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List of projects participating in the 17th EU Young Scientists Contest

Commission Européenne - MEMO/05/322   16/09/2005

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Brussels, 16 September 2005

List of projects participating in the 17th EU Young Scientists Contest

This information note gives brief information about the 79 projects entered into the 17th EU Young Scientists Contest (see IP/05/1151), as well as some information on previous winners. Fuller descriptions of the projects can be found at Winners will be announced on 21 December.

This year’s entries

AUSTRIA: Biology

Using DNA as a molecular computer

Participants: Philip Babcock

AUSTRIA: Biology

An environmentally friendly way of producing hydrogen

Participants: Susanne Cernak, Markus Metz and Felix Faschinger

AUSTRIA: Engineering

A faster, cheaper way of checking computer components

Participants: Nikolaus Ederer and Christian Streitwieser

BELARUS: Computing

A new solution to the “travelling salesman problem”

Participants: Uladzimir Pashkevich


A new theory of active galactic nuclei jets

Participants: Aliaksei Kazlouski

BELARUS: Physics

Studying tsunamis in shallow water

Participants: Ann Mukhortava and Alena Abramava

BELGIUM: Biology

The influence of gravity on the human heart

Participants: Mira Van Thielen

BELGIUM: Physics

A home-made Tesla coil

Participants: David Eskenazi, Nicolas Innocenti and Antoine Paulus

BULGARIA: Chemistry

A fuel cell based on biochemical reactions

Participants: Hristo Nikolaev Kolev


Balls with “super bounce”

Participants: Sonya Hadzhieva


Does the star RZ Cassiopeiae have a third companion?

Participants: Petar Georgiev Todorov

CHINA: Environment

Using brewer’s yeast to treat pollution

Participants: Nan Wu

CHINA: Biology

Using Chinese mushrooms to treat diabetes

Participants: Dongyue Huang


Using plant extracts to protect wheat and barley

Participants: Zuzana Tvaruzkova


Using small forest ponds to maintain biodiversity

Participants: Zdenek Janovsky


Solving practical problems by colouring graphs

Participants: Alexander Kazda

DENMARK: Biology

Genetically modified organisms (GMO)

The purpose of this project is to give people a clear understanding of the

Participants: Helle Roager Jensen

DENMARK: Medical

Helping elderly and handicapped people with their stockings

Participants: Gitte Ahlquist Jonsson

ESTONIA: Biology

Why do orchids grow in industrial landscapes?

Participants: Kaidi Karu and Mari Saru

ESTONIA: Mathematics

Generalisations of the Fibonacci sequence

Participants: Margus Niitsoo

ESTONIA: Social Science

Do school and social origin influence pupils’ beliefs about justice?

Participants: Maarja Saar


Taking a fresh look at vision

Participants: Holly Gamble, Laura Marinello and Mothusi Turner

FINLAND: Physics

Building a spectrometer to analyse light sources

Participants: Timo Paavola

FINLAND: Biology

Using bacteria to clean contaminated soil and help plants to grow

Participants: Emma Maria Haapaniemi

FRANCE: Physics

How to win a race – using the laws of optics

Participants: Jacques Bois, Jean Baptiste Guy and Paul De Surmont

FRANCE: Engineering

A speedometer for rollerblades

Participants: Carole Dufour, Jonathan Faugier-Tovar and François Simplex

GEORGIA: Biology

Recognising cancer cells

Participants: Ekatherine Bakradze

GERMANY: Chemistry

Lab on a chip – an advance in pharmaceutical research and production

Participants: Stephen Schultz

GERMANY: Physics

When water has corners

Participants: Igor Gotlibovitch and Renate Landig

GERMANY: Physics

The physics of ventriloquism

Participants: Jorg Metzner and Marcel Scmittfull

HUNGARY: Medical

Minimising the suffering of animals when testing new heart drugs

Participants: Adrienn Nikoletta Kocsis

HUNGARY: Medical

What does the brain have to do with stomach ulcers?

Participants: Peter Kurucz and Timea Micsko

HUNGARY: Computing

Tracing burglars and monitoring your home – by remote control

Participants: Akos Kapui

ICELAND: Social Science

Cuddle-me clothes – a massage bodysuit for children

Participants: Una Guolaug Sveinsdottir, Lily Erla Adamsdottir and Valdis Osp Jonsdottir

IRELAND: Computing

Croma: a new web programming language

Participants: Patrick Collison

ISRAEL: Biology

Preparing DNA libraries for directed evolution

Participants: Fowad Hasona

ISRAEL: Medicine

Can fish oils help control Parkinson's disease?

Participants: Ronit Shapira

ISRAEL: Engineering

A more accurate way of monitoring satellites

Participants: Yonatan Winetraub, San Bitan and Yuval Nativ

ITALY: Mathematics

Genes and games

Participants: Valentina Ceriani, Daniela Monza and Sara Villa

ITALY: Engineering

Designing intelligent speed bumps

Participants: Michele Bolzoni and Marco Riccio

ITALY: Environment

Practical ways of powering a building using renewable energy

Participants: Fabio Colletta

JAPAN: Computing

An easy way to analyse stones

Participants: Shiori Yamashita and Tomoe Hanaki

LATVIA: Mathematics

Arranging particles by means of networks

Participants: Arturs Kanepajs and Rudolfs Kreicbergs

LATVIA: Engineering

Building and using a small-scale aerodynamic wind tunnel

Participants: Kristaps Dambis

LATVIA: Chemistry

Preventing oil leaks – with clay

Participants: Inese Sarcevicha


New applications of the isospin method

Participants: Gediminas Kirsanskas and Erikas Gaidamauskas


How cranberries adapt

Participants: Rugile Stanyte

LITHUANIA: Environment

Do magnetic fields influence radiation? A post-Chernobyl study

Participants: Vytautas Zarauskas and Atajeva Gulera


Gall builders

Participants: Eric Dele and Pierre Haas

MALTA: Environment

DBG – Domestic Biogas Generator

Participants: Daniela Bartolo, Mark Abela and Andrea Micallef

NORWAY: Biology

Spices: natural ant repellents?

Participants: Shilpa Narula

POLAND: Biology

If music be the food of dogs...

Participants: Kaja Gizewska

POLAND: Physics

Discovering a variable star

Participants: Agata Karska

POLAND: Biology

Do artificial herbicides kill natural ones?

Participants: Kamila Zapalowicz


The algae of Serra da Gardunha

Participants: Ana Ines Rondao, Andreia Raimundo and Dora Henriques


Heather: a natural antioxidant?

Participants: David Medroa


Make holograms the easy way: in a sand box

Participants: Alexandre Lopes

RUSSIA: Engineering

Protected network messaging system

Participants: Oleg Strikov

RUSSIA: Engineering

My answer to terrorism

Participants: Alexander Petrenko

RUSSIA: Biology

Do mobile phones damage human cells?

Participants: Igor Yaroshevich

SLOVAKIA: Mathematics

Fractal algebra

Participants: Matej Korbel


How to remove gases from water – and use them to breathe while diving

Participants: Frantisek Malina

SLOVAKIA: Chemistry

Household cleaning that doesn’t harm the environment

Participants: Juraj Ohradzansky and Julia Hvojnikova

SLOVENIA: Engineering

Doubling the power of a petrol engine

Participants: Jure Krof


Teenagers, education and antibiotics

Participants: Tina Bizjak and Katja Zalokar

SPAIN: Biology

Sonchus leptacaulis: a new species in Gran Canaria

Participants: Javier Lopez Martinez Fortun, Carlos Machado Carvajal and Eliecer Perez Robaina

SPAIN: Environment

Urban solid waste in the town of Salou

Participants: Mariona Boix Surroca

SWEDEN: Biology

Examination of an eco-friendly fuel

Participants: Nina Kallin, Emma Klintbo and Nordstrand Runsvik

SWEDEN: Engineering

Engines, emissions and fuels

Participants: Joel Svensson

SWEDEN: Biology

Adventures with tropical orchids

Participants: Markus Axelsson and Martin Axelsson


Preventing urinary tract infections from catheters

Participants: Silvana Konermann


Construction of a low-cost wing-in-ground effect craft

Participants: Dominique Alain Seuret and Christoph Wangler

SWITZERLAND: Engineering

Tom & Jerry: the robots

Participants: Matthias Raphael Bühlmann and Stefan Dahinden

TURKEY: Physics

The speed of light in a moving medium

Participants: Serdar Karatekin and Bilkan Erkmen

TURKEY: Chemistry

Preventing gas poisoning

Participants: Rudi Ruben Maca

UKRAINE: Medical

A new way of measuring the effects of smoking

Participants: Mariya Paliyenko and Kateryna Kotenko


How fishy are prawn crackers?

Participants: Andrew Adam, Katy Steel and Emma Lindsay


A pre-failure warning system for oil-lubricated bearings

Participants: Naomi Wheeler and Claire Fugill

USA: Engineering

Using the thermoacoustic effect to cool electronic devices

Participants: Pen-Yuan Hsing and Wei-Kang Huang

Success stories from previous years

Lina Tomasella (IT) - First Prize, Brussels, 1989

Lina Tomasella was one of the winners at the inaugural Young Scientist Contest. Her project was called the "Toxicity of colour dyes used as tracers”. After the European Union Contest, she continued studying for her physics degree in the University of Padua in Italy. Lina initially wanted to specialise in biophysics, but was soon drawn to astrophysics. After the completion of her degree she spent a year at the Observatoire de la Côte D'Azur in Nice where she worked on planetary system formation. Later she moved to the Netherlands, where she took part in the Rosetta space mission organised by ESA-ESTEC (European Space Agency / European Space Research and Technology Centre). It was here that here she developed some software to simulate the trajectory of a spacecraft around a comet's nucleus and this led to a PhD fellowship from the Department of Astronomy at the University of Padua. She now works as an observer at the Asiago Observatory, which is part of the Astronomical complex in Padua. Lina also works on another ESA project called the GAIA Mission which is a project designed to measure the position and velocity of one billion stars within our galaxy.

Fidel Costa (ES) - First Prize, Berlin, 1993

Fidel Costa, along with his team mates Maria Cinta Salvany and Antoni Camprubí, won first prize in Berlin with a project entitled, “The geological mapping of a Neolithic mine”. After Fidel finished his Earth Sciences degree at the University of Barcelona, he moved to Geneva to do a PhD in Petrology and Vulcanology. The Department of Mineralogy at the University of Geneva has a strong research interest in the geology of the South American Andes cordillera. "The subject of my thesis, which I completed in November 2000, was to study a part of the Tatara-San Pedro Volcanic Complex in Southern Andes (central Chile)”, he explains. Fidel has been addressing issues such as the petrologic mechanisms that lead to the impressive diversity of rock compositions in the Andes. He is also looking at the rates of growth and destruction of volcanic edifices to the amount of volatiles that can be found in rocks prior to eruption. A great deal of his work involves looking at the fundamental aspects of variances and the history of our current continents. He admits that, amongst his future plans, he may choose to go and establish himself in Chile for a while in order to undertake more detailed investigations.

Gabor Bernath (HU) - First Prize, Porto, 1998

Encouraged by his father, Gabor started working on a project for the Young Scientist Contest in 1997. His goal was to develop a 3D scanning tool at a reasonable price without compromising its quality. The result was ScanGuru, his own 3D scanner, which won him first prize both at the 10th EU Young Scientist Contest and at the 50th Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. The project has enabled Gabor to travel extensively and has opened his eyes to the international science scene. It attracted the attention of an enterprising businessman who helped Gabor set up a small company, EasyScan Ltd., and start the application procedure for a patent. Since then, the company has developed the 3D scanner for different purposes. Their biggest project at present is the production of made-to-measure shoes using the ScanGuru based 3D system.

Thomas Aumeyr and Thomas Morocutti (AUT) - First Prize, Bergen, 2001

Thomas Aumeyr and Thomas Morocutti won first prize for their project named “CURE - Controlled Ultraviolet Radiation Equipment”. The two boys wanted to develop an improved treatment for skin diseases by trying to enhance some of the leading skin radiation techniques.

The project was to stop healthy parts of the skin from being harmed by the radiation treatment being used to treat diseased skin. For example the conventional method of treating psoriasis means that healthy skin is unnecessarily exposed to ultraviolet light radiation and is thus exposed to a potentially higher risk of skin cancer. Standard radiation devices cannot distinguish between healthy and diseased areas of skin. Morocutti and Aumeyr developed a treatment which marks off the healthy skin area so that only the diseased skin is radiated.

The skin that is to be treated is photographed using a digital camera. The picture is then sent to a computer where it is stored and displayed. When the physician marks the area of the skin that has to be treated, a special image processing software identifies this area and then turns it into a format that can be processed by the hardware. The device consisting primarily of many small controllable mirrors is arranged in a matrix and is aligned via a serial port. In this way all the mirrors that are required to radiate the selected skin parts are switched on and it is only these mirrors that deflect the ultraviolet light to the diseased skin.

Uwe Treske (DE) - First Prize, Budapest, 2003

Eighteen-year-old German Uwe Treske won first prize for his project developing a “Low-cost scanning tunnelling microscope”. A Scanning Tunnelling Microscope feels the surface of the material with the help of an extremely fine tip. It is one of the most important tools in nanotechnology because it can make even partial atoms of a material surface visible. Such devices usually cost several thousand euros. Uwe’s microscope can be made at a cost price of 40 euros.

Filaments from ordinary light bulbs serve as the microscope’s tip and a pile of towels dampens undesirable vibrations. Uwe's biggest reduction in costs came from using a standard PC sound card for the digitisation of the measuring signal. His device offers a unique relation between price and resolution. After winning the European contest in 2003, Uwe went on to win one of the three grand prizes at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in May 2004. He would like to pursue a career as a physicist or nanotechnologist.

Charlotte Strandkvist (DK) - First Prize, Dublin, 2004

Charlotte Strandkvist won first prize for her project entitled “Improving the method for synthesising N-methyl fluoxetine in the laboratory”. This project combined theoretical observations with experimental work to improve an original method of synthesizing an antidepressant drug. One of the main objectives of this project was to help students realise that work in the laboratory has a very real effect on people’s lives outside the laboratory.

Charlotte conceived the idea for the project through her previous interest in the topic of depression and was intrigued further by the connection between the scientific aspect and social context of the disease.

Charlotte believes that her project can be used as a guide in an interdisciplinary education course and she hopes that it will contribute to increasing social awareness in the next generation of chemistry students.

A student of Svendborg College, Charlotte plans to pursue a career in either chemistry or biochemistry.

Further information about the EU Young Scientists Contest may be found at:

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