Having completed an undergraduate masters in Materials Science, Ilija stayed on in Oxford to carry out his 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. Ilija subsequently joined Birmingham as a Lecturer in LANS & EPS.
He is an award-winning communicator of science—having won IOM3’s Literature Review Prize (2016) and finishing runner-up in IOM3’s Young Person’s World Lecture Competition (2017), after winning the UK National Final—and is actively involved in outreach and engagement, giving inspirational talks to school students under-represented at UK universities.
Ilija’s engineering experience started at the end of his school days, spending four years operating CNC milling machines at small precision engineering firm, Lesk Engineers, out of term time. He has had a stint carrying out virtual crash tests at Jaguar Land Rover and is currently Advanced Materials Engineer at P1 Graphene Solutions, a company that incorporates graphene into automotive components.
He is a keen sportsman and musician, and is particularly interested in projects that operate at the interface between these fields and the physical sciences.