- Success stories - Porto 1998
First prize and ISEF prize alongside with Peter Weilenmann:
The Virtual Blindmascane.
backwards to the Virtual Blindmascane Project I always get
a good feeling". That project won him, apart from the EU Contest
for Young Scientists, many other awards such as the U19 Prix
Arts Electronica Competition in 1998 (computing), the award
from the Austrian Society of Information Technology, and the
award of the Austrian Board of Trustees for Road Safety.
was not patented, though, because there are already many devices
using ultrasonic waves for measuring distances, and some specially
designed for blind people: "the new features we added to our
project could have been patented, but the Austrian patent
office told us that it would be very complicated and that
we had better concentrate on manufacturing and production".
At the moment there is a Swiss blind community testing our
prototype right now. We have got some connections with German
companies, so the project may be implemented in industry in
Porto 1998 he recalls the many cultural activities on the
program: "there are not only nice memories from the EU Contest
but also friends with whom I am still in touch, people from
Sweden, England, Hungary, Russia, Spain, etc. The EU Contest
provided him with the will to "continue my academic education
instead of starting to work" straight away. And he loved Porto:
he made a second trip to Portugal "because I enjoyed that
country very much". In general, he believes that "the EU Contest
completely changed my life and therefore is influencing all
my decisions today!"
fact of having people from all over Europe in the same place
was quite extraordinary for me". But they did not think about
winning, they thought about broadening their experience and
enjoying these days as much as possible: "I think that we
had a very good impression from the Contest because we had
fun and, besides, we were also serious when we talked about
our scientific work. Probably that is the best formula for
success". They were completely exhausted at the end of that
intense week, but "we got everything we expected from the
after the EU Contest he moved to Wiener Neustadt, a town near
Vienna, where he is carrying out his IT studies in a "Fachhochschulen".
This is a kind of Higher Education Institute very linked to
industry. He has just finished a project called "The Online
Farm" with which he has already won a price at the Internet
Creativity Award from ALCATEL. Now he is working closely to
the Austrian Government in order to develop the idea.
he finishes his degree, he would love to live and work in
a foreign country, always within IT related fields, "where
I can use my creativity and my ideas for new projects".
Prize and ISEF Travel Award to Pennsylvania alongside with
Robert Carney: Yellowing of Alkyd - Based Paints in The Dark.
an amazing time and I will never forget it. I have made so
many new friends and have gained so much from it". He was
also helping out with the organisation of last Contest in
Thessaloniki as an assistant to the Jury. "It gave me an insight
into what goes on behind the scenes of the contest, which
the rest of the contestants never really knew about. It was
a great experience for me, something that I would again love
to do in the future. So I have seen both sides of the Contest".
working at Avecia LifeScience Molecules (UK).
Baas - Adrian de Groot - Chris Weel (NL)
won a Second Prize at Porto 1998, with a project titled "POSEIDON
- The wave-motion power generator".
The thing they enjoyed the most was the visit to the World
Expo in Lisbon (Portugal): "it was very impressive and the
Netherlands's representation was there as well. We were able
to see a real wave-motion power generator at work. It was
a very different design to ours, though. We had a great time,
in general. The only problem we had was the transportation
of our three large wooden boxes. We finished building up our
stand at the last minute!" - The Second Prize in Porto "strengthened
our preference to pursue a technical career".
after Porto 1998, they were invited to represent the Netherlands
at an ecological international contest in Berlin. They received
a third prize from the German Minister of Education, E. Bulmahn:
"there was a lot of journalist present, who also made pictures
of us. The next day some Dutch businessmen in the plane recognised
us from those pictures. We were proud to be a little bit famous.
There was even one French talent scout that wrote to us. He
wanted us to send over our CVs and asked if we wanted to do
some scientific work in France after our graduation".
have now written a technical article for a German magazine
called Junge Wissenschaft (Young Science).
The three members of the POSEIDON team are now in their final
examinations, and next year they will very likely join a Technical
University. Chris Weel will go to the Technical University
Twente in Enschede (East-Holland) in order to study Industrial
Design. Arthur Baas has decided to do the same, but he will
specialise in Technical Business Management .