At the 23rd annual European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS), three up-and-coming scientists from Ireland, Switzerland and Lithuania have taken home a total of €21,000 prize money.
The contest, set up by the European Commission, aims to identify young people who have an interest in science and provides encouragement as they embark on their scientific career path. This year, the winners beat 87 entries from 37 countries worldwide to the top prize with projects in computing, engineering and medicine.
The youngest winner, 16 year old Alexander Amini from Ireland, devised a tennis sensor data analysis system that automatically distinguishes between 13 different tennis stroke types. Alexander believes his computer software can be applied to all types of motion assessment scenarios such as, sports, physical therapy and emergency responses.
Elsewhere, 19 year old engineer from Switzerland, Pius Markus Theiler, invented a revolutionary commercial device for climbing which enhances the safety for climbers and labourers who work high above the ground. The final winner, Povilas Kavaliauskas, aged 18 from Lithuania conducted medical research into the role of houseflies in spreading antibiotic resistant bacteria, discovering that houseflies do not transmit bacteria over long distances.
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, and guest speaker at EUCYS, urged young people to pursue science related careers with the hope to one day support major scientific breakthroughs. "Young, talented researchers will help shape our future. We need to find answers to society's biggest challenges such as climate change, finding sustainable sources of energy, feeding the world or fighting disease” said Máire.
The international jury panel has granted an additional three teams from Israel, Germany and Malta to represent Europe region at Intel ISEF 2012. The teams, specialising in engineering and mathematics, were selected by the judging panel, Tapio Kosunen, State Secretary from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Government of Finland; Anneli Pauli, the European Commission’s Deputy Director-General for Research and Innovation; and Professor Maria Ana Viana-Baptista, the President of the Jury.
More information about the EU Contest for Young Scientists can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/youngscientists/index_en.cfm