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17th EU Contest for Young Scientists

And the winners are …
… from Germany, Spain and Switzerland

Moscow, 21 September 2005

At 13.00 on Wednesday, 21 September the waiting was finally over for more than 120 young scientists – 16 to 20 years old – from 35 countries gathered in Moscow at the Bauman University to compete in the 17th European Union Contest for Young Scientists. After judging the 78 projects exhibited there, the winners were called forward in a thrilling award ceremony that kept everyone in suspense until the very last minute. This year, first prizes went to teams from Germany, Spain and Switzerland for original projects in the areas of fluid dynamics, a possible new species in Gran Canaria and preventing urinary tract infections from catheters. (See attachment for details.)

The award ceremony was held in the beautiful Council Hall of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour complex. The prizes, worth a total of €28 500 were presented by Achilleas Mitsos, the European Commission’s Director-General for Research, together with Ulf Merbold, the President of the Jury, Alexander Fursenko, Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and Igor Fedorov, Rector of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, which hosted this year’s contest.

Addressing the young scientists and guests at the award ceremony Dr Mitsos noted that the Contest is not just about winning prizes, but it was also an occasion for the participants to add to their evident enthusiasm for science. He also underlined its role in bringing young people from different cultural backgrounds together to exchange experiences and friendship. These are very much the aims of the contest.

Next year’s contest will be held in Stockholm, hosted by the Swedish Federation for Young Scientists in collaboration with the Swedish Research Council and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Further information and photographs

Further information about the EU Young Scientists Contest – jury-member details, project summaries, the contest catalogue, success stories, and more – and downloadable, high-resolution photographs of the event (posted during and after the event) can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/youngscientists/moscow/press-centre_en.htm

You can also contact:
Stephen P. Gosden, Directorate-General for Research, European Commission
Tel: +32.2.2960079, Fax: +32.2.2958220, E-mail: stephen.gosden@ec.europa.eu

For audiovisual media. A 13-minute documentary about the contest (free of rights for broadcasting) is being produced. To obtain a free copy, please contact Gérald Alary, DDB Focus-Europe - working under contract to the European Commission for this event.
Tel: +32.2.7612029, Fax: +32.2.7611906, E-mail: Gerald.alary@ddb.be

Annex

Prize-winners
17th European Union Contest for Young Scientists

Because of the diversity of disciplines represented at the contest, it is impossible to determine one overall winner. So there is not just one first prize but three, along with three second prizes and three third prizes. In addition there are several special prizes: expenses-paid visits to the London International Youth Science Forum in 2006 and Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar (2005), to the European Patent Office and to EIROForum members.

FIRST PRIZES (€5 000 per project)
Country: Germany
Contestants: Igor GOTLIBOVITCH Age: 18 City/Region: München School: Maria-Theresia-Gymnasium Career intention: Physicist Hobbies: Aikido, fitness, swimming Renate LANDIG Age: 19 City/Region: Bad Saulgau School: Störck-Gymnasium Career intention: Physicist Hobbies: Playing the piano, fitness, riding, swimming
Field: Physics
Project title: Corners in water – unexpected symmetry breaking in fluid dynamics
  Every day, when we run the kitchen tap, we see a “hydraulic jump” – where the water hits the basin it spreads out thinly, but a little further out the water level suddenly “jumps” and becomes much deeper. This project investigated the phenomenon under laboratory conditions, and found that under certain conditions the border between the shallow and the deep water was not circular but polygonal: the water had corners.


Country: Spain
Contestants: Javier LÓPEZ MARTÍNEZ-FORTÚN Age: 18 City/Region: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria School: Garoé School Career intention: medicine doctor Hobbies: padel, play guitar, football Eliecer PÉREZ ROBAINA Age: 18 City/Region: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria School: Garoé School Career intention: psychology Hobbies: basketball, music, messenger Carlos MACHADO CARVAJAL Age: 18 City/Region: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria School: Garoé School Career intention: aeronautic engineer Hobbies: radio, control cars, racquet sports, DIY, table games
Field: Biology
Project title: Sonchus leptacaulis: a new species consolidation in Gran Canaria
The purpose of this research was to find out whether some plants discovered in 1998 belonged to a new category that had not yet been described. It also investigated whether similar specimens were to be found in other places around the Canary Islands.


Country: Switzerland
Contestant: Silvana KONERMANN Age: 17 City/Region: Zurich School: Saechsisches Landesgymnasium Sankt Afra Career intention: neuroscientist Hobbies: cello, dancing, painting
Field: Medical
Project title: Development of a system for the local prevention of catheter associated urinary tract infection
When Silvana’s grandmother went to hospital with a urinary tract infection, Silvana resolved to prevent it from happening again. Post-operative urinary tract infections are caused by the use of catheters, but the standard treatment (oral antibiotics) is often ineffective because a film develops on the catheter’s surface, protecting the bacteria. Silvana’s solution was to use a high-tech polymer to impregnate the catheter itself with antibiotics, which is also better for the patient.

SECOND PRIZES (€3 000 per project)

Country Name of contestant Age Field Title
Czech Republic Zdeněk JANOVSKÝ 19 Environment Vegetation dynamics of the small forest and open-landscape ponds and its historical causes
Germany Stephen SCHULZ 19 Chemistry Lab on the chip – new perspectives with electrons as universal reagent
Ireland Patrick COLLISON 17 Computer science Croma: a new dialect of lisp

THIRD PRIZES (€1 500 per project)

Country Name of contestant Age Field Title
Denmark Gitte Ahlquist JONSSON 19 Medical Aid for putting on and taking off stockings for handicapped persons
Estonia Margus NIITSOO 18 Mathematics Generalizations of the Fibonacci sequence
Luxembourg Eric DELE 15 Biology Cartography of galls
Pierre HAAS 16

HONORARY AWARDS

Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar 2005
to attend the 2005 Nobel Prize ceremonies, meet the Nobel Laureates and take part in a series of other scientific/cultural activities during the week.

Country Name of contestant Age Field Title
Germany Igor GOTLIBOVITCH 18 Physics Corners in water – unexpected symmetry breaking in fluid dynamics
Renate LANDIG 19
Switzerland Silvana KONERMANN 17 Medical Development of a system for the local prevention of catheter associated urinary tract infection

London International Youth Science Forum 2006
to meet young scientists from around the world and take part in the annual two-week intensive summer science festival during July-August 2006.

Country Name of contestant Age Field Title
Spain Javier LÓPEZ MARTÍNEZ-FORTÚN 18 Biology Sonchus leptacaulis: a new species consolidation in Gran Canaria
Eliecer PÉREZ ROBAINA 18
Carlos MACHADO CARVAJAL 18

SPECIAL DONATED PRIZES

There are eight 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
A five-day visit of a technical and cultural nature to the European Patent Office in Munich

Country Name of contestant Age Field Title
Austria Susanne CERNAK 16 Biology MiHyP – microbiological hydrogen production
Felix FASCHINGER 18
Marcus METZ 20
Czech Republic Zuzana TVARَKOVA 18 Biology New possibilities to control fungal diseases of wheat and barley by use of plant extracts
Germany Stephen SCHULZ 19 Chemistry Lab on the chip – new perspectives with electrons as universal reagent

EIROforum prizes

CERN: The European Laboratory for Particle Physics

Country Name of contestant Age Field Title
Lithuania Gediminas KIRŠANSKAS 18 Physics Isospin in the theory of an atom

EFDA: The European Fusion Development Agreement

Country Name of contestant Age Field Title
Lithuania Erikas GAIDAMAUSKAS 17 Physics Isospin in the theory of an atom

EMBL: The European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Country Name of contestant Age Field Title
Israel Ronit SHAPIRA 18 Medicine The effect of dietary components on the dopamine mechanism in Parkinson’s disease

ESA: The European Space Agency

Country Name of contestant Age Field Title
Poland Agata KARSKA 20 Physics The history of discovering and exploring BD+14° eclipsing contact binary

ESO: The European Southern Observatory

Country Name of contestant Age Field Title
Bulgaria Petar Georgiev TODOROV 19 Physics The variable star RZ Cassiopeiae. Investigation of the hypothesis of a third companion

ESRF: The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

Country Name of contestant Age Field Title
Turkey Bilkan ERKMEN 18 Physics New methods in analyzing the propagation of light in moving media

ILL: The Institut Laue-Langevin

Country Name of contestant Age Field Title
Turkey Serdar KARATEKIN 19 Physics New methods in analyzing the propagation of light in moving media

[1] EIROforum is a collaboration between seven European intergovernmental research organisations. As world leaders within their respective fields of science, the member organisations of the EIROforum constitute the vanguard of European science, enabling European scientists to engage in truly cutting-edge research and be competitive on a global scale.

 

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