Young Scientists Contest


The 19th European Union Contest for Young Scientists

High-Resolution photos of the 1st to 3rd prize winners

Return to the Press Centre for more photos of the contest and other information

To contact the winners or any of the other contestants, please get in touch with the national organiser for their country. Details can be found on the National Organisers contacts page.

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First Prize - Germany

First Prize - Hungary First Prize - Ireland

Project title: Flashing Water Drops

Field: Physics

Florian Ostermaier (19)
Henrike Wilms (20)

Visiting a stalactite cave last summer, one of us made a strange observation: Every time a drop fell down from the top it seemed as if it would flash at a certain height. We didn't know the explanation for this, so we tried to reproduce the phenomenon at home. Our first idea was to use the drops falling down from the water tap. Quite accidentally we found out, that the effect only occurred when we put a light source in a very special position towards the observer and the falling drop. Fascinated by this mystery we started doing some research on the strange flash in the air. During our work we found out the relevant factors and we can now exactly say, under which conditions these flashes occur. In addition to that we succeeded in describing the phenomenon mathematically and we know now, that the light reflections within a falling droplet change because the droplet itself oscillates. We also found out that this can be observed everywhere a drop detaches from anything like in the shower, at a water tap or raindrops falling down from gutters. With our research we found a completely new phenomenon that, as far as we know, has never been analyzed by anyone else so far.

Project title: Examination of Plants’ Self-Defence Against Pests

Field: Chemistry

Márton Spohn (18)

Some plants, especially members of the mint family can defend themselves against their pests on a special manner: they emit scents that attract natural predators of the pests. This phenomenon was studied by biologists and chemists, but a contradiction remained unnoticed: chemicals that are held responsible directly for this effect cannot evaporate. My project was aimed at finding the reaction pathways taking place in the plant during an attack to convert the furanoterpenoides (chemicals responsible for self-defence) into volatile compounds. Experiments were made with plant extracts which mainly involved chromatographic methods to discover possible pathways. The experiment based effect mechanism model of furanoterpenoids can explain the rapid reaction of the plant to an attack despite of the fact that furanoterpenoide is produced very slowly. By discovering more details of floral self-defence, more environment-friendly pesticides may be developed.

Project title: An Extension of Wiener’s Attack on RSA Encryption

Field: Mathematics

Abdusalam Abubakar (16)

In 1990 Wiener showed that if RSA is used with a small decryption exponent it can be successfully attacked. He based his attack on the properties of continued fractions, in particular on a very well-known theorem of Legendre concerning the approximation of irrational numbers by simple continued fractions. In 2004 Hinek proved that if a very large decryption exponent is used, the RSA system can be successfully attacked. Using a small decryption exponent, d, has the advantage of allowing rapid decipherment. It might be thought that this advantage could be retained by increasing d just beyond the range vulnerable to Wiener’s attack. In attacks of the Wiener and Hinek types the condition must be obeyed for the success of the attack to be guaranteed. I shall refer to this condition as the "n1/4 barrier". In this project I investigate attacks beyond the "n1/4  barrier".

Second Prize - Austria Second Prize - France Second Prize - Israel

Project title: Energy from maize straw

Environmental science

Martina HAFNER (19)


Project title: Can we walk on water?


Anne-Laure DELAYE (17)
Aude LATRIVE (17)
Astrid VERPEAUX (17)


Project title: Molecular Identification and Characterization of Phytoplasma Bacteria in Grapevines – Another Milestone Saving the Wine Industry

Biological science

Yael Amarilyo (17)

Third Prize - Austria Third Prize - Czech Republic Third Prize - Germany

Project title: Latent heat storage system (Salt crystals as a new energy storage technology)

Field: Engineering

Julian GLECHNER (17)
Werner POLLHAMMER (17)

Interview at
Article at


Project title: Generalization of method of tiling in triangular and hexagonal grid

Field: Mathematics

Eva Černohorská (20)

Project title: SmartCam – Development of a universal 3D-Camera

Field: Engineering

Florian Schnös (19)