The Prešeren Award granted to a student of mechanical engineering

date: 13.12.2017

category: Sporočila za javnost


By granting awards for the best work, the University of Ljubljana promotes the quality of scientific research and artistic activities of students until the completion of the 2nd Bologna level of education and uniform master's studies. The Rector of the University of Ljubljana, prof. dr. Igor Papič, awarded the Prešeren Awards to students as part of the Week of the University. The winners received a recognition with an engraved Prešeren image and a cash prize.

The Prešeren Award for quality scientific and research work was awarded to a student at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Jan Zavodnik. The award-winning work entitled Karakterizacija umetne mišice iz metamateriala z negativnim koeficientom toplotne razteznosti (Characterization of artificial muscles from metamaterial with a negative coefficient of thermal expansion) was carried out under the mentorship of doc. dr. Miha Brojan, Head of the Laboratory for Nonlinear Mechanics

In his work, Jan Zavodnik discusses the thermo-mechanical problem of the contraction of torsion-cracked polymeric fibres with an effective negative coefficient of thermal expansion, which he researched through experiments and theory. He describes the process of producing samples and the experimental system. Based on research into influence production and heat treatment parameters, he developed mathematical models that predict the contraction of polymeric fibres in dependence on temperature and constant axial load, as well as the force generated by such fibres during isometric temperature loading. The described effect can be used to produce, for example, artificial muscles, robotic limbs, thermal regulators, smart clothing, etc.

This year, the Rector awarded a total of 12 Prešeren Awards to students of the University of Ljubljana, which the commission appointed based on the Criteria for Assessing the Proposed Works for Awards.



Figure 1: Comparison of the artificial polymer muscle before and after heat treatment

a) Artificial polymer muscle after bending and before heat treatment

b) Heat treated artificial polymer muscle



Photo: FS and UL archive

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