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Press release

32 young scientists rewarded by the EU
13th EU Contest for Young Scientists, 18-21 September 2001, Bergen, Norway; &nbs

Brussels, 21 September 2001

Key words: Young scientists, discoveries

EMBARGO: 21 September at 12:00(CET)

Today Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Dr Achilleas Mitsos, Director-General at the European Commission, awarded three first prizes of EUR 5 000 to four students from Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom at the 13th EU Contest for Young Scientists. The top three projects selected deal with the treatment of skin diseases, cloud observations and drug resistance in yeast. The research achievements of a further 28 students were also recognised by an international jury who judged the 65 high quality projects presented by 95 young people coming from 35 European countries .

The award ceremony took place in the King Haakon’s Hall in the presence of four Nobel Laureates. In addition to the first prizes, three second prizes of EUR 3 000 and three third prizes of EUR 1 500 were also awarded (see attachment). The Jury also designated prize winners to represent the EU at several international events and to join established research teams for short periods of scientific training. Furthermore, three former EU Contest Prize winners awarded three Alumni Prizes worth in total EUR 1 200.

In awarding the prizes, Dr Mitsos noted that: "The projects competing this year have once again shown that Europe has a great reservoir of young scientists and therefore huge resources. The main difficulty today is probably to encourage young people to take up the challenge of a career in science and technology."

Said Professor Pauline Slosse, President of the jury: "It is always a great pleasure to meet so many gifted and enthusiastic young people, and to discover the originality of their projects and the breadth of their science. This year more than ever before the quality of the projects was such that we had a very difficult task. I am sure they will remember for a long time this fantastic experience which has allowed them to meet and establish contacts with young scientists from all over Europe and beyond.”

The EU Contest for Young Scientists is now unanimously considered as the annual showcase of the best scientific achievements of European students. Only projects that have won a top prize in a national young scientist competition can compete at the EU Contest. Thus, the Contest represents the ultimate goal for more than 30,000 young science students aged 15-20 who participate annually in the national contests.

The EU Contest is part of the European Union's programme "Improving Human Potential" which aims at developing Europe's knowledge potential through greater support for training and mobility of researchers. The Contest is one of the EU's activities aimed at combating the current decline of young people's interest for science studies and careers.

The 14th EU Contest for Young Scientists will take place in Vienna, Austria, in September 2002.

For additional information please contact:

Graham Blythe, Science and Society, Research DG
Tel.: +32.2.295 58 22, Fax: +32 2 296 32 70 
E-mail: graham.blythe@ec.europa.eu 

Michel Claessens, Information and Communication Unit, Research DG
Tel: +32.2.295 99 71; Fax: +32.2.295 82 20 
E-mail: michel.claessens@ec.europa.eu

Janne Seime Siler, Press Contact
Tel : +47-95-182628;
E-mail janne@unge-forskere.no


FIRST PRIZES (EUR 5 000 per project)

Austria (AT1)

Thomas AUMEYR (19)
Thomas MOROCUTTI (19)
Field : Medical science
CURE – Controlled Ultraviolet Radiation Equipment
The aim of the project was to develop a controllable device for treatment of skin diseases by locally applied and selectively dosed radiation. Up to now, present devices continue to damage healthy skin. The proposed system consists of a digital camera and a radiation device connected to a computer which allows the surgeon to mark off the exact area of skin that needs to be irradiated. This information is sent to the radiation device to enable it to focus only on the diseased part of the skin. The jury was impressed by the idea as well as by the skills and thoroughness of the two boys in designing and carrying out the project.

Germany (DE1)

Sebastian ABEL (18)
Field : Earth Science
Cloud
Sebastian retrieved satellites images of the Earth´s atmosphere taken by a US meteorological satellite at several different wavelengths. As clouds are good indicators of meteorological phenomena, he wanted to catalogue clouds taken from different pictures mixing in ground, sea, and other features. Using original ways of combining observations of the same terrain taken at different wavelengths, he was able to find a combination that separated clouds from snow on ground. He furthermore used the shadows cast by the clouds to determine the upper and lower boundaries of the cloud. The jury found the project to be a clever solution to an image processing problem, that has potential to become an actual application used by professional meteorologists. Sebastian´s presentation as well as his great enthusiasm enchanted the jury.

United Kingdom (UK 2)

James Lee MITCHELL (18)
Field : Biological Science
Caracteristics of Azole Drug Resistance in Candida tropicalis
Candida tropicalis is a common cause of invasive fungal infection, particularly in patients who have poor immune systems. James examined three aspects of the problem of drug resistance in this organism: the influence of different culture conditions on the evolution of resistance; the degree of cross resistance with other related drugs and lastly, the biochemical mechanism for this resistance. The jury was particularly impressed by the innovative, mature and well-focused piece of laboratory work as well as by the depth of understanding conveyed under difficult questioning.


SECOND PRIZES (EUR 3 000 per project)

Country Name of Contestant Age Field Title
Hungary Bálint PATO (m) 17 HU 3 Biological Science Stress Proteins as Constituents of the Microtrabecular Lattice
Poland Zbigniew Lech PIANOWSKI (m) 19 PL 1 Chemistry New Liquid Crystal for Holography
Poland Marcin WOJNARSKI(m) 19 PL 2 Computer Science Neural Network for Solving Classification Problems

THIRD PRIZES (EUR 1 500 per project)

Country Name of Contestant Age Field Title
Denmark Jimi Lee TRUELSEN (m) 20 DK 3 Mathematics A New Crypographic Algorithm
Ireland Shane BROWNE (m)
Michael O’TOOLE (m)
Peter TAYLOR (m)
17
17
16
IE 1 Mathematics Symmetrical Shapes formed by Polygons
United Kingdom Richard HULME (m)
Yan PUGH-JONES (m)
18
19
UK 3 Environmental Science Analysing the Flight of Brazilian Humming Birds

HONORARY AWARDS
STOCKHOLM INTERNATIONAL YOUTH SCIENCE SEMINAR
(to attend the 100th Nobel Prize Ceremonies)

Country Name of Contestant Age Field Title
Hungary Bálint PATO (m) 17 HU 3 Biological Science Stress Proteins as Constituents of the Microtrabecular Lattice
United Kingdom James Lee MITCHELL (m) 18 UK 2 Biological Science Characteristics of Azole Drug Resistance in Candida tropicalis

LONDON INTERNATIONAL
YOUTH SCIENCE FORUM 

Country Name of Contestant Age Field Title
Austria Thomas AUMEYR (m)
Thomas MOROCUTTI (m)
19
19
AT 1 Medical Science CURE – Controlled Ultraviolet Radiation Equipment

SPECIAL AWARDS (training placements)
EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE

Country Name of Contestant Age Field Title
Germany Manuel BENDA (m)
Karl-Peter FRITZ (m)
Peter REINHARDT (m)
18
19
19
DE 2 Chemistry New Optical Brighteners on a Natural Basis
Hungary Zoltán DEVAI (m) 17 HU 2 Computer Science Universal SMS Interface
Russia Anton ODNOVOLOV (m) 17 RU 3 Engineering Paradox of Flexible Ducts, an Economic Breakthrough

EUROPEAN NORTHERN OBSERVATORIES (CANARY ISLANDS)

Country Name of Contestant Age Field Title
Germany Manuel BENDA (m)
Karl-Peter FRITZ (m)
Peter REINHARDT (m)
18
19
19
DE 2 Chemistry New Optical Brighteners on a Natural Basis
Hungary Zoltán DEVAI (m) 17 HU 2 Computer Science Universal SMS Interface
Russia Anton ODNOVOLOV (m) 17 RU 3 Engineering Paradox of Flexible Ducts, an Economic Breakthrough

EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY)

Country Name of Contestant Age Field Title
Austria Gernot DOPLER (m)
Florian FEST (m)
19
19
AT 2 Engineering Singling Out Medical Gauze Balls
Italy Danielle MACUGLIA (m)
Matteo MARCUZZI (m)
Jacopo MAURO (m)
17
17
16
IT 2 Biological Science Development of an Eccentric Crank for a Bicycle

NORWEGIAN POLAR INSTITUTE

Country Name of Contestant Age Field Title
Spain Clara COLL LLADÓ (f)
Francina SINTAS (f) NICOLAU (f)
18
19
19
ES 1 Biological Science Anomalous Otolith Crystallisation in Farmed Fish

THE DOÑANA BIOLOGICAL STATION

Country Name of Contestant Age Field Title
Poland Katarzyna ZAREMBA (f) 19 PL 3 Biological Science A Mathematical Model of Predator-Prey Interactions in the Bialowieza Primeval Forest
United Kingdom Clara COLL LLADÓ (f)
Francina SINTAS (f) NICOLAU (f)
18
19
19
UK 1 Biological Science Plant Chemicals as Cues for Herbivore Parasitoids

HOST COUNTRY PRIZE,SPACE CAMP ANDØYA

Country Name of Contestant Age Field Title
France Bruno BUGADA (m) 18 FR 1 Physics A Quick Measurement of the Universal Gravitational Constant
Germany Johannes KUHNERT (m) 19 DE 3 Physics Development of a Simulation Model for Surge Arresters

ALUMNI PRIZES

Country Name of Contestant Age Field Title
Spain (EUR 600) Clara COLL LLADÓ (f)
Francina SINTAS I (f) NICOLAU (f)
18
19
ES 1 Biological Science Anomalous Otolith Crystallisation in Farmed Fish
Finland (EUR 300) Jan KLAILE (m) 19 FI 1 Biological Science The Effect of Eucalyptus Oil on Radish
Switzerland (EUR 300) Suzanne SCHWEISER (f) 20 CH 2 Biological Science The Influence of Varied Day Length on Mutation Rates

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