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RESEARCH INTERESTS Researcher in the group for Physics and Chemistry of Materials. Working on micro/nano structuring of surfaces and microfluidics. Surface engineering: We use direct laser structuring, laser direct imaging (DLI) photolithography and chemical methods to change the surface properties in order to achieve: -   antibiofouling properties, -   wettability tuning, -   anti-icing, -   filtering, -   directional liquid movement and other properties                           Figure: a) Laser structuring of metal surface, b) LDI photolithography for antibiofouling, c) Hydrophobic property of laser structured copper Microfluidics: We use simple foil laminating technique and state-of-the-art laser direct imaging (LDI) soft lithography for different microfluidic device applications. In fabrication we also combine various materials like PMMA, PDMS, PVC, PSA, copper and paper -   Development of droplet-array evaporative micro-cooler.  -   Autonomous disposable pumps for point-of-care diagnostic chip -   Cell separation for regenerative medicine purposes. -   Flow characterization for biomedical devices.                                                                              Figure: Autonomous evaporative micro-cooler EDUCATION:
  • 2002-2006: Ph.D. in Applied Physics:”Modeling and optimization of laser droplet formation from a metal wire”, Laboratory of Synergetics, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (http://www.fs.uni-lj.si/lasin/).
  • 1994-2001<//a>: Undergraduate in Physics, Faculty for Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana (http://www.fmf.uni-lj.si). 2001, diploma thesis: ”Study of water migration in porous materials by micro MR imaging.” at Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia (http://www.ijs.si ).
  • March 2012 – present: Researcher in the group of Physics and Chemistry of Materials at Institute of Metals and Technology, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • June 2011 – March 2012: Fulbright Visiting Scholar in BioPOETS (Luke Lee Lab), University of California, Berkeley(http://biopoets.berkeley.edu/index.php )
  • November 2009 – July 2010: Post doctoral researcher in Advanced Alloys and Production Processes (A2P2) group Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (http://sirius.mtm.kuleuven.be/Research/A2P2/index.html)
  • May 2008 – October 2008: Visiting researcher in BioPOETS (Luke Lee Lab), UC Berkeley, California, USA
  • 2007-2008: Post doctoral researcher in Thermodynamics group, Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (http://www.mtm.kuleuven.be/English/).
  • 2006-2007: Post doctoral researcher in Laboratory for Measurements in Heat Engineering, Institute of Metals and Technology, Ljubljana, Slovenia (www.imt.si).
  • 2002-2006: Ph.D. student in Laboratory of Synergetics, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
  • 2007: Trimo Research Award for the Best Doctoral Thesis ( http://www.trimo.si/client/index_en.php )
  • 1994: Best national research project award in astronomy: "Coelostat and spectroheliograph" together with Zoran Arsov; Supervisor: Lojze Vrankar
  • 1991: 2nd place in High School National Competition in Physics
  • 2011-2012: Fulbright Fellowship at University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • 2009-2010: F+ postdoctoral fellowship granted by KU Leuven, Belgium
  • 2002-2006: Scholarship of the Ministry of Science and Technology of Slovenia for Ph.D. in Applied Physics
  • 2006 : teaching assistant in course "Practical course in physics" at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana
  • 2004-2005: teaching assistant in courses: "Physics" at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana
  • Jenko, M., Grant, J.T., Rudolf, R., Kokalj, T., Mandrino, D. (2012), Characterisation of the surface microstructure of a melt-spun Ni-Ti shape memory ribbon. Surf. Interface Anal.
  • Kokalj, T., Cho, H., Jenko, M., Lee, L.P. (2010), Biologically-Inspired Porous Cooling Membrane Using Arrayed-Droplets Evaporation, Appl. Phys. Lett., 96. 163703.  
  • Sun, Z., Kokalj, T., Guo, M., Verhaeghe, F., Van der Biest, O., Blanpain, B., Van Reusel, K. (2009), Effect of the strong magnetic field on the magnetic interaction between two non-magnetic particles migrating in a conductive fluid. EPL, 85. 14002.
  • Kokalj, T., Klemenčič, J., Mužič, P., Grabec, I., Govekar, E., (2006), Analysis of a laser droplet formation process. J. manuf. sci. eng., 128(1), 307-314.
  • Kokalj, T., Jevnikar, P. & Serša, I. (2002), Study of water migration by micro MR imaging, Cell. Mol. Biol. Lett. 7, 120-122.