by the city council, a Slovenian association from Sarajevo said on its Facebook page.
A memorial plaque to Štandeker was unveiled at the site where he was wounded in 1997, and he was also posthumously honoured in 1992 with the Order of Freedom, the highest state decoration in Slovenia.
The Slovenian Cultural Society Cankar in Sarajevo said that in his reports from the besieged city, Štandeker sympathised with the locals.
It quoted his statement "I love cities and I hate it if they get attacked", which is inscribed on the memorial plaque.
During the 1990s wars in the former Yugoslavia, Štandeker also reported from the besieged Croatian cities of Vukovar and Dubrovnik.
The screenshot at the top of this story comes from this Slovenian video
While other firms that make products related to bathroom concerns may like to use a lateral approach when discussing the merits of their goods, such as the soft and fluffy puppies that have been used to promote a certain brand of toilet paper in the UK for decades, Donat Mg is upfront and unashamed about the benefits that drinking its mineral water will bring to consumers.
"Also a holiday for your digestion" Photo: donatmg.eu
"The royal treatment for your digestion" donatmg.eu
They will poop, more easily and with pleasure, thus relieving constipation and discomfort. What’s more, the firm has a tradition of award-winning advertisements that confront the issue head on, giving the brand a strong identity that’s loud, proud and arresting, with one of the more sophisticated campaigns that we’ve seen in Slovenia.
The water comes from the springs of Rogaška Slatina, which have been known of since Roman times and used for spa treatments since at least the 17th century, although the spring which provides the water from Donat Mg was only discovered in 1908.
The drink works its digestive magic due to the sulphate salts it contains, which give the water the property of hyperosmolarity, and thus it's a natural osmotic laxative. As noted on the brand’s website:
Its effectiveness as a laxative is due to sulphate salts (magnesium sulphate or Epsom salt and sodium sulphate or Glauber’s salt) and around 1000 mg/l of magnesium. Sulphates draw water from the cells of the intestinal wall by osmosis, increasing the volume of intestinal content 3 to 5 times; this exerts pressure on the intestinal wall and triggers its peristalsis or movement. Magnesium also additionally stimulates the intestinal hormones that boost peristalsis.
Consumers are thus advised to treat Donat Mg with some respect, and to take care not to drink a bottle or three when simple sparkling water, such as the similarly packaged Radenska, is desired. While the bottom won’t fall out of your world if you make such a mistake, the world might fall out of your bottom.
Related: Slovenian brands - Radenska (videos)
STA, 13 February 2019 - The Slovenian start-up PlanetCare has developed filters specifically designed to catch microfibres shed from textiles and clothes during washing and drying.
Since every load of laundry produces a large amount of microfibers that end up in the food chain and pose a threat to animals and humans, PlanetCare has designed filters for washing machines to remove these microparticles.
For now, the start-up focuses primarily on end-users, creating a range of add-on filters for existing washing machines, while also negotiating with home appliance manufacturers to install built-in filters. Their latest innovation is an industrial filter for larger laundry facilities.
According to PlanetCare, their filters were tested by leading research institutions with results confirming the filters successfully remove a significant quantity of microfibres.
Last week, the start-up presented their product at the international trade fair ISPO Munich. They took part in a group study on microplastics where they showed how to turn plastic waste into raw material by first grinding it and then using a 3D printer to transform the waste into a PlanetCare microplastic filter.
Since last year, PlanetCare, Sympatex Technologies, the Plastic Soup Foundation, the Plastic Leak Project initiative and the Italian Institute for Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials have been working on a study examining Sympatex's materials to find the most effective way to reduce the amount of microfibres in washing machine waste water.
You can learn more about PlanetCare at the company’s website