Interview with Engr. Gregor Nikolić – Team Member at LEIS, Faculty of Electrical Engineer & Comp. Science, University of Maribor – eeweb.com
Can you give us a little background about yourself?
My name is Gregor Nikolić, 24 years old, born in beautiful Slovenia where I am also currently living. I’m an electronic engineer currently finishing master thesis on topic of electronics. In October, it will be three years of employment at the Laboratory for Electronic and Information Systems (LEIS) of Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Maribor in Slovenia. Beside work and education, I love to cook, garden, photography and take care of my bees.
How did you get into electronics/engineering and when did you start?
Everything started when I was very young, somewhere around 10 years old. I was not so much involved into electronics or electric, but much more in chemistry. I still remember a day when I was making “electrolyze” with salted water, computer power supply, one piece of copper sheet and a nail. I wanted to copper a nail, without success. Later I had to decide what course I would take, chemistry or electrical engineering. I decided that electrical engineering is a better for me.
What has been your favorite project?
I cannot say that there is one favorite project. I’m trying to enjoy every project that we or I am working on. If I have to expose one, it would be designing from scratch a Clean room for satellite project. From walls to the electronic control of pressure, humidity and temperature.
What are your favorite hardware and software tools that you use?
That would be Atmel microprocessors and AVR Studio in C programing language. For computer based software it would be Visual Studio and Visual Basic programing language.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a project of multifunction embedded system for home automation. As a team member of LEIS, we are working as a team at several projects, educational, industry and space project.
Do you participate in professional organizations? Can you tell us about it?
I do, at the faculty in a Laboratory for Electronic and Information Systems. We are professionals for embedded electronic and information systems. LEIS carries out scientifically-research and developmentally work on field of electronic and information systems. We care for the performance of universities and higher education professional study programs of an electronic engineer and telecommunication. We cooperate with many companies and European Space Agency, more about that can be found on a webpage of laboratoryhttp://www.leis.um.si or at the space project webpage http://www.trisat.um.si.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
Usually we need a place to relax and I found it on a garden. There is nothing better than to spend some time in a garden and harvest your own vegetables. I’m also somehow a fresh beekeeper with two hives. Beside these hobbies, I love to cook and take pictures of nature, animals, food and people. These are the things I do to relax my brain.
What direction do you see the Electronics Industry heading in the next few years?
Because we are currently working on satellite, actually so-called nano-satellite in the eye of European Space Agency, at the end it’s only a 3U structure. I can say, that in that kind of satellites is a big opportunity for electronics and also for the companies to proof themselves. As they say “once when you are flying, than you are verified”. These kind of satellites are a big competition to the big, heavy and expensive satellites. Besides that, I can also see the future in embedded electronic in home automation. The trends are going into more and more automated systems, for consumers as for companies to save energy, smarter use of energy and to bring more and more renewable energy into homes.
Is there anything you’d like to say to young people to encourage them to pursue electronics?
I want to say the same, when someone ask me, why electronics and not any other direction. In electronics, I see infinite opportunities for challenges. Electronics is with us at every step, especially in consumer electronics and medicine. You just have to ask yourself where and when you don’t use electronics. If you have an idea, any kind of, there is a way in electronic to realize it. And of course we should not ignore the fact that there are jobs for good electronic engineers.