The contest Jury is composed of 19 highly qualiﬁed scientists and engineers with worldwide reputations in their chosen ﬁeld. The jury carry out their duties at the contest as independent scientiﬁc experts and not as representatives of any institution, organisation or country. The European Commission appoints the Jury annually, basing its selection on the scienﬁc and technological needs of the contest. They are selected both from academia and industry. The Commission ensures an appropriate geographical and gender balance. Jury members normally remain on the jury for up to 5 years. In exceptional circumstances the EC reserves the right to appoint Jury members for more than 5 terms.
The role of the Jury at EUCYS is of the utmost importance. The jury follow the Jury Rules and Guidelines established by the EC. The Jury assess and score the competing projects based on the written descriptions submitted by the projects and through interviews with the Contestants carried out during the Contest. Based on their assessment of the projects and on lengthy discussions with other jury members, the jury draw up the lists of winners of the core prizes and the special prizes. The decision of the jury is ﬁnal.
This year the Commission is delighted to point out that three members of the jury are previous winners of the contest.
Franco Karl Algieri
Franco Algieri is an Associate Professor and Head of the International Relations Department at Webster Vienna Private University. Prior to that, he was Director of Research at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES) and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Applied Policy Research (C.A.P), Ludwig Maximilians University Munich. He was lecturing Political Science at the Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen and at the Geschwister Scholl Institut, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich. He was appointed Guest Professor at the School of International Studies and Senior Fellow at the Centre for European Studies, both at the Renmin University of China, Beijing. Franco Algieri studied Political Science and Sinology in Freiburg, Tübingen and Taipei, and European Studies in Bruges. He received his doctorate and M.A. both from the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen and a Diploma of Advanced European Studies from the College of Europe Bruges. His research focus covers European and Asian security issues, the European integration process and EU-Asia relations, with special emphasis on EU-China relations.
Mella Frewen is Director General of FoodDrinkEurope, representing Europe’s largest manufacturing industry. She has a wide experience of relations with International institutions, with the Institutions of the European Union and trade associations within the food chain, as well as with the agri-food, non-food, and chemical sectors. Ms Frewen is currently member of the EU Commission’s High Level Steering Board for the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability, of its High Level Group for the Sustainable Development Goals, and a member of the Governance Group of the Supply Chain Initiative for fair business practices across the food chain. She is also member of several food industry-related Boards. At the OECD & FAO, Ms Frewen is Vice President of the Advisory Group for Responsible Business Conduct along Agricultural Supply Chains. She has a Master of Science degree from the National University of Ireland, she holds a Harvard certificate on Agribusiness and an INSEAD certificate on International Operations Management.
Mira Van Thielen
Mira Van Thielen has a degree in pharmaceutical as well as medical sciences. At the age of 16 years she won several (inter)national prizes with her medical project. The same time she was one of the founders of the educative youth organisation at the public oberservatory MIRA (Belgium). Nowadays, she is working as resident at the department of Anesthesia in Ghent University Hospital (Belgium). Her research interests are devoted to a combination of physics and medical sciences. Besides, she is a board member of ‘Jeugd, Cultuur & Wetenschap’, a scientific youth organisation in Belgium.
Prof. Macek is the chairman of the largest academic medical/molecular genetics/genomics institution in the Czech Republic, which comprises a research/diagnostics reproductive genetics center. He was a president of the European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG), board member of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), and board member of the European Cystic Fibrosis Society (ECFS). His institute is a “clearing center” for dissemination of knowledge in genetics gathered within various European projects. He did his first postdoctoral work at the Institute of Human Genetics in Berlin, followed by the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. During that time, he was also a fellow at Harvard School of Medicine in Boston. Dr Macek Jr is the national coordinator of Orpha.net and the former chief advisor of the Czech EU Council Presidency under which the “EU Council recommendation on an action in the field of rare diseases” was adopted in June 2009. He is the acting president of the Czech Society of Medical Genetics, a past member of the European Union Committee of Experts on Rare Diseases (EUCERD) and current member of the EU – European Board of Member States on Rare Diseases, and a past member of the International Rare Disease Consortium (IRDiRC) Diagnostic Committee.
Dr. Victoria Bloodworth studied Aeronautical Engineering at Imperial College London, UK, earning her PhD in 2008, specialising in carbon fibre composite structures. She then spent the next eight years working at Aerotrope, a small and radical engineering consultancy based in Brighton, UK. During this time, she was part of the design team with a diverse project portfolio, engineering wind turbines, large-scale artworks and zero carbon vehicles. In 2017, she moved to Denmark to join one of the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturers, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, where she is now developing the next generation of wind turbine blades.Her project portfolio includes an assortment of wind turbine and wind turbine blade designs, exploring kite power, Vestas Sailrocket 2 (the current speed sailing world record holder), and engineering art sculptures in a variety of mediums – the London Olympic tower, creating vortices, tuning infrasound. A British national, currently residing in Denmark, she spent her childhood years in Singapore before moving to the UK for higher education and work.
Margus Niitsoo was a competitor at EUCYS 2005 where he learned that the ability to communicate his findings is at least as important a skill as actually doing research. While studying for his degrees in mathematics and computer science in University of Tartu, he actively sought ways to also improve his skills in communication, becoming a teaching assistant in university, joining a science popularization initiative and also taking as many psychology courses as he could fit into his timetable among his own courses. However, his love of mathematics did not fade, and despite the new interests, he still managed to finish his BSc and MSc together in just 3 years instead of the usual 5, which was followed by another 3 years of PhD studies in theoretical cryptography. This briefly made him famous, as he was the youngest person to get a PhD in Estonia at just 24 years of age. Obsessed with teaching and finding ways to improve it, he was then offered the job of curriculum manager which allowed him to work not only on his own teaching but also to find better ways of organizing the curriculum and finding means to support both students and lecturers in their pursuits. He thoroughly enjoyed the work, but felt that he needed to see the world outside the academia as well and so headed for the industry, working on machine learning and audio analysis. Currently, he works as a freelance consultant in those fields.
I am a biophysiscist with a strong interest in biotechnology. I have a master of physics and a PhD in biophysics. My research interest lies in the study of self-assembling filamentous systems having biomedical and biotechnological interest (especially amyloid type systems). These are of particular interest because of their link to diseases like Alzheimer’s, type II diabetes and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease amongst others. I have an extensive experience in structural biology, more specifically X-ray and neutron crystallography through years of working at the Institut Laue-Langevin (Grenoble France) which operates the world’s brightest neutron source.
Mariya Lyubenova holds a doctorate in astronomy from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität after pursuing 3 years of research at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Headquarters in Garching bei München, Germany. In her work she observes and uses the motions and chemical properties of stars in galaxies as fossil records to unravel the build-up and evolution of galaxies.Well before she started her university studies in her home country Bulgaria, she was already an active astronomy club member and editor of an astronomy magazine and a newspaper. After the completion of her PhD in 2009, Mariya took a leading role in publishing the book “An Expanded View of the Universe — Science with the European Extremely Large Telescope” where the key science cases for this future telescope are summarised. Next, she worked for several years at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany, in parallel as a researcher and an equal opportunity officer. Then, Mariya spent 3 years as a researcher at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. In May 2017 Mariya moved back to ESO, this time as a member of the astronomers’ faculty. She is currently head of the Media Relations Team and is the science consultant of the Department of Communication. Additionally, Mariya continues her active research activities in the area of galaxy evolution, as well as supervises and mentors a number of students and junior researchers.
Attila Borics graduated as a chemist and a chemistry teacher from the University of Szeged in 2001, then received his PhD degree in 2005 from Creighton University (USA) for his contribution to the field of chiroptical spectroscopy and conformational analysis of peptides. Currently he is working in the Biological Research Center of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Szeged (Hungary) as a senior research associate and teaching structural biology and bioinformatics at the University of Szeged. His research focuses on biomolecular structure, more specifically protein and peptide structure and interactions, conformational analysis and structure-activity studies. This includes the investigation of the three dimensional structural determinants of the biological activity of various neuropeptides, structural explanation of the mechanism of action of enzymes and receptors, location of interaction sites of proteins and the study of the interactions between native and semi-synthetic proteins and cells.
Professor Tony Fagan received a PhD in Electronic Engineering from University College Dublin (UCD). He spent a number of years working on advanced digital communication research at Marconi Research laboratories in England. On his return to UCD in 1980 he established the DSP research group. Well over 100 research graduates have been produced by the group. Through his work at UCD he helped establish a strong digital signal processing industry in Ireland with many companies being founded by his research graduates – often with his help. Many of these companies are now world leaders in the area of physical-layer communications design. For this work Tony was awarded the 2016 Charles Parsons medal by the Irish Academy of Engineering.
Lina Tomasella is an astrophysicist of the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), Astronomical Observatory of Padova. She has a degree in physics and a PhD in astronomy from the University of Padova. Her research interests are devoted to the physical properties of explosive astrophysical objects, supernovae and optical transients, in collaboration with Padova-Asiago Supernova Group. From 2015 she is a member of the GRAWITA (Gravitational Wave INAF team) collaboration, which has the aim of carrying out follow-up observational campaigns in the radio, optical, NIR, X-ray, and gamma-ray bands of the gravitational wave (GW) detector triggers released by the ground-based interferometers network actually composed of the two Advanced LIGO (USA) and Advanced Virgo (Italy). In 2018 she also entered the ENGRAVE (Electro-magnetic counterparts of gravitational waves at the Very Large Telescope) collaboration: the European consortium using ESO telescopes for the follow-up campaigns of GW events detected by LIGO/Virgo network.Her whole scientific production is summarised in about 90 refereed papers and in several hundreds among Astronomical Circulars, Astronomer’s Telegrams, Gamma-ray coordinates Network and Transient Name Server classification reports. She lives in Asiago, where there are the telescopes and instruments operated by the Astronomical Observatory of Padova. Here she is also the Institute coordinator and head of outreach activities. Lina won a top prize in the 1st EUCYS, Bruxelles 1989.
Dr. Anna Zajakina is the head of Cancer Gene Therapy group at Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre. She has completed her PhD in 2005 at University of Latvia, Molecular Virology and Biochemistry Division. She raised her expertise at University of Rostock (Germany), Uppsala University (Sweden) and University of Bordeaux (France). Dr. Zajakina is the author of more than 40 papers and conference presentations related to cancer research, molecular biology and virology issues. The main research interests involve the development of novel clinically translatable methods for cancer treatment based on gene therapy vectors and combination of treatment strategies with chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Currently, main research projects are focused on delivery of therapeutic genes by viral vectors into tumours for smart regulation of tumor microenvironment in combination of polyfunctional magnetic nanoparticles. Being a national coordinator of European Biotechnology Thematic Network Association, Dr. Zajakina is actively taking part in organization and hosting of international workshops, seminars and conferences, working in cooperation with students and researchers representing various organizations and universities.
I am an agronomist with 30 years of experience in sustainable biomass production. I am involved in research and give advice on the development and evaluation of bioenergy and biobased production. In my work, I collect and analyse data on biomass production and its conversion into products that help to green the economy. My aim is to support the development and implementation of innovative, sustainable and socially acceptable production and consumption routes together with industry, policy, NGOs and other stakeholders. Special focus is on the valorization of organic residues. It is a privilege to work with young scientists, and to contribute to their development and career.
Zuzanna Katarzyna Szymańska
Zuzanna Szymańska, PhD graduated in mathematics and computer science from the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics University of Warsaw. In 2010, at the Polish Academy of Sciences she obtained her PhD degree with distinction in biology with a specialization in biophysics. She is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Mathematics of Polish Academy of Sciences and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling (ICM) at the University of Warsaw. Her main area of research involves developing multi-scale mathematical models for processes such as growth and spread of cancer or wound healing.
Luísa Pereira has a degree in Biology and a PhD in Human Population Genetics. She is a senior researcher and group leader at i3S-IPATIMUP (Institute of Research and Innovation in Health, University of Porto-Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto), being interested in using genetics to infer the past and evolution of human populations and to evaluate susceptibility of human populations to complex diseases. She is co-author of 114 peer-reviewed papers in international journals and a book on popular science. She has been engaged in presenting her work to the general public, including young students in high schools, and regularly collaborates with local media.
I am a university teacher of math and applied math with applications in civil engineering, biomechanics and biology. I do some research in these fields, as well as in rheology. My habilitation thesis delt with rheology. Nowadays I cooperate with engineers in the field of concrete structures collapse investigation. Moreover, I deal with theoretical background of data mining recently within the cooperation with a university in Pamplona. I like my work. I have some experience with evaluations of projects in Brussels and in Bratislava. I like, sport, languages and good music.
Prof. dr. Milena Horvat is a Head of the Department of Environmental Sciences, www.environment.si, (since 1997) of the Jožef Stefan Institute and a Dean of the International Postgraduate School Jožef Stefan – www.mps.si (since 2016). Her main expertise is related to mercury research activities which are interdisciplinary and cover the areas of analytical chemistry, human health with a focus on exposure science, contaminated sites, marine environment, and lately also clean technologies and sensor development. Based on her basic training and education as analytical chemist, she developed and significantly contributed to standardisation and harmonisation of analytical methods and production of reference materials. By this she contributed to international comparability of data on a global scale. For her international activities she was awarded a price of Ambassador of Science of the R of Slovenia, and a Zois price for scientific achievements. She also obtained a Life Achievement Award for her mercury related research at the ICMGP 2019.
Maria Angeles Moro Sanchez
She is currently Full Professor of Pharmacology at the Medical School of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) and co-director of the Neurovascular Research Unit (UCM/i+12). Her main research focus is stroke and vascular dementia. Her work has resulted in 4 books, 60 chapters, 3 patents and approx. 160 publications in indexed journals such as JCI, Circulation, Immunity, Stroke, etc. As PI, she has led several national public competitive projects and contracts with the industrial sector aimed to develop drugs for stroke treatment. She belongs to the Editorial Boards of “Stroke”, “British Journal of Pharmacology” and “Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism”. She has participated as chair, vice-chair or expert in more than 30 panels of various EC framework programs (FP5, FP6, FP7, H2020) as well as in the Spanish R+D+I Plan. She is ad hoc reviewer for international publications and evaluation agencies and was External Examiner for Trinity College Dublin. In 2016 she was appointed as Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society (FBPhS).
Morten Lennholm has worked in the field of Nuclear Fusion Research for the last 30 years. From a microwave and control engineering education, he developed his knowledge of plasma physics and much of his work has involved a combination of engineering and plasma physics. He has published in journals such as ‘Physical Review Letters’ and ‘Nuclear Fusion’ on the control of fusion plasma, plus in ‘Nature Communications’ to describe the potential for control of certain plasma instabilities through ‘phase space engineering’. He received his PhD degree from Eindhoven University of Technology in 2014 for his work on ‘Real Time Control of the Sawtooth Instability in Fusion Plasmas with Large Fast Ion Populations’. Based at the Culham laboratories in Abingdon, England, Morten conducts, manages and coordinates work involved in the operation of the JET Tokamak (Joint European Torus), including engineering and physics studies associated with this project. His main areas of interest include: radio frequency heating employed in Tokamak fusion experiments; plus, plasma control systems, which allow the control of a number of plasma parameters including the location of the plasma itself inside the Tokamak vacuum vessel.