The Slovenia Times

Bridge designer Pipenbaher Delo's Person of the Year


Marjan Pipenbaher, the chief designer of the Pelješac Bridge in Croatia, has been declared the Person of the Year by the newspaper Delo. One of the most renowned European bridge builders and designers, Pipenbaher has designed more than 200 brides and viaducts in Slovenia and abroad.

Picked by the readership among the ten nominees put forward by the broadsheet's editorial board, Delo's Person of the Year was announced at a ceremony in Ljubljana on 12 January. The keynote speaker was UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin, last year's winner.

The Pelješac Bridge, which opened in July 2022 to link the south-eastern Croatian semi-exclave to the rest of the country by road was praised by the editorial board as one of Pipenbaher's finest projects.

Being one of the five largest bridges in Europe built in the 21st century, the 2,404-metre long structure is not only a major engineering accomplishment, but also brings practical advantages for Slovenians holidaying in southern Dalmatia, Delo said.

Pipenbaher, 65, has received many awards from his peers, including the Kolos award from the Croatian Chamber of Civil Engineers for the Pelješac Bridge. The chamber noted the bridge, built by China Road and Bridge Corporation, is by far the largest and most complex construction project in Croatia.

Pipenbaher, who is also a lecturer and the founder of a civil engineering design and research company, told Delo he was surprised to have won the title. "I'd expected Mr Ivo Boscarol to get it. I have high regard for him," he said about the entrepreneur who sold his successful ultra-light aircraft maker Pipistrel to US industrial conglomerate Textron in 2022.

Apart from Pipenbaher and Boscarol the nominees included ski jumper Urša Bogataj, astrophysicist Maruša Bradač, Prime Minister Robert Golob, the NGO 8th March Institute and Slovenian President Nataša Pirc Musar.

The other nominees were Živa Ploj Peršuh and Tomo Peršuh, the couple who organised evacuation of young musicians from Kyev, mountain rescuer Matjaž Šerkezi, as well as Simon Vendramin and Stanko Močnik, who ran the firefighting effort in Kras in September 2022.


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