DFG Europa-Preis awarded to winners of national "Jugend forscht" competition
Four young researchers had two reasons to celebrate at this year's awards ceremony for Germany’s "Jugend forscht" competition in Erfurt. Not only did the young researchers place first in their respective fields, they were also awarded the Europa-Preis of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation).
Alexander Emhart (19) from Kreisgymnasium Riedlingen, Timm Piper (16) from Martin von Cochem Gymnasium in Cochem, and Jan Rapp (19) and Timo Schmetzer (17) from Otto Hahn Gymnasium in Ostfildern all received this twofold distinction.
Alexander Emhart won the national "Jugend forscht" award in the field of chemistry. The young chemical scientist from Baden-Württemberg received the prize for his project "Hydrogen in its Pure Form", for which Emhart developed an electrolytic cell with the capacity to separate hydrogen efficiently from other gases produced during the fermentation of biomass. Timm Piper won the national award in the field of physics, and received the prize for his project "New Insights into the Microcosm". Jan Rapp and Timo Schmetzer, who specialise in mathematics and computer science, were awarded the Prize of the Federal Minister for Education and Research for the Best Interdisciplinary Project. The duo developed a computer-controlled plate capable of balancing a ball on its surface for their "Electronic Balancing Act".
The Europa-Preis was presented to the four "Jugend forscht" award winners in Erfurt by DFG Vice President Professor Peter Funke. Established by the DFG in 2010, the Europa-Preis was created to highlight the importance of international experience for a successful career in research. The winners will each receive 1,000 euros in prize money, and the opportunity to participate in the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS), which will be held from 21 through 26 September 2012 in Bratislava, Slovakia. In the run-up to this event, the young researchers will be tutored by special mentors, who will also accompany them to Bratislava. These mentors are carefully selected by the DFG from the early career researchers which it funds, with the aim of facilitating the development of lasting networks between generations of researchers.