Aleksa Djorovic’s love of science began when he was a child and his interest grew as he searched for answers to the big questions in life.
Coming to study science at Victoria University of Wellington has honed Aleksa’s skills, and given him a clear view of his future.
Aleksa was raised by his biologist mother and engineer father to use logic and facts to understand the everyday world. As a result, he has always been interested in why things happen the way they do. This led him to focus on Physics and Chemistry at Victoria University.
“As a kid I was curious about how the world works and Physics is the science that gives you the answers to all of that. With Chemistry, it feels like you’re making something out of nothing, using the smallest pieces of matter.”
Coming from high school in Serbia to university in Wellington was a culture shock but also a challenge that Aleksa grabbed with both hands.
“At high school in Serbia, we didn’t have labs. So when I came here, the theoretical part of chemistry was fine but I’d never been in a lab before, so I was thrown in the deep end.
“I volunteered to get some experience—I was happy to wash dishes or do anything. But a lecturer needed a couple of research students so I ended up doing my own research project, even though I’d had no lab experience. Being in that kind of situation, you learn much more than you would in the lecture theatre.”
Aleksa went on to have plenty more practical experience and also moved into demonstrating and teaching.
“That gave me a different view on academic life and the classroom. To be able to demonstrate you also need to completely understand the material.”
Aleksa’s idea of what is possible and how he can contribute has expanded due to the opportunities he’s had at Victoria and his exposure to world leading expertise at the University.
“Victoria is a relatively small university, but if you look at the research being carried out, especially at the MacDiarmid Institute (for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology), Victoria definitely stacks up with some of the world’s greatest universities
“It’s amazing that as an undergraduate student, you’re allowed to use and benefit from this.”
Aleksa’s experiences have helped him better understand what lies ahead and how he can shape his future.
“I see myself lecturing at a university and teaching undergraduate students, while doing my own research. Being able to demonstrate and do research so early has shown me that this is what I want to do in the future.”