Dr. Zdenko Machala is our new Scientist of the Week!

Dr. Zdenko Machala

Dr. Zdenko Machala

     Our featured scientist this week is one of the most recognized in the field of Plasma Medicine, Dr. Zdenko Machala. I have read several of his papers and I am impressed with his utilization of emission spectroscopy and other plasma diagnostics to identify the species responsible for the antimicrobial activity of atmospheric pressure plasmas. His expertise and depth of knowledge in the field of plasma physics and chemistry have certainly contributed to the advancement of Plasma Medicine not only in Europe, but across the globe.   

    Dr. Machala is chairing the 6th International Conference on Plasma Medicine next year. The conference will take place in beautiful Bratislava, Slovakia next year, September 4-9. For more details please visit:


The Science and Engineering Cafe is honored to host Zdenko’s interview that will be posted later this month.


Dr. Zdenko Machala is currently an Associate Professor in Physics at Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia. He received his MSc. degree in physics from Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia (1997), and his dual PhD. in gas and plasma physics from Université Paris XI, France (2000) and Comenius University, Slovakia (2001). Before joining the faculty at Comenius University he worked for a private Welding Research Institute (2001, Slovakia), then moved to the United States for a post-doctoral appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University (2002-04).


His research expertise is in physics of low temperature plasmas and electrical discharges and the implementation of advanced electrical and optical diagnostics. Zdenko has particular interest in the biomedical and environmental applications of plasmas, and has extensively studied the related plasma chemistry in gases and liquids interacting with plasmas. In recent years he focuses mainly on the biomedical applications of cold air plasmas, especially related to the water and surface bio-decontamination. His aim is to gain a fundamental understanding of plasma-liquid-cell interactions which represent a fundamental platform in the emerging field of plasma medicine.


In his scientific career Z. Machala established many international research collaborations: starting with his dual PhD. in France and Slovakia, through his post-doc at Stanford University, several invited and visiting professorships (2004 and 2011 Ecole Centrale Paris, France; 2013 University of California Berkeley, USA), and many short visits and bilateral projects. He has been a principal investigator or vice-PI of several international and many national research projects. He has co-authored more than 36 research journal papers, more than 100 conference contributions, 2 book chapters, and also served as a book editor (Plasma for bio-decontamination, medicine and food security, NATO Science for Peace and Security Series, Springer 2012). He has delivered 15 invited lectures and seminars at international conferences and workshops and is an active member in the scientific community on several international committees and boards (International Society for Plasma Medicine, International Plasma Chemistry Society, International Conference on Phenomena in Ionized Gases, COST TD1208 Electrical Discharges in Liquids for Future Applications, COST MP1101 Bioplasma, etc.). He received several national research awards (Slovak Vice-prime minister and Minister of education prize: “The personality of science and technology under 35 years” (2009), or “M.R. Stefanik Award for the best French-Slovak bilateral collaboration in science and technology”, presented by the French president François Hollande, 2013). He will chair the upcoming 6th International Conference on Plasma Medicine (www.icpm6.com), the most prominent bi-annual scientific event in the domain of plasma bio-medicine.

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