Dr Ilija Rašović MEng AMRSC MInstP MIMMM FHEA

Dr Ilija Rašović

Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences
Lecturer in Materials and Natural Sciences
Acting Director of Natural Sciences

Contact details

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

I have a dual role between Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences (LANS) and the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS), based in the School of Metallurgy and Materials. I am the College Lead for EPS in LANS, as well as being the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) Lead for the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Topological Design.

My research interests lie at the interface of materials science and supramolecular chemistry and self-assembly. I have a particular interest in the synthesis and characterisation of a family of carbon nanomaterials—the fullerenes—and their application in nanomedicine, in both diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Previous work with fullerenes has also given me the opportunity to explore systems for quantum computing and organic electronics.

I look to incorporate further diverse insights from science and technology studies (particularly science communication and the history and philosophy of science) and the study of interdisciplinarity itself, in order to better understand the broader landscape within which my research sits. 

I am an award-winning communicator of science and actively encourage student involvement in my own science communication projects.

I carry forward all of these interests and experiences into my teaching, from first year undergraduate through to postgraduate courses. I am a personal tutor within LANS, supervising final year dissertations and leading the LANS Lab, a centre for interdisciplinary pedagogy. 

I am a passionate advocate for widening participation in higher education, being the Outreach Lead for LANS as well as a STEM Ambassador and Discover Materials Ambassador.

Feedback and office hours

Tuesday 12:30–1:30pm 

LANS tutees can access my Zoom ID for this weekly slot on my Personal Tutoring Canvas page.

Qualifications

  • 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

Biography

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.

Teaching

Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences

  • Interdisciplinarity I (2nd year)
  • Research Methods Made Easy (2nd year)
  • From Research to Policy II (1st year)

CDT in Topological Design

  • Innovation Toolkit (module lead)
  • Interdisciplinary Study (module lead)

Materials Science and Engineering

  • Communication and Critical Reasoning (1st year)

Physics

  • Physics Critique (3rd & 4th year)

Workshops

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

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.

Research

  • 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

Other activities

Publications

Videos