Irish Students Win European Young Scientists Award

Young Scientist Winners including Mark James Kelly and Eric Doyle on board the RV Celtic Explorer with Dr Peter Hefferan, CEO, Marine Institute, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and Mr Jim Cooke

Two Irish students from Synge Street CBS in Dublin have won joint first prize in the EU Contest for Young Scientists in Bratislava, Slovakia. Mark James Kelly, 18, and Eric Doyle, 17, won the top award in the physics category.

Their project, "Simulation accuracy in the gravitational many-body problem", followed up on a 2008 breakthrough by Irish scientist Dr Diarmuid Ó Mathúna in the field of celestial mechanics. The first prize is worth €7,000 to the two students.

EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn has congratulated the students. She said their work on simulating how objects respond to gravity in certain environments could have many practical applications, not least in space exploration. "Their project builds on the ground-breaking work of Diarmuid Ó'Mathúna, a great Irish scientist who has clearly inspired the next generation. "I wish both Mark and Eric well in their studies, both having got their first choice to do First Science at UCD and Theoretical Physics at Trinity."

She said that Ireland and Europe needed more young scientists to step up and make the important breakthroughs for the future.

Dr. Peter Heffernan, CEO Marine Institute also congratulates the students “I am delighted to see Mark and Eric take the top prize at the EU Contest for Young scientists.  I had the great pleasure to welcome them onboard the RV Celtic Explorer earlier this year, together with Diarmuid Ó’Mathúna for the presentation of a special recognition award to Mr Jim Cooke, former Synge Street CBS teacher.  Mr Cooke and the teachers at Synge Street CMS have inspired so many students to discover maths and science, and to achieve great success both at national and international science competitions.”