Lucija Brezočnik is the first ever female SPC Winner

Did you know that the leading winners of the longest-running Region 8 contest, the Student Paper Contest, were always men until 2016? This year, Lucija Brezočnik is the first ever female SPC winner.
And she has a message, especially for the R8 WIE community. “Do not let a stereotype, that in the STEM fields one gender is better than the other, discourage you from taking this career path. It is easier to give up and convince yourself that STEM is not for you, but if you give it a try and then succeed, you can inspire others, regardless of gender. Therefore, go after your passion, dream big, work hard, learn from your mistakes, do not always take the easiest or safe way, and surround yourself with people who support you. And remember, success is not based on gender, but on your merit!”

After completing primary and secondary school, she enrolled in the university study program titled Informatics and Technologies of Communication, option Information Systems, at the UM FERI. She finished the undergraduate studies in September 2014 with a diploma work titled Development of a decision support system using the non-dominated sorting. Due to her desire to deepen and upgrade knowledge, she continued her studies by enrolling in the master’s study program Informatics and Technology of Communication in the same year. She successfully defended the master’s thesis entitled Particle swarm optimization in feature selection for classification in August 2016. She never used the year off.

During her studies, she was active in many fields. In 2013, she became an online technical editor of the Advances in Production Engineering & Management (APEM) journal, which is abstracted and indexed in the world’s leading bibliographic databases, including Web of Science (Thomson Reuters) and Scopus (Elsevier). A year later, she developed a website for SpinRCP, which is an integrated development environment (IDE) for the Spin model checker, and since then she has been an online editor for this product. At the invitation of the Institute of Informatics at UM FERI, she participated as a developer in the student project “Creative Path to Practical Knowledge,” titled Location-based mobile application testing approach, partially financed by the European Union.

During her master’s study, she received and accepted the offer for a job as a technical assistant at the UM FERI Institute of Informatics. After being elected to the title of an assistant in the subject area of Informatics in 2017, she has an assistant position.

In each academic year of her studies, she was ranked among the top 5% of the most successful students in her generation. In the academic year 2015/2016, she was recognized as the best graduate of second-degree study programs and received the award for outstanding student contribution at UM FERI. She was honoured also by the 2017 University of Maribor rector’s prize.

As a Ph.D. student of Computer Science and Informatics, her research covers the area of computational intelligence, machine learning, data mining, and swarm intelligence. In the past two years, as a young academic, she has prepared and presented seven scientific conference papers, two papers in professional conferences, one scientific conference contribution abstract, and the integral part of a monograph. Currently, one of her scientific articles is in the review process.

More about Lucija can be found on