In Memoriam: Dr. Svetozar Anton Polič – Cvero / 13.12.2021

On december 5, 2021, a friend and retired colleague has left us forever.

His research and development work covered many areas. At the very beginning of his career, he researched kinetic isotope fractionation and kinetics of chemical reactions, mass spectrometric isotope analysis, modelling of chemical processes and quantum calculations of model molecular reactions. He later began to engage in environmental research. Among them were important studies of the fate of toxic substances in the environment, especially persistent organic compounds such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in one of the most polluted areas in Slovenia in the karst area. This was also the main topic of his doctorate, which he defended in 2005.

His research also touched the practical aspects of environmental protection in the broadest sense, as evident by expert opinions and environmental impact analyzes in the framework of environmental impact assessment, risk analysis and safety assessments, and technological assessments and other environmental issues.

In the wider Slovenian area, dr. Polič is known as an excellent and respected leader of the Environmental Impact Assessment (SEPO) team at the Jožef Stefan Institute in the 1980s, when environmental impact assessment was in line with the concepts of this activity and SEPO successfully brought together top experts from various fields. From 1983 to 1994, he was the head of this center, and then he was removed from this position, which burdened him, as it was clear that these are administrative changes that do not lead to improved activities and are not in line with social development, and not a proper response to the crisis at the time and movements in the field of environmental protection. This injustice severely affected him and gradually affected his health as well as his work.

From the establishment of the Department of Environmental Sciences (O2) in 1997 until his retirement, Cvero was a member of the "Modelling, Environmental Impact Assessment and Risk Assessment" group. During his work, he has participated in more than 700 research and development projects in the field of environmental protection. He also participated in projects for the Krško NPP, including the planned construction of JEK2, the remediation of the Žirovski vrh mine and the planning of the construction of a low and intermediate level radioactive waste repository - NSRAO. Mention should also be made of a number of PCB research projects in the Krupa River area. The last task in this area was aimed at optimizing the remediation of the landfill for PCB-contaminated material.

At the Department of Environmental Sciences, he is remembered as a kind interlocutor and a friend. With his witty stories, he knew how to make everyone smile and encourage them. Thus, during a trip to Japan in 2003, where he presented the results of his doctoral dissertation at an international congress, he also visited the National Institute for Minamata disease (NIMD) Minamate on the island of Kyusho. The events stuck deep in his memory. He has repeatedly said that pictures from this trip were shown to him at a time when he was first betrayed by his heart and survived - the scenes of Shinkansen helped him to wake up from coma and to survive ... until the day he forever said goodbye.