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In memoriam Gregor Mali (1971-2023)



After a battle with a serious illness, our dear colleague, friend and researcher Prof. Dr. Gregor Mali passed away. He began his successful scientific career in 1997 at the National Institute of Chemistry, where he worked until his untimely death. We will cherish the memory of our esteemed colleague.

Prof. Dr. Gregor Mali has been employed at the National Institute of Chemistry in Ljubljana in the Department of Inorganic Chemistry and Technology since 1997, most recently as a scientific advisor. He graduated from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the University of Ljubljana in 1996 and received his doctorate in 2001 from the same faculty. He completed his professional training abroad in France at the universities of Strasbourg and Versailles. Since 2007, he has been habilitated in the field of Physics at the University of Nova Gorica and since 2019 also at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the University of Ljubljana.

Prof. Mali's research work was devoted to the development and application of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods and computational methods for the study of the structure of solids. In Slovenia, he was the first to introduce high-resolution methods for solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance, which provide insight into the structure of materials and the processes within them at atomic resolution. In addition to experimental methods of magnetic resonance, he also began introducing computational methods to predict the parameters that could be measured with magnetic resonance. He combined computational methods with magnetic resonance methods in so-called NMR crystallography, an integrated approach to determining the structure of materials.

Research areas to which Prof. Mali paid the most attention were the development of new porous catalysts and adsorbents for environmental and energy applications, and the development of batteries. In his research work, he collaborated with several departments at the National Institute of Chemistry and in the international infrastructure network CERIC through the National Center for High Resolution NMR Spectroscopy. In the last decade, he has also significantly expanded collaborations with foreign groups, including the Universities of Leuven and Cambridge, especially in NMR studies of metal-organic framework materials. Prof. Mali also collaborated with pharmaceutical companies in Slovenia, where he provided scientific support in the structural characterization of drugs and other active ingredients.

In recent years, Prof. Mali has become one of the world's most prominent scientists in the field of NMR research on porous materials. He has authored or co-authored more than 130 scientific articles in prestigious journals, including Science and Nature group, as well as numerous invited lectures at international conferences and foreign universities.

The importance and excellence of his research is evidenced by the two prestigious awards he received in 2017, namely the Pregl Award for outstanding achievements in the field of chemistry and related sciences and the Zois Prize for significant scientific achievements in the field of nuclear magnetic resonance of materials.

He was also a successful and highly respected mentor to several doctoral and other students, two of whom received the Pregl Award for outstanding doctoral work.

Prof. Mali's research work was excellent, dedicated and responsible to his colleagues and students. We admired and appreciated him for his exceptional approachability, kindness, respectful attitude and brilliant thinking. We will miss him sorely.

Rest in peace, Gregor.

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