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European Commission - Press release

23rd EU Contest for Young Scientists. And the winner is…

Helsinki, 27 September 2011 - Today in Finland, young scientists from Ireland, Switzerland and Lithuania were awarded the highest accolade at the 23rd European Union Contest for Young Scientists. Their prize winning science projects in computing, engineering and medicine were selected by an International jury as the best from among the 87 projects from 37 countries which were presented at this 5-day event. Teams from Germany, United Kingdom and Bulgaria were awarded second prizes. Third prizes went to teams from Norway, Poland and the United Kingdom. Finally a special International prize was won by a project from New Zealand. The prize winners - all under the age of 21 years - will share prize money totalling € 51.500.

"Young, talented researchers will help shape our future. We need to find answers to society's biggest challenges such as climate change, finding sustainable sources of energy, feeding the world or fighting disease. So I encourage young people to follow a career in science and keep Europe world-class in research and innovation" said European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.

The award ceremony was held in the Celebration Hall of the Helsinki University. The prizes were presented by Tapio Kosunen, State Secretary from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Government of Finland, Anneli Pauli, the European Commission’s Deputy Director-General for Research and Innovation, and Professor Maria Ana Viana-Baptista, the President of the Jury.

The Kattilahalli, an old power plant transformed for cultural projects, has over the last few days hosted more than 130 contestants from 37 countries across Europe and beyond and one of the European schools. From 23-28 September, the students presented 87 projects to an International Jury chaired by Prof. Maria Ana Viana-Baptista. These projects had already won first prize in their national contests. The topics covered a broad spectrum of scientific areas: biology, chemistry, computing, social sciences, environment, mathematics, materials, engineering and medicine. The standard of entries is consistently high, and several past participants have achieved major scientific breakthroughs, or set up businesses to market the ideas developed for the Contest.

Background:

The European Union Contest for Young Scientists was set up by the European Commission to facilitate co-operation and interchange between young scientists with similar abilities and interests and to give them an opportunity to be guided by some of the most prominent scientists in Europe.

The Contest aims to encourage young people who have an interest in science to embark on scientific careers.

It is part of the Science and Society programme under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7).

The contest started in 1989 with the participation of 15 countries. This year, 37 countries and one of the European Schools are taking part in the 23rd edition of the contest.

A total of 2208 participants (667 girls - 1541 boys) have competed since the start of this International event. More than 500 prizes have been distributed!  

More information about the EU Contest for Young Scientists, including photos, success stories, and biographical details of the jury and descriptions of all projects can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/youngscientists/index_en.cfm

Annex 1

PRIZE-WINNERS

23nd European Union Contest for Young Scientists

FIRST PRIZES (€ 7.000 per Project)

Country

Ireland

Contestant

Alexander Amini (16)

Scientific Field

Computing

Project Title

Tennis Sensor Data Analysis: An Automated System for Macro Motion Refinemen

Short Summary

Sensors capable of capturing audio, video, and inertial data (such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers) have become so inexpensive, they are often found in smart phones and even remote control toys. However, it is not easy to correlate the performance of an athlete to the huge volumes of raw data captured by such sensors. In this study, I collected and analyzed gigabytes of tennis sensor data. I discovered a technique for automatically distinguishing between 13 different tennis stroke types (e.g., distinguishing a forehand flat versus forehand topspin) using only inertial data with accuracy averaging over 96%, and implemented my technique as computer software. Previously published research was limited to classes of motion (such as forehand, backhand, serve). My findings are relevant to a wide variety of motion assessment scenarios in sports, physical therapy, and emergency responses.

Country

Switzerland

Contestant

Pius Markus Theiler (19)

Scientific Field

Engineering

Project Title

pi Cam - The Development of a Camming Device for Climbing

Short Summary

The project pi Cam describes the development of a revolutionary device for climbing. Camming devices are part of the safety gear used in rock and industrial climbing. They help to create an anchoring point where no preattached bolts exist. The current camming devices are secured in a crack or between two parallel surfaces. The newly invented pi Cam however uses rock protrusions like e.g. flakes, limestone traces or tufa to create anchoring points. Thus, the device enlarges the range of protectable rock formations and increases the safety of the climber. In industrial climbing, too, safety is of the highest priority. On pillars for example pi Cam can provide an anchoring point to workers high above the ground. Obviously pi Cam opens new horizons for climbers in many different situations. It is therefore not surprising that specialists have shown interest in the development and commercial production of this new device and that it has already been applied for patent.*pi=greek small letter.

Country

Lithuania

Contestant

Povilas Kavaliauskas (18)

Scientific Field

Medicine

Project Title

The Role of Houseflies (Musca domestica) in Spreading Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

Short Summary

Antibiotic resistant bacteria are one of the biggest challenges in the 21st century. At this time resistance mechanisms are already understood, however, how bacteria can spread around is still known little. The aim of my study is to investigate how domestic flies can transmit the most common antibiotic resistant bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae from infected areas to residential premises. I discovered that houseflies cannot transmit bacteria distantly; therefore, the highest risk is for people living nearby to contaminated areas such as hospitals. My study shows, that the most contaminated houseflies reside in hospital premises, and when such fly lands on human skin, there is a high probability that the person will be colonized by antibiotic resistant bacteria, which can cause complicated and sometimes fatal infections.

SECOND PRIZES (€ 5.000 per project)

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Germany

Benjamin Walter

17

Physics

Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy of Coronene Molecules on Germanium (111)

United Kingdom

Natalie Mitchell

19

Physics

Auto Focusing Methods for Digital Microscopy

Bulgaria

Georgi Atanasov
Georgi Georgiev
Kalina Petrova

19

19

16

Computing

DriveFreeZ - Driving Simulator

THIRD PRIZES (€ 3.500 per Project)

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Norway

Alex Bergsåker

17

Social Sciences

Guanxi – the Significance of Relations and Social Networks in Chinese Business

Poland

Michal Miskiewicz

20

Mathematics

The Charm of the 'mi' Set

United Kingdom

Holly Rees

18

Biology

Investigation into Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation

INTERNATIONAL PRIZE (€ 5.000 per project)

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

New Zealand

Bailey Lovett

18

Environment

Bacterial Bivalves

HONORARY AWARDS

Stockholm International Youth Science 2011

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Switzerland

Pius Markus Theiler

19

Engineering

pi Cam - The Development of a Camming Device for Climbing

Lithuania

Povilas Kavaliauskas

18

Medicine

The Role of Houseflies (Musca domestica) in Spreading Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

London International Youth Science Forum 2011

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Switzerland

Pius Markus Theiler

19

Engineering

pi Cam - The Development of a Camming Device for Climbing

Lithuania

Povilas Kavaliauskas

18

Medicine

The Role of Houseflies (Musca domestica) in Spreading Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

Ireland

Alexander Amini

16

Computing

Tennis Sensor Data Analysis: An Automated System for Macro Motion Refinemen

SPECIAL DONATED PRIZES

There are 25 special donated prizes: a five-day visit of a technical and cultural nature to the

European Patent Office in Munich and a one-week stay at each of the seven members of

EIROforum[1]:

• CERN: The European Laboratory for Particle Physics

• EFDA: The European Fusion Development Agreement

• EMBL: The European Molecular Biology Laboratory

• ESA: The European Space Agency

• ESO: The European Southern Observatory

• ESRF: The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

• ILL: The Institut Laue-Langevin

The European Patent Office, Munich, Germany

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

CH

Pius Markus Theiler

19

Engineering

Pi Cam - The Development Of A Camming Device For Climbing

TK

Emir Aycan Bedel

16

Cern Öztürk

16

Biology

Using Enzymatic Biofuel Cells In Photosynthesis To Produce Electrical Energy

LT

Dalia Bartkevičiūtė

18

Gailė Tumėnaitė

15

Chemistry

Mushroom Dyes For Tapestry Restoration

EIROForum Prizes

CERN: The European Laboratory for Particle Physics

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

FR

Florentin Delaine

18

Joseph Gennetay

18

Jason Loyau

19

Engineering

Artificial Intelligence And Rubik's Cube

EFDA-JET

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

EG

Azza Abdel Hamid Faiad

16

Environment

Production Of Hydrocarbon Fuel By Catalytic Cracking Of High Density Polyethylene Wastes

ESA

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

IT

Andrea Emilio Amedeo Bracesco

19

Jacopo Prinetto

20

Federica Villa

19

Physics

Following Kepler's Path

EMBL

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

USA

Erica Portnoy

18

Biology

A Novel Approach To Mapping Protein Interactions During Pilus Biogenesis By Using In Vivo Photocrosslinking

ESO

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

USA

Jane Cox

17

Physics

Using Amino Acid Analysis To Distinguish Chondritic Meteorites

ILL

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

LV

Andris Alfrēds Avots

17

Raivis Eglitis

18

Chemistry

The Usage And Properties Of Rigid Foam Polyurethane Material Derived From Tall Oil By Using Cyclopenthane As A Blowing Agent

ESRF

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

SK

Michal Habera

18

Michal Fabian

18

Physics

Influence Of Magnetic Field On Free-surface Ferrofluid Flow

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) Prizes

Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP)

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

TK

Melisa Tokmak

17

Aliye Bihter Günal

17

Physics

Analysis Of Optical Activities Of Different Honey Samples With Empirical Methods

Institute for Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC)

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

CZ

Bedřich Said

18

Computing

Swarm Robotics Simulator

Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES)

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

UK

Martin Richard Thompson

17

Engineering

Optical Characterisation & Mechanical Design For Accurate Imaging

Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM)

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

DE

Gabriel Salg

16

Nicolas Scheidig

17

Chemistry

The New Magic Formula For Eliminating Bad Breath: C42h70o35

The Intel ISEF 2012 Prizes

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

IL

Gal Oren

20

Nerya Yair Stroh

20

Engineering

Antileaks - A Device For Detection And Discontinuation Of Leakages In Water Supply Systems

MT

Melvin Zammit

17

Engineering

3 Dimensional Display

DE

Danial Sanusi

18

Xianghui Zhong

18

Fabian Henneke

18

Mathematics

(almost) Unit-distance Points In The Polychromatic Plane - Colourings Of The N-dimensional Space

Year of Chemistry Prize

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

FI

Jarkko Etula

20

Chemistry

Comparison of 3 Finnish Berries as Sensitizers in a Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell

Host Organisation Special Donated Prizes

Orion Special Prize

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

CZ

Pavel Svec

20

Chemistry

Synthesis And Testing Of Tetramethyl[5]helquat

The Federation of Finnish Technology Industries Prize

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

EUSCH

Stijn Hofstee

17

Danylo Matselyukh

17

Physics

Kite Based Wind Generator

Contacts :

Michael Jennings +32 2 29 63388

Monika Wcislo +32 2 29 55604


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