On July 2nd, 2018, Dženita Avdibegović obtained her PhD degree in Chemistry. She is a member of the SOLVOMET group of Prof. Koen Binnemans where she works mainly on ion-exchange and chromatography separations of metal ions. (Leuven 10.12.2021)
What are you working on?
The ANTISOLVO Project is focused on recycling of end-of-life magnets composed mainly of rare earths and iron, but my task is to recover the non-rare earth valuable components of magnets, such as cobalt, nickel, manganese, copper, and many others. I am using aqueous and non-aqueous ion-exchange and chromatography techniques to recover and separate these metals from their solutions. In fact, I have been building my expertize in ion-exchange and chromatography since my masters and PhD studies. The postdoctoral experience in the ANTISOLVO project is an additional valorization in these technologies.
What attracts you in the research project you are working on?
One of the most attractive features of the project is actually the possibility to meet and collaborate with experts across Europe. The project involves three partners KTH Royal Institute of Technology from Sweden, KU Leuven from Belgium, and Jožef Stefan Institute from Slovenia. Each partner institution has a particular expertise, weather in antisolvent precipitation, ion-exchange, advanced characterization of materials or life cycle analysis. It is always very inspiring to get to know the opinion from experts in different fields. It helps enormously to have the entire picture of the project and to not neglect either of its important aspects.
Where do you work? What do you like about your organization or the city you live in?
I work at KU Leuven in Belgium. I have been living in Leuven since 2015, and it is my favorite city in Belgium. There are many things why one could like Leuven, but the most obvious ones for me are a vivid student’s atmosphere of the city, its internationality, safety and its convenient geographical position for traveling across Belgium and abroad. It is a rather small city, but still you can find just about anything you might need, from sports, diverse international cuisine, to various cultural events, lectures, or international friends.
How do you recharge?
There are many things that recharge me, but I will firstly mention an introspection. Usually it is the starting point for me to build a positive attitude in most situations. I enjoy spending time with family and close friends, weather it is for a relaxed dinner, a concert, or a journey. I especially like spontaneous small trips during weekends, either to explore Belgium even more, or its neighboring countries. These short trips always give me a feeling on Monday mornings that I have been on a long vacation.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
There is no such thing for me as The Greatest Achievement, because I believe in everyday growth in every aspect, and all of it matters. Even if sometimes I make a small break, I try to learn most of the time and move forward, bit by bit, so that every chapter of my life has some personal achievement.
Dženita Avdibegović was born in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), where she obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degree in chemistry at the University of Sarajevo. In 2018 she completed her PhD in chemistry at KU Leuven, as a Marie-Curie Fellow within the REDMUD project. Since then, she has worked at KU Leuven as a researcher in various project, such as SOLCRIMET, SOLVOLi and the ANTISOLVO project. She is also a work package leader in the ANTISOLVO project.