Public Release: 

DFG Europa-Preis awarded to 8 'Jugend forscht' prizewinners

Mentoring program prepares young researchers for European contest in Milan

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

This news release is available in German.

Three first-place prizes and one fourth-place prize have been awarded at the 50-year anniversary of "Jugend forscht" in Ludwigshafen. This was a special cause for celebration for eight young researchers at the final of Germany's biggest competition for students and young people with a keen interest in research. In addition to these prizes, the six young male researchers and two young female researchers have also been awarded the Europa-Preis by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). The aim of this award is to specifically prepare them for the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS), held in September in Milan.

This year the DFG's Europa-Preis was presented to two individual researchers and two research teams. Lukas Stockner (18) received an additional accolade, the "German President's Prize for Outstanding Work". The student from Maria-Ward-Gymnasium in Altötting, Bavaria, used special methods involving computer graphics and mathematical and statistical applications to develop a procedure to depict refraction, for example in filled glasses or transparent gemstones, in photo-realistic quality.

Anselm von Wangenheim, also 18, from Schülerforschungszentrum Nordhessen in Kassel won the national award in the field of physics and the Europa-Preis for his robot design that can stand steadily on one leg and move around. These features are made possible by skilfully adjusting a flywheel's rotational velocity to prevent the so-called monopod from falling over.

Jakob Dichgans (17), Daniel Riesterer and Lumen Haendler (both 18) were awarded the Europa-Preis and the "Prize of the Federal Minister of Education and Research for the Best Interdisciplinary Work". The three students from Überlingen, Baden-Württemberg, designed a system that converts climate-damaging carbon dioxide into methane in an ongoing process. This methane is stored and then converted into energy.

The Europa-Preis awards in Ludwigshafen were presented by DFG Vice President Professor Dr. Marlis Hochbruck. Prizewinners are also invited to participate in the European Union Contest for Young Scientists. This year, it is being held between 17 and 22 September in Milan. As the northern Italian metropolis is also the current stage for the World Expo, each participating country had the opportunity this year to nominate an additional project that fits in with the Expo's overall theme of "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life". Larissa Roth (17), Felicitas Kapler (18) and Levin Winziger (16) received the fourth Europa-Preis in Ludwigshafen from this nomination. The team from Hanns-Seidel-Gymnasium in Hösbach, Bavaria, developed a procedure that uses renewable resources to manufacture olefins (e.g. ethylene and propylene), which are important for industry. They had already won the fourth prize in the "Jugend forscht" chemistry category with this procedure.

All eight prizewinning young researchers will be supported by mentors in preparation for the EUCYS contest. Their mentors will also accompany them to Milan. Mentors are selected by the DFG from a pool of early career researchers who are supported by the organinsation, for example in the Emmy Noether Programme. The Europa-Preis of 1,000 euros also offers another component: a language course and presentation training for the students and young people. The DFG intends to use the prize, which has offered training sessions as part of the award since 2010, to underline how important internationalisation and networking between different generations of researchers are for a successful research career. Since then, winners of the Europa-Preis have regularly ranked highly at the EUCYS contests.

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Further Information

Media contact:

DFG Press and Public Relations, Tel. +49 228 885-2443, presse@dfg.de

Further information on the Europa-Preis can be found at: http://www.dfg.de/en/funded_projects/prizewinners/europa-preis

Information in German on this year's "Jugend forscht" prizewinners is available at: http://www.jugend-forscht.de

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