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From a young age, I loved watching a building emerge from empty space

David Kodarin, main area of activities: managing the research projects at InnoRenew CoE


  • Where were you living in childhood and where do you live now?

I spent my childhood on the outskirts of Koper. During my studies, I was at home very little as I travelled all the time. I changed about 15 apartments over a period of five years. A similar situation has occurred almost until today. However, because I have always wanted to renovate an old stone Istrian house, my wife and I recently bought a house in Babiči, a small Istrian village about 10 minutes from Koper. How long I will stay in this house is also a very good question. Does anyone dare to bet with me when I will be moving again? 😀

  • What have you studied and what were the motives for your decision?            

Ever since I was a child, I loved playing with LEGO bricks, especially to build castles and fortresses. From a young age, I loved watching a building emerge from empty space. As a result, my math and physics went very well in elementary school, and I was already kind of leaning into technical waters. Computer science was also my passion as I had already programmed in Basic as a child. Between these two disciplines, construction predominated; and a few long years later, I became a civil engineer.

  • How would you describe your work to someone outside your field?

In short, I could say that in between and after the completion of the projects, I make sure we get the refund. Putting it in more words, I could say that I help with the tender documentation, preparing it; I help with the implementation of projects; I make sure that the interim reports are properly compiled, that we use the funds correctly; I draw attention to tasks and I have an overview of obligations within the projects. Inside the office, I try to take care of the good mood. Here and there, I have the good fortune to be able to join in a very limited role to some ongoing .

  • What does your typical working day look like?

My typical workday is a typical office day. As soon as I get to the office, I greet my co-workers nicely, often very loudly, so that everyone hears me arrive. As a coffee lover, this is usually the second thing I do right after I turn on my computer. Today’s computers are very fast, and I usually start working before the water boils 😀

I check my emails and our communication program several times a day. Almost every day, I review timelines and used costs on different projects. There is often a lot of paperwork, too. I also help with project applications and various applications. I am in regular contact with researchers as they always have some questions when applying for projects and reports. Occasionally, I meet for coffee with researchers to coordinate things on projects, or just to get to know each other better to help each other more easily.

But since I am the only man in the office, I can proudly say that I am blissful among women. Sometimes my co-workers spoil me with coffee, croissants, etc.

  • What makes you excited about your work?

At work, I am most impressed by the diversity and interestingness of the projects that go through our institute. It is very nice to see interdisciplinary work and solve interesting problems. I prefer sustainable projects and, even better, sustainable building projects.

The other most exciting thing is when co-workers bring me a chocolate croissant.

  • And what is the biggest challenge at your work?

We are currently active in as many as 37 international and national projects, which makes my life very busy. The biggest challenge is that we manage all projects sensibly, that we do not lag with reports and that we use all available funds.

  • Which scientist or scientific achievement are you fascinated by and why?

Because I have business and civil engineering knowledge, I am most impressed by business achievements and construction.

In the business world I really appreciate those who, with limited resources, can invent top products that are competent both in terms of price and quality.

Construction impresses me mainly with wooden and natural construction, modern architecture with character, small houses on wheels (I also built one for myself) and, lately, I follow vanlife or life in a van of 10m2.

  • Tell us about the work of art (books, music, movies, theatre, dance, visual arts) that has a special place in your life.

I read very little artwork and have watched very few movies in recent years. Music is the only artistic spark in my life. I mostly listen to foreign hip-hop, reggae, metalcore, hardcore, ska-punk and modern jazz.

  • What have you read, listened to, or watched lately?

Mostly I listen to podcasts about finance, real estate and business. But if I’m a little fed up with podcasts, I’ve been listening lately to French reggae. The last book I read was “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. The book is especially suitable for salespeople as it delves into the psychology of interpersonal relationships and why we fall in love with someone quickly and why we don’t. But I am by nature more of a technician, and my soul is complemented by a variety of construction, engineering, cottages, consumer electronics, the Linux operating system, hydroponics carpentry and gardening.

  • Which place on the Slovene coast do you like the most?

My favourite spot on the coast is the village of Labor, where my grandmother lived and where I have a tiny house on wheels. The village is very small and full of beautiful old stone buildings. The people in this village are young and slightly older families with many children. The villagers are full of drive and good will. I really like going there with my family and with my dog, where there is a lot of unspoiled nature for pleasant walks. If you are passing by, I will be delighted to show you around.

  • What makes you enthusiastic?

The greatest enthusiasm in life is given to me by solar radiation, walking around in nature.

  • Characterize your life’s guidance or an important realization (or epiphany) you have experienced.

“Nothing is impossible, you just need to find the best possible way and appropriate engagement,” the famous saying of David Kodarin.

  • What does the charm of wood mean to you?

I see beauty and warmth in wood. I also built a wooden tiny house on my own and used wood-based insulation. Also, in my business period, I made outdoor compost toilets from different types of wood. Lately, during the renovation of our stone house, we have been introducing a lot of wood furniture, which I made by myself.