The breakthrough research of prof. dr. Matevž Dular will be funded by the European Research Council

date: 11.12.2017

category: Sporočila za javnost


Among the recipients of this year's European Research Council (ERC) funding of approximately 2 million EUR is prof. dr. Matevž Dular from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana. The project, abbreviated as CABUM - An Investigation of the Mechanisms at the Interaction Between Cavitation Bubbles and Contaminants - will lead to a better understanding of the physical background of the phenomenon of cavitation, which could be used in the future for the environmentally friendly cleaning of drinking and waste water. The importance of Professor Dular's success is that only four researchers in Slovenia have thus far received this type of funding.

The 5-year CABUM project will employ 7 researchers; the project leader will be prof. dr. Matevž Dular, one of the youngest full time professors at the University of Ljubljana. The project explores the phenomenon of cavitation, where bubbles appear in a liquid in case of a sudden decrease in pressure, which later collapse in a higher pressure area. It is a process that until recently was considered undesirable, because it causes noise, vibration and erosion in water machines. In recent years, however, under specific conditions, it has started to be used for the cleaning of surfaces, improvement of chemical processes, waste water treatment, and elsewhere.

Prof. dr. Dular, the project manager at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering UL, explained: "The idea behind the CABUM project is based on the lessons we learned from the multi-year cooperation with the business sector. Clearly, gaps in the knowledge of the physical background of cavitation have been shown, which limit the introduction of this technology into advanced industrial processes."

The recipient has also emphasized that their team will explore the dynamics of cavitation bubbles in the interaction with bacteria and viruses, which will open the door for energy efficient and environmentally friendly water purification in the future.

The significance of the obtained project also shows that the PE (Physical Sciences and Engineering) panel has, among the 1149 applications, granted funding to only 151 (statistics). More information about this year's projects at the European Research Council (ERC)


Prof. dr. Matevž Dular was born in 1979, graduated in 2002, and received his doctorate three years later at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana. He was elected as a full professor this year. He has worked abroad for more than 4 years (TU-Darmstadt, Arts et Metiers Paris Tech, FH Heidelberg, University of Colorado). He has led several projects for the European Space Agency, the ESA. The field of his research covers both basic and applied research in the field of cavitation and broader fluid dynamics. He is employed at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Laboratory for Water and Turbine Machinery.


The European Research Council was set up by the European Commission with the aim of financing excellent researchers and their research teams to carry out ground-breaking and higher-risk research promising new fundamental knowledge. The specificity of the ERC tenders is to promote pioneering studies, i.e. the fundamental research that can lead to important discoveries and, in the next step, to applied research and practical innovation relevant to Europe's competitiveness. More at the link.

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