Two Dublin Students win EU Physics prize for Young Scientists

1 October 2012

Two Dublin students have been awarded a European Young Scientist prize for their Physics project that could be of value to NASA.

European Young Scientists
Mark Kelly and Eric Doyle

Mark Kelly and Eric Doyle from Synge Street CBS, Dublin, were announced as winners of the first prize in Physics at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Bratislava, Slovakia, on 24 September.

The pair represented Ireland in the competition after winning the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in January. They competed with students aged between 14 and 20 from 37 countries to win the European Physics award. The prize is worth £7,000 and they also receive an all-expenses paid trip to the London International Youth Science Forum.

The winning project, Simulation Accuracy in the Gravitational Many-body Problem, included a way to help keep satellites more closely on their expected path. The pair built on the work of Diarmuid Ó Mathúna’s orbital calculations to develop an improved  set of algorithms. Both are now studying Physics at UCD and TCD.

EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghagan Quinn, congratulated the students and said their work on simulating how objects respond to gravity in certain environments could have many applications, not least in space exploration. She said that Ireland and Europe needed more young scientists to step up and make important breakthroughs for the future.

Ireland has out-performed all other countries in the EU cometition’s 24-year history, taking home the top prize 14 times. The closing date for entries to next January’s BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in Dublin is 1 October. For more information see