Dr Ilija Rašović MEng AMRSC MInstP MIMMM FHEA

Dr Ilija Rašović

Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences
Associate Professor of Nanomaterials and Interdisciplinary Science Education
Director of Natural Sciences

Contact details

Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences Hub
ERI Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a materials scientist and engineer and an award-winning science communicator, with six inextricably linked strands to my work. First, working on carbon nanomaterials at the interface of materials science, nanotechnology and supramolecular chemistry. Second, interdisciplinary pedagogy and the scholarship of interdisciplinarity particularly pertaining to the physical sciences. Third, responsible research and innovation. Fourth, entrepreneurship, both in practice and education. Fifth, science communication. And finally, widening participation in higher education.


  • MEng Materials Science (Corpus Christi, Oxford)
  • DPhil Materials (St Cross, Oxford)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (University of Birmingham)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Professional Member of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining
  • Member of the Institute of Physics
  • Associate Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry


Having completed an undergraduate masters in Materials Science, I stayed on in Oxford to carry out my DPhil studies under the supervision of Prof. Kyriakos Porfyrakis, looking at the functionalisation of fullerenes for exploitation in biomedical applications and incorporation into molecular machines. I subsequently joined Birmingham as a Lecturer in 2018. 

I have presented my work at numerous international conferences and, in 2019, was invited to give a lecture at the London Materials Society and a keynote at IOM3’s Future Materials Conference at the University of Leeds.

My engineering experience started at the end of my school days, spending four years operating CNC milling machines at small precision engineering firm, Lesk Engineers, out of term time. I have had a stint carrying out virtual crash tests at Jaguar Land Rover and am currently Advanced Materials Engineer at P1 Graphene Solutions, a company that incorporates graphene into automotive components.

After first dipping my toes into engaging the public with my research by taking the audience prize at an Oxford local heat of FameLab (2015), I went on to win IOM3’s Literature Review Prize (2016) and finished as runner-up in IOM3’s Young Person’s World Lecture Competition (2017) in Perth, Australia, having won the UK National Final. I won the prize for best presentation at MRS Serbia’s annual YUCOMAT Conference (2017) in Herceg Novi, Montenegro, as well as the elevator pitch competition at the Armourers Alumni Networking Event (2019) at Armourers’ Hall, London. As part of IOM3’s 150th anniversary celebrations (2019), I was recognised as one of their ‘15 under 30’ in Materials World

I have long been actively involved in efforts to widen participation in higher education, giving talks to and leading activity sessions for school students under-represented at UK universities. I have helped develop LANS’ outreach programme from the ground up. In my efforts to broaden public engagement with scientific research, I am trustee of the charity, Break Off Labs, an innovative online crowdfunding platform for scientific research. 

I am a keen sportsman (still playing tennis on a regular basis) and musician (piano is increasingly giving way to traditional Balkan folk music on the accordion), and advocate for the great value training and competing in sport and practising and performing music have on personal and professional development.


I currently teach on the following modules:

Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences

  • Interdisciplinarity I (2nd year)
  • Research Methods Made Easy (2nd year, module lead)
  •  Learning Entrepreneurial Skills (4th year, module lead)
  • Entrepreneurial Start-Up (4th year, module lead)

CDT in Topological Design

  • Innovation Toolkit (postgraduate, module lead)
  • Interdisciplinary Study (postgraduate, module lead)
  • Topology and its Applications (postgraduate)
  • The Topology Lens (postgraduate)

Materials Science and Engineering

  • Biomaterials (postgraduate)
  • Materials Research Project (4th year & postgraduate)
  •  Presentation and Communication Skills (postgraduate)
  • Communication and Critical Reasoning (1st year)


  • Physics Critique (3rd & 4th year)

Earth and Environmental Sciences

  • One-Planet Thinking (1st year)


  •  Interdisciplinarity for Postgraduate Researchers
  • Effective Communication Through Data Visualisation
  • Presentation Skills
  • Science and Society
  • Postgraduate Knowledge Exchange

Postgraduate supervision

I am keen to hear from undergraduate and postgraduate students.

I welcome proposals from postgraduate students for supervision/co-supervision on any topic related to my areas of interest, as well as dissertation proposals from undergraduates in LANS and other Schools.


  • Fullerenes in nanomedicine
  • Self-assembly of amphiphilic fullerene derivatives
  • Fullerene-based MRI contrast agents
  • Fullerenes in molecular machines
  • Interdisciplinarity and the physical sciences
  • Interdisciplinary pedagogy
  • Language and science communication

I lead the LANS Lab, a departmental centre for interdisciplinary scholarship and pedagogy.

Other activities