Finalist of the category: Outstanding individual contributor to Slovak science

Ján Dusza

Progressive ceramic materials

„Let's not forget that everything around us, except nature, is here thanks to basic research.“

He dedicated his life to research and development of ceramic materials. Prof. RNDr. Ján Dusza, DrSc. belongs to the founders of this field in Slovakia. He works at the Institute of Materials Research of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) in Košice and besides that, is a co-founder and head of the PROMATECH Research Center in Košice.

Throughout his entire scientific research career, Ján Dusza has been developing new ceramic materials and composites. These are solid materials whose main components are inorganic compounds of a non-metallic character. In recent years, he and his colleagues have also focused on ultra-high-temperature ceramic materials and high anthropic ceramic systems, as well as micro-nano fibers.

Thanks to their properties, progressive ceramic materials are suitable for the most demanding applications in terms of temperature and mechanical resistance to aggressive environments, such as gas turbine blades, internal combustion engine valves, cutting tools and ball bearings. Ceramic nanofibers, in turn, combine excellent electrical, magnetic, optical and thermal properties with low weight, which can be used in many fields of industry.

Micro-nano fibres can serve as an electrode material in the production of hydrogen, as well as an active material of solar cells for energy production. They can be widely used in environmental protection as polymer and ceramic filters for air and water filtration. They also have a place in the development of sustained release drugs and in tissue engineering.

The native of Gemer, Ján comes from an agricultural family, but thanks to his uncle he got to study physics in Budapest, which he further expanded at the Slovak Academy of Sciences and the Technical University in Košice. Ján Dusza's scientific career was also significantly influenced by his stay in Stuttgart at the Max Planck Institute in 1989-1990, which at that time was one of the best workplaces in the world for research in progressive ceramic materials, where he met with world experts in this field.

Since 1978 he has been working at the Institute of Materials Research of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Košice, where he has held various positions from PhD. student to the head of the Research Centre for Advanced Materials and Technologies PROMATECH. This Košice-based centre produces world-class results and numerous publications with hundreds of citations. A few years ago, among the first in the world, they published articles on the preparation and properties of high anthropic carbides. However, Ján Dusza’s dream is that the ultra-high-temperature ceramic materials they are developing will also contribute to the flight from New York to London taking less than two hours.

"It's a fantastic thing to be able to do your hobby your whole life," says the award-winning scientist. For his research and pedagogical activities, Ján Dusza has received numerous accolades from both the scientific and social community, such as being an academic of the Academic Society of Slovakia, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the "World Academy of Ceramics". He is also an honorary citizen of the town of Tornal and was inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the 2017 Košice Citizen of the Year Award.

In his youth, Ján Dusza was an active athlete and even worked as a DJ. His love for sports and music has not disappeared, but he devotes his free time mainly to his granddaughter and garden.