Vol. 27 No. 4 (2021): Steelmaking and processing - devoted to Prof. Ljubomir Nedeljković
Last July, the summer sky has darkened when the sad news that Professor Ljubomir Nedeljković has passed away - had spread among Serbian metallurgical society. One rich professional and interesting life biography is completed, but the memory of Professor Nedeljković among his colleagues, fellow students, and friends will never fade. Prof. Nedeljković was born on 4th January 1933 in Sarajevo and passed away on 6th July 2020 in Split, Croatia, at the age of 87. However, he spent most of his life in Belgrade while living his retirement days in Prague, the Czech Republic. Primary and high school (gymnasia), he finished in Belgrade, and in 1951 he began his university education at the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy (TMF), the University of Belgrade. In October 1957, he obtained his diploma from the Department of Metallurgy and started his professional life as an engineer at the Institute for testing of materials - IMS Institute in Belgrade. After several months he moved back to the TMF to work as an assistant professor at the Iron and Steel Department. In July 1969, Prof. Nedeljković defended his doctoral dissertation at the Technical University of Clausthal, Claushal-Zellerfeld, Germany. From 1969 till 2000, Professor Nedeljković was an active professor at TMF. In October 2000, he finally retired at the age of 67. While in retirement, he continued to work, coaching students doing doctoral and master thesis, retiring finally at the end of 2013.
It is difficult to highlight one of the many qualities that Professor Nedeljković was blessed with. His incredible talent enabled him to approach any metallurgical problem during teaching and research work in an original way. He had an enormous work capacity, and his gift for communication made even the most complex presentations look clear and easily followed by any audience. Well educated, with great general knowledge, eloquent with a very sensitive sense for humor he was a great teacher. Blessed with overwhelming sociability, tinged with a hint of irony, being in his company was a gift for those of us who were lucky enough to call him a colleague.
Professor Nedeljković was one of the pioneers of modern steel metallurgy in former Yugoslavia. With Professor Nikola Gaković, he organized teaching activities for various carbon steels and special steels production. He taught in a way that no one had done before or after him, originally and effectively linked with many examples from practice, with the aim of better understanding complex matter. Professor Nedeljković was a great man of exceptional knowledge, a young spirit, direct, full of understanding for students, always ready to help them, so that very quickly, he became our role model. His lectures were meetings that we students were especially looking forward to. They had a stimulating effect on us and strengthened our belief that we had chosen the right profession for our future occupation. After his lectures, many things from previous schoolings got their place and real meaning. Most importantly, we started to love metallurgy.
Later, in the mid-80s, when I joined his team at the Department of Iron and Steel, I had the pleasure and honor to work directly with him and to participate in numerous studies, projects on various metallurgical issues. There were really a lot of them, domestic and international. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to take a closer look at his exceptional engineering nerve and notice the ease with which he communicated with colleagues and world experts in several world languages. He spoke besides Serbian, French, German, English, Russian fluently, and to some level Italian. Lately, he learned Czech while spending his retirement in Prague. Wide culture, ease of communication, and developed engineering logic adorned my professor.
He supported and directed talented students towards further education at numerous universities in Europe and the USA. Nowadays, many of his students are in leading positions around the world who have successful careers started at the advice of Professor Nedeljković to go to the Western world and taste their happiness. We, his students and coworkers, have not forgotten him and never will.
He leaves behind his wife, Davorka, daughter in Law Jelena, son Nikola and two grandchildren Vasilije and Sava, who brought joy to his life in his last years.