A £100K gift from an Imperial alumnus is to create an endowed fund for student travel awards in the Faculty of Engineering.
The Professor Milija Pavlovic Research Travel Fund will provide awards for postgraduate research students in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to undertake research opportunities abroad, such as presenting at an international conference, participating in a workshop or symposium, conducting field work, or collaborating with an overseas laboratory or research group. The creation of the fund was made possible by a former student of the late Professor Milija Nikola Pavlovic, who was an academic in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 1978 to 2008. The generous donation was made on the tenth anniversary of Professor Pavlovic’s passing, and commemorates his legacy as an influential scholar and teacher who was passionate about engineering, travel and culture.
The fund will enable up to four research students each year to pursue career development opportunities overseas, engage with researchers from other countries and gain an insight into different working and cultural environments. As an endowed gift, the fund will exist in perpetuity, opening up these rare and valuable opportunities to students at Imperial for many years to come. Travel awards provide invaluable experiences to young researchers, giving them the chance to grow their professional networks, communicate their research to international peers and raise their profile within their chosen field.
Professor Pavlovic was born in the former Yugoslavia, but spent many of his formative years in Argentina. He first studied engineering in Australia before completing his doctorate in structural engineering in the UK. He joined Imperial in 1978 to develop teaching and research in concrete shell structures in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Professor Pavlovic was a strong proponent of travel as a means to broaden one’s horizons both academically and culturally. He himself spoke seven languages and, in addition to establishing an internationally recognised research career in engineering, completed a second doctorate in Spanish literature from the University of London.
During his career, Professor Pavlovic made substantial contributions to his field, working to provide more practical procedures for the design of shell structures and reinforced concrete structures. He was a devoted teacher, dedicating much of his time and attention to finding new ways to communicate complex concepts and encourage students to learn. His contributions as a teacher were recognised by the award of a prestigious Teaching Fellowship in 2007.
Professor Ahmer Wadee, Director of Postgraduate Research for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering said: "This travel fund provides an outstanding opportunity to our conscientious and talented research students to broaden their horizons by spending quality time abroad, whether conducting fieldwork, visiting an overseas laboratory or presenting their work at an international conference. I knew Milija personally as a student and subsequently as a colleague for nearly ten years and to say that he was a passionate individual would be a massive understatement. The research travel fund named after him is a perfectly fitting tribute."
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