Three UK students on the cusp of their university degrees have stormed to success at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) 2012.
Taking place in Bratislava this year, EUCYS is an initiative of the European Commission, inviting the best young minds from different countries to share their work and compare ideas. Established in 1989, EUCYS has a goal of promoting the science interchange between young scientists and guiding them to a future in science and technology.
Helen Sheehan, Maia Rowe-Sampson and Thomas Myers represented the UK after being chosen through the National Science + Engineering Competition finals that took place at The Big Bang in March this year.
All three had undertaken CREST project work and received their Gold Awards, and went on to further demonstrate excellence in their work and presentation skills through the National Science + Engineering Competition judging process.
At EUCYS they had to present a poster display and be judged by leading experts from across Europe over 3 days. Helen had an additional hurdle when her luggage went missing on the way to the event, and had to bravely re-do her poster and present her work for the first day without her samples!
Helen, 18, won a prize to take part in a specially organised week-long programme at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France, for her project on Processing and Characterisation Nanosteel by Selective Laser Melting. The ESRF is an international research institute for cutting-edge science with photons, and is one of the world’s largest synchrotron science centres. The institute aims to study the structure and dynamics of our complex world, down to single atom level.
Thomas, also 18, won a week-long visit to the European Southern Observatory (ESO) after impressing judges with his project on Gravitational Lensing. ESO is an important intergovernmental science and technology organisation in astronomy. Its programme focuses on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities for astronomy to enable important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research.
Congratulations to all three students and especially to Tom and Helen. And our thanks to the Nuffield Foundation  for supporting the costs of arranging these trips.