People

ERA Chair holder
Grunde Jomaas, PhD
Prof.
Grunde Jomaas, PhD

Grunde Jomaas was recently appointed as the ERA chair for the FRISSBE project. He received his BSc degree in Fire Protection Engineering from University of Maryland in 2001 (Summa Cum Laude). After graduating, he worked one year for Combustion Science and Engineering in Maryland as a staff engineer. In 2008 he received his PhD degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University with a thesis that focused on flame propagation and instabilities. Thereafter, he was a post-Doc at École Centrale Paris before moving to the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) as an assistant professor in the department of Civil Engineering in 2009. In 2016, he was appointed Professor and BRE Chair of Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.
Dr Jomaas has published more than 60 peer-reviewed journal publications, as well as book chapters, reports and conference papers. His work has been cited more than 2500 times according to Google Scholar. These papers are based on a very broad experience in the field of combustion and fire safety engineering. He is a popular speaker at seminars, and has given more than 50 conference talks and invited seminars on various topics around the world.
Dr Jomaas has a wide teaching experience related with fire safety engineering. He has taught classes such as Fire Dynamics, Fire Chemistry, Fire Risk Analysis, Fire Risk Management, Building Fire Safety, Fire Protection Fluid Mechanics, Building Fire Technology, Fire Risk Assessment and Laboratory, and Applied Fire Safety – Standardization and Test Methods. In addition, he developed and managed a specialist education on Fire Investigation for the Danish National Police. He has also a substantial teaching experience in research methods.
Grunde Jomaas has worked on numerous consulting projects for the industry while at DTU and UoE, and as an independent consultant. He is known to provide high quality solutions that solve the problems at hand, and the solutions are always supported by well-documented, well-written reports.
Currently, he is an Alternate Member of the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Technical Committee on Fire Risk Assessment Methods (FIR-AAA). During his tenure in the committee, two documents have been published: “NFPA 551: Guide for Evaluation of Fire Risk Assessments” and “NFPA 550: Guide to the Fire Safety Concepts Tree.”

Recently, he was awarded the John L. Bryan mentoring award from the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE):
The John L. Bryan Award - SFPE

Read more Close
Project Coordinator
Andraž Legat, PhD
Assoc. Prof.
Andraž Legat, PhD

Andraž Legat, PhD (Physics, male), is Head of Research Core Funding P2-0273 Building structures and materials for the period 1999 - 2024. His research work is primarily oriented toward the durability of building materials and structures and the development of new materials for sustainable construction. His particular field of interest are methods for monitoring and characterisation of corrosion processes. He has published more than 50 scientific papers, which were cited more than 600 times. He has been involved in and coordinated several national and international research projects. He has vast experience with leading, coordination and management since he was the director of ZAG in the period May 2005 – May 2019. He also acted as a president of ENBRI (European Network of Building Research Institutes) and vice-president of FEHRL (Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories). For the third time, he has been elected as a member of the Steering Committee of the European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP).

Read more Close
FRISSBE Core Group

(alongside to the ERA Chair holder and the Project Coordinator)

Urška Kropf, PhD
Urška Kropf, PhD
Head of Administrative Services Sector

She is the Head of the ZAG Administrative Services Sector and the Unit for Finance, Accounting and Project Support. She works at ZAG for the last 7 years. In the last decade, she was involved as a project manager in projects funded in the following international research programmes: FP7, Eco-Innovation, Interreg Central Europe and Interreg SI-AT. She has been involved in the financial management of H2020, FP7, Eco-Innovation, LIFE+, Interreg and EIT RawMaterials projects. She has also gained expertise in legal aspects of international projects, including intellectual property management. She is experienced in preparing and executing dissemination plans for projects, working closely with ZAG public relations service. The aspects of GDPR within research project execution are well known to her.

As an expert in the financial and legal field, she is appointed as the Project Manager of this project. She will help the PC and ERA Chair in financial monitoring of the project and ensure effective, efficient and on-time implementation of the project activities.

Read more Close
Friderik Knez
Friderik Knez
Head of Department of Building Physics

He is Head of the Department of Building Physics at ZAG with over 20 years of experience in research and conducting tests in building physics. His focus of research is in reaction to fire, the toxicity of fire effluents and previously also renewable energy, building physics, life cycle assessment, radon health risk prevention and radon mitigation in buildings. He is/has been involved in 8 research projects in EU FP 7 and H2020 programmes and 4 other projects funded by the EU (LIFE+, cohesion funds). He was also involved in numerous national industrial research projects. At ZAG, he was coordinating work in the national Competence centre for sustainable and innovative construction. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Scientific and professional council of SRIP Smart buildings and homes with wood chain, launched by the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy at the Government of the Republic of Slovenia as a mechanism for implementation of the smart specialisation strategy. He is a member of many professional associations: European Organization for Technical Assessment, where he is the convenor of PT 12 group, dealing with sustainable use of natural resources in construction products, Board member of ECO Platform, chairman of technical committee TGO at SIST and representative of SIST in CEN TC 350. He is (co-) author of over 30 scientific and technical publications. Data on publication is available on link.

Read more Close
Petra Horvat
Petra Horvat
Head of the Project Support Services

She is the Head of ZAG Project Support Services. In the last decade, she was involved in the research part of two Interreg projects and has shifted her focus 4 years ago towards project management and proposal preparation within different calls, e.g. ARRS (Slovenian Research Agency), Interreg, H2020, EIT RawMaterials and other projects funded by Slovenian Ministry of Science, Education and Sport. In the meantime, she has also gained experience in legal aspects of projects, dissemination and communication, and intellectual property issues.

Additionally, she is a PhD student at the University of Primorska, Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Information Technologies as part of their Renewable Materials and Healthy Built Environments PhD study programme. Within her studies, she is focusing on knowledge management aspects as a support mechanism to achieve better research results and scientific excellence and will offer support to the ERA Chair holder also in this aspect.

Read more Close
Senior researchers
Andrea Lucherini, PhD
Andrea Lucherini, PhD

Andrea Lucherini was recently appointed to the position of Senior Researcher within the FRISSBE project. In 2013 and 2016, Andrea completed his BSc and MSc in Structural Civil Engineering in a joint programme between the University of Bologna (Italy) and the Technical University of Denmark (Denmark). In 2020, he attained his PhD in Structural and Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Queensland (Australia). Between 2020 and 2022, he has been working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Ghent University (Belgium).
Andrea’s field of expertise is construction materials engineering, with a specialization in fire safety science and engineering. To date, Andrea’s research interests primarily focus on the performance of advanced construction materials and systems during and after a fire, material behaviour at ambient and elevated temperatures (heat transfer and structural mechanics), advanced experimental fire methodologies, fire protection (intumescent coatings), and fire dynamics for performance-based design of fire-safe structures, including computational fluid-dynamics (CFD) modelling. Andrea’s academic experience also includes teaching, mentoring and supervision of students (BSc, MSc and PhD) and researchers at world-leading universities.
His publication record can be found on his Google Scholar page.

Read more Close
Ulises Rojas Alva, PhD
Ulises Rojas Alva, PhD

Dr Ulises Rojas-Alva recently graduated with a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where he also was a post-doctoral researcher for the last 5 months of 2021. He obtained his MSc in Civil Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in 2013, and his Architectural Technologist BSc from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM). After finishing his MSc at DTU, he worked there as a Research Scientist for 2 years. During his PhD studies, Research Assistant position at DTU and his MSc thesis project, he worked on a range of research topics, including fire safety on spacecraft, flame spread and ignition of solid materials, in-situ burning of crude oils (ISB), and smoke management in tunnel infrastructures. Dr Rojas-Alva has collaborated with a broad range other research institutes and universities (NASA, ZARM, Bremen University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Sorbonne Université, Aarhus University, NOFO, International Association of Oil & Gas Producers, S.L. Ross Environmental Research Ltd., and the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory).

The corresponding publications (peer-reviewed articles, conference papers and technical reports) can be found on his Google scholar page.

Read more Close
Postdoctoral researchers
PhD Students
Support team
Marcel Rous
Marcel Rous

Marcel is a Project Support Officer at ZAG and employed at ZAG for 4 years. He works in project management for more than 5 years and was involved in financial management of H2020, LIFE, EIT, INTERREG, UCPM and other projects funded by several funding authorities. He is supporting the PC, ERA Chair and Project Manager in administrative matters and financial monitoring of the project.

Read more Close
Jana Klemenčič Jelovčan

She is part of ZAG's legal department since January 2022 with 12 years of experience in corporate law. She is mainly involved in all labour and civil procedures, as well as real estate matters. Within FRISSBE project she will be involved in all issues when legal judgment is needed.

Read more Close
Tamara Želimorski
Tamara Želimorski
PR manager

Tamara is a Media and communication specialist with many experiences in public relations, promotion and journalism. She joined ZAG's PR team in March 2022. Within FRISSBE project she is in charge of all promotion and dissemination activities, such as updating the website and social media, preparing different text and visual material, contacting media and target groups, providing promo materials and so on.

Read more Close
Kika Gimpelj
Kika Gimpelj
HR manager

Kika has been part of the ZAG's Human resources team since April 2022. She started her career in human resources as the head of a department in an international company, where she upgraded with passed professional exams and gained more than 10 years of experience.

Within the FRISSBE project, she will be in charge of international HR support.

Read more Close
Mateja Košir

Mateja Košir joined ZAG in 2019 and holds a PhD degree on Nanomaterials and Nanosciences. She is active in research, management and commercialization of projects addressing the problematics of industrial and mining waste treatment for their effective recycling in construction sector – closing materials loops and implementing circular economy business models. She is also specialising in intellectual property management and commercialisation activities and is ZAG’s appointed technology transfer officer. Within the FRISSBE project, she will be involved in the intellectual property management activities.

Read more Close

FRISSBE ERA Chair team will presumably consist of the ERA Chair holder, 2 senior researchers, 6 postdoctoral researchers and 3 PhD students. If you are keen to join the team we are inviting you to follow our open employment offers.