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In the footsteps of Nobel laureates - winners of the 2006 European Union Contest for Young Scientists announced

Brussels, 27 September 2006

23 young people today received a share of the €28500 prize pot awarded at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists. Three projects received €5000 each as first prize was shared by Michael Kaiser and Johannes Kienl of Austria for "Development of a complete new de-ice system for aircraft", Johannes Burkart and Alexander Joos of Germany for "Flight curves of table-tennis balls" and Tomasz Wdowik of Poland for "Synthesis of new potential β blockers". Other prize-winners came from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway and Spain. The winners were chosen by the jury from a field of 120 young scientists, aged from 15 to 20 from 33 countries. The ceremony took place in the Winter Garden of the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, which hosted the Nobel Prize ceremony from 1901 to 1929. The winners were chosen by a jury of 15 distinguished scientists headed by Prof Jane Grimson of Trinity College Dublin. Next year’s event will be held at the University of Valencia.

European Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik congratulated the winners saying: “Science knows no boundaries, and that includes age. What we have seen today shows the innovative and questing spirit of our young people. I offer my warmest congratulations to all of you who participated in the Contest and of course, the prize winners. I very much hope that you will all continue to enjoy the thrill of invention and discovery, now and throughout your lives.”

Because of the diversity of disciplines represented at the contest, it was impossible to determine one overall winner. Therefore three first prizes were awarded, along with three second prizes and three third prizes. In addition there were several special prizes: expenses-paid visits to the London International Youth Science Forum and the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar, to the European Patent Office in Munich and the following members of EIROforum: CERN: The European Laboratory for Particle Physics, EFDA: The European Fusion Development Agreement, EMBL: The European Molecular Biology Laboratory, ESRF: The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, ESA: The European Space Agency, ESO: The European Southern Observatory and the ILL: The Institut Laue-Langevin. This year, a Special Donated Prize came from the Umeå Plant Science Centre in the North of Sweden, where five contestants will enjoy a ten-day visit of the centre. A full list of winners is available on www.eucontest.se
The prizes were announced at the 27 September ceremony at the Winter Garden of the Grand Hotel Stockholm. They were awarded by:

  • Prof. Jane Grimson of Trinity College Dublin, and Chairman of the selection jury;
  • Leif Pagrotsky, Swedish Minister of Education, Research and Culture; and
  • Jean-Michel Baer, Director, DG Research., European Commission, representing Commissioner Potocnik.

PRIZE-WINNERS

18th 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 and Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar, to the European Patent Office and to EIROForum members.

 

FIRST PRIZES (€5 000 per project)
Country: Austria
Michael KAISER
Age: 19
City/Region: Muenchendorf
School: The Higher Technical School in Eisenstadt (Austria) for Mechanical Engineering focused on Aeronautical Engineering
Career intention: Pilot
Hobbies: Reading, Dancing, Sail plane flying, engine driven plane flying,
going out
Johannes KIENL
Age: 19
City/Region: Rauchenwarth
School: The Higher Technical School in Eisenstadt (Austria) for Mechanical Engineering focused on Aeronautical Engineering
Career intention: Pilot
Hobbies: reading, gliding a sail plane, going out

Field: Engineering
Project title: Development of a completely new de-ice system for aircraft

The advanced de-ice system was planned by Michael Kaiser and Johannes Kienl in cooperation with two offices of technical engineers.
It can be used to de-ice all important airfoils of aircraft and wind power stations. The device can be attached to an aircraft’s wings, vertical and horizontal stabilizers and the rotors of wind power stations.
Expansion of a heated metal layer is used to push the existing ice off the wings of an airplane. So heat and power are only required when ice exists. That’s the biggest difference compared to conventional anti-ice systems. One of these systems -called “Bleed Air System”- has to heat the airfoils constantly and always requires power, when the airplane is in danger zones. The advanced deicing system has advantages in weight, dimensions, efficiency and the power required.

Country: Germany
Alexander JOOS
Age: 19
City/Region: Steinen
School: Hans-Thoma-Gymnasium Loerrach
Career intention: Physicist
Hobbies: Basketball, snowboarding, hang out with friends, trombone, athletics
Johannes BURKART
Age: 20
City/Region: Ruemmingen
School: Hans-Thoma-Gymnasium Loerrach
Career intention: Physicist
Hobbies: hang out with friends, ski and football, piano and bass guitar
Field: Physics
Project title: Flight curves of table-tennis balls

Table-tennis probably is one of the fastest sports in the world for both players and spectators. How professionals nevertheless manage to place balls exactly on the edge of the table and how they put pressure on their opponent with topspins as hard as nails, fascinated J. Burkart and A. Joos. Their project aims to physically understand and simulate the curve of the flying ball. At the beginning of their work the young scientists analysed those balls coming out of a training machine with a computer and found out that even loopings were possible. Eventually, they compared flight curve experiments and simulated trajectories and found an excellent agreement. Thye thereby verified simulation, made it possible to imitate several real table-tennis situations


Country: Poland
Tomasz WDOWIK
Age: 19
City/Region: Rzeszów
School: Nicolaus Copernicus High School No. 4 in Rzeszów
Career intention: Chemist
Hobbies: Chemistry, Music, Traveling
Field: Chemistry
Project title: Synthesis of 1-(7-methoxy-1H-indol-4-yloxy)-3-[2-(2-methoxyphenoxy)ethylamino]propan-2-ol, potential
β-adrenoreceptor antagonist

Heart diseases are the most dangerous killers of humans. One of the methods of neutralizing these diseases is to treat them with drugs from the family of β-blockers, the examples of which are propranolol and metoprolol.
In his project Tomek carried out a complex organic chemistry synthesis of a new compound that would probably extend the family of β-blockers with a new efficient drug. Tomek explains how the known β-blockers act and describes the biochemical principles of their action. He presents the process of designing his synthesis and its individual steps.

SECOND PRIZES (€3 000 per project)

Country
Name of contestant
Age
Field
Title
Germany
Thomas GIGL
19
Earth science
Radial velocity measurement of spectroscopic binaries
Poland
Michal MARCINKOWSKI
19
Mathematics
On a geometric transformation relating the Euler and Nagel lines
Hungary
Zoltan TARJANYI
Csaba VASS
18
19
Biology
New diagnostic method to define the errors of the apoptosis program

THIRD PRIZES (€1 500 per project)

Country
Name of contestant
Age
Field
Title
Bulgaria
Georgi DYANKOV
18
Physics
A method of measurement of refractive indices, birefringence and thickness of a thin anisopotropic layer
Ireland
Aisling JUDGE
15
Biology
The development and evaluation of a biological food spoilage indicator

HONORARY AWARDS

Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar 2006
to attend the 2006 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
Poland
Tomasz WDOWIK
19
Chemistry
Synthesis of 1-(7-methoxy-1H-indol-4-yloxy)-3-[2-(2-methoxyphenoxy)ethylamino]propan-2-ol,potential β-adrenoreceptor antagonist
Germany
Johannes BURKART
Alexander JOOS
20
19
Physics
Flight curves of table- tennis balls

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
Poland
Michal MARCINKOWSKI
19
Mathematics
On a geometric transformation relating the Euler and Nagel lines
Hungary
Zoltan TARJANYI
Csaba VASS
18
19
Biology
New diagnostic methods to define the errors of the apoptosis program

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
Hungary
Andras GILYEN
18
Computer
Compass implemented on a mobile phone
Germany
Denis MOELLER
20
Earth Science
Climatic differences in the region of Hildesheim
Austria
Michael KAISER
Johannes KIENL
19
19
Engineering
Development of a complete new de-ice system for aircraft

EIROFORUM PRIZES

CERN: The European Laboratory for Particle Physics

Country
Name of contestant
Age
Field
Title
Bulgaria
Georgi DYANKOV
18
Physics
A method of measurement of refractive indices, birefringence and thickness of a thin anisopotropic layer

EFDA: The European Fusion Development Agreement

Country
Name of contestant
Age
Field
Title
Norway
Narges KAYNIA
19
Engineering
Effects of underwater barrier on speeds of Tsunami waves

EMBL: The European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Country
Name of contestant
Age
Field
Title
Spain
Gerard Frigola QUINTANA
19
Biology
From 606 to PCR (Paul Ehrlich's legacy) From salvarsan to antibiotics

ESA: The European Space Agency

Country
Name of contestant
Age
Field
Title
Czech Republic
Ján ZAHORNADSK
20
Computer
Prisoner's dilemma and self-learning algorithms

ESO: The European Southern Observatory

Country
Name of contestant
Age
Field
Title
Germany
Thomas GIGL
19
Earth science
Radial velocity measurement of spectroscopic binaries

ESRF: The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

Country
Name of contestant
Age
Field
Title
Spain
Inigo Barbed MARTIN
Carlos PARDO
18
19
Physics
Design and construction of a webcam spectrophotometer

ILL: The Institut Laue-Langevin

Country
Name of contestant
Age
Field
Title
Spain
Inigo Barbed MARTIN
Carlos PARDO
18
19
Physics
Design and construction of a webcam spectrophotometer

Umeå Plant Science Centre

Country
Name of contestant
Age
Field
Title
Spain
Marc Campeny CRENO
Marc Oliva BERNAL
19
19
Environment
Unusual oil hideout - bottom tar in the Mediterranean sea
Italy
Francesca CRISTOFOLI
Alberto MANIAGO
Anna Chiara PIRONA
19
19
19
Environment
New strategies for legionella prevention in warm sanitary water

 

Further information about the EU Young Scientists Contest may be found at:
http://ec.europa.eu/research/youngscientists/stockholm/press-centre_en.htm and http://www.eucontest.se/

The European Commission offers European TV stations to downlink around five minutes of filmed news footage material right after the official award ceremony. The footage material will be made available free of charge on the EBU satellite on 27 September 2006 from 5.00 to 5.15 pm local Swedish time.

Media Contact
Regine Prunzel, Press and information officer
Information and communication Unit, Research DG, European Commission
Tel: +32.2.2986383, Fax: +32.2.295 82 20
E-Mail: Regine.Prunzel@ec.europa.eu

Spokesperson for Science and Research
Antonia Mochan, Press and Communication DG, European Commission
Tel.: +32.2.2996 9921
E-mail Antonia.Mochan@ec.europa.eu

[1] EIROforum is 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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