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'YEAR 2008' winners named in Ljubljana

Winners of the 'Young European Arena of Research' (YEAR 2008) competition received awards during the TRA Conference in Slovenia. In front of 1200 delegates from across Europe, students received medals and prizes for their groundbreaking work in road transport research.

Janez Potočnik congratulates winners © Peter Gutierrez
Janez Potočnik congratulates
© Peter Gutierrez

YEAR 2008 was a competition for European postgraduate (Masters or PhD) and final year undergraduate students working in road transport research. It was funded by the European Commission through FP7 and coordinated by University College Dublin's Urban Institute Ireland. Other partners included FEHRL, ZAG and Continental Automotive.

Speaking at the awards presentation, Jean-Luc Maté of Siemens said, "This has been an excellent exercise in bringing young researchers together to show and share their work and to establish networks and relationships with potential users, e.g. industry, road authorities, etc. The YEAR project is a good example of strengthening the European Research Area by opening new avenues of communication between researchers.

Finalists in the spotlight

Judges chose 50 finalists from among 300 submitted abstracts. All of the finalists were invited to exhibit their work at TRA 2008 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

"There is a wealth of transport research being carried out in Europe's universities," said Eugene O'Brian of University College Dublin. "Our students spend many years developing new processes and techniques to make our roads safer, greener and smarter. It is the goal of the YEAR competition to ensure that they do not work in dark rooms by themselves."

Young people on the move in Ljubljana © Peter Gutierrez
Young people on the move in
© Peter Gutierrez

Winning students were awarded medals by European Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potočnik, ERTRAC Chairman Wolfgang Steiger and others.

And the winners are...

Awards were presented in six categories:

1) Energy, environment and resources

  • First prize – Caroline Marchal, France
    'Soot modelling in diesel engines'

2) Safety and security

  • First prize – Kristoffer Lindström, Sweden
    'Co-operative safety based on shared conventions'

3) Transport, mobility and infrastructure

  • First prize – Donnay Fleury Nahimana, France
    'Enhanced GNSS accuracy in urban environment through the use of particle filter methods'

4) Automotive design and production

  • First prize – Amrit Sharma, UK
    'Dynamics and design of a novel aerodynamically efficient motorcycle'

5) Infrastructure design and production

  • First prize – Tommy Hinks, Ireland
    'Geometric approaches in aerial LIDAR data analysis'

6) Future visions of road transport

  • First prize – Francesco Pilla, Ireland
    'Future visualisation of developments including the impact on the surrounding soundscape'

Showcasing a new generation

"This work is important," says O'Brian, "not just for the work itself but also for the human resources that it produces. This new generation of transport experts will be the future leaders in the industry."

For the complete list of abstracts and finalists, see the YEAR websiteexternal link, a showcase, says O'Brian, of research taking place all over Europe.