Doc. RNDr.Zdenko Machala, CSc. studied physics at the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics (FMFI) of Comenius University in Bratislava (1997) and subsequently obtained a dual PhD in gas and plasma physics at the University of Paris XI in France (2000) and in plasma physics at Comenius University in Bratislava (2001). After gaining experience as a researcher at the Welding Research Institute in Bratislava (2001), he was a postdoctoral student at Stanford University, USA (2002 – 2004). In 2004, he returned to his Alma Mater, FMFI Comenius University in Bratislava. Here he established a new research group focused on biomedical and environmental applications of cold plasma. He received his habilitation at FMFI UK (2008) and obtained the scientific degree of DrSc (2021). He has been the principal investigator in many domestic and international scientific projects, is the author of 73 scientific articles and several chapters in monographs and has a significant citation impact (Hirsch index, h = 25). He is currently Head of the Department of Astronomy, Earth Physics and Meteorology at FMFI UK.
He has also been a visiting research professor at Ecole Centrale Paris (2011) and the University of California, Berkeley (2013 – 2014) and has established a number of international collaborations with partners around the world. He served as President of the International Society for Plasma Medicine (2017 – 2018), chaired the International Conference on Plasma Medicine (2016) and is a member of various international scientific boards. He has won several prestigious awards for scientific achievements, e.g., he was finalist of the prestigious ESET Science Award (2019), M.R. Štefánik award for the best bilateral Slovak-French scientific and technical cooperation (2013), the award of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education of the Slovak Republic Personality of Science and Technology under 35 (2009), and others. In 2020, as a representative of the Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information, he was the promoter of technology transfer at FMFI UK.
His research is focused on fundamental processes, diagnostics and the use of electric discharges and plasma processes in biomedical, agricultural and environmental applications. This is comprehensive interdisciplinary research into the mechanisms of plasma – liquid – living organisms. Examples of use include decontamination and disinfection of water, air and surfaces, wound healing, selective destruction of tumour cells in cancer treatment, and promotion of growth of agricultural plants.