European Young Researchers Award – EYRA 2018 – winners announced

Excellent research in European institutions is of prime importance for the well-being and prosperity of Europe. This can only be accomplished if the most talented young researchers trust that choosing research as a profession is best for them. In order to promote this idea, EuroScience has established the European Young Researchers Award. On even years, it is awarded to the most talented young (up to 5 years after receiving the PhD degree) researchers, who already made important contributions to their fields of science, but also managed to show the societal context of their achievements and their field of research by notable outreach activity.

By the Award’s bylaws, the decision on the awardee is made by the International Selection Committee appointed by the EuroScience Governing Board. The award is presented at the upcoming EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) to insure large audience and recognition.

Over the years the EYRA award grew in prestige and popularity. This year we received 77 very high level individual submissions supported by at least two supporting letters from the established authorities in the field.

In view of the large number and remarkable level of this year’s candidates, the Jury suggested to the EuroScience President to organize, in addition to EYRA, the EuroScience Young Researchers Popular Prize. In addition to choosing an awardee, and in fact, this year two co-awardees, the Committee has selected five candidates who were asked to make a short (240 seconds) presentation at ESOF2018. The decision for the EuroScience Young Researchers Popular Prize was made by a vote of the audience, adding to the award a very strong societal dimension.

The winners of the 2018 European Young Researchers Award are:

Kris Myny, principal member of technical staff at IMEC Leuven in Belgium

Eleonora Viezzer, research fellow at the university of Seville in Spain

(From the left) President of EuroScience M. Matlosz, Dr. K. Myny, Dr. E. Viezzer

The winner of the 2018 Euroscience Young Researchers Popular Prize is

Eleonora Viezzer, research fellow at the university of Seville in Spain

(From the left: chair of the selection committee) Prof. M. Andler , Dr. E. Viezzer

Kris Myny is Belgian. He studied for his Master’s degree at the Catholic Highschool Limburg, now part of the Catholic University in Leuven (Belgium), and then became a research engineer at IMEC, a research and development organization in Leuven. While working at IMEC, he obtained a PhD from KU Leuven in Electrical Engineering. In 2016, he was listed as one of Belgium’s top tech pioneers by the business newspaper De Tijd. In 2017, he was promoted to Principal Member of Technical Staff at IMEC, and became a starting grantee of the European Research Council for his project Flexible Integrated Circuits and Applications (FLICs). His research field is Electronics, more specifically on the design of thin-film electronics. Thin film electronics has important applications in Near Field Communication. It enables a seamless integration into everyday objects for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. An object can connect to the cloud using the smartphone as a hub and NFC as communication medium.

Kris has several collaborations with European partners, in the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom53 published papers, and has been involved in several industrial collaborations.

Eleonora Viezzer is Italian. She studied for her BSc at Leopold-Franzens-Universität, Innsbruck, and both her Diploma (MSc) and PhD at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Her research for the PhD was conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching. After three years, first as a postdoctoral fellow, then as a EUROfusion research fellow in the same institute, she obtained a tenure track position at the university of Seville; presently she is Marie Skłodowska Curie research fellow in Seville. Eleonora’s research is in plasma physics, more specifically in fusion research. Her work focuses on the interplay between radial electric fields, plasma flows and transport in magnetically confined fusion plasmas. In the summer of 2018, just after ESOF, it was announced that she had been awarded a European Research Council starting grant for the 3DFIREFLUC project. She is very active in science outreach activities, in particular to promote science among girls. She has published more than 80 research papers.

The three other finalists nominated by the Jury were Dimitra Georgiadou, Frédéric Marin and Susanne Roosing.

Dimitra Georgiadou is Greek. She studied for her BSc at the National Technical University of Athens in Chemical Engineering, and obtained her MSc as a joint degree from the Technical and the Ludwig Maximilian Universities in Munich in Material Science. She returned to the National Technical University of Athens for her PhD in Chemical Engineering, which she obtained in 2013. After a first postdoctoral fellowship at the National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos”, Dimitra joined the physics department at Imperial College in London, first as a postdoctoral research associate, and starting in 2016, as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow. Her research interests over the past 10 years lie in the field of nanotechnology and mainly encompass the fabrication and optimisation of electronic and optoelectronic devices. She has 46 published articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Frédéric Marin is French. He studied for his BSc in Physics at the University of Savoie and the Dublin Institute of Technology, and for his MSc at the University of Montpellier in Astrophysics. He obtained his PhD from the University of Strasbourg, again in astrophysics. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Astronomical institute of the Academy of Science in Prague, Frédéric returned to Strasbourg first on a EU fellowship, and then on a CNES research fellowship. His research focusses on using the polarisation of light as a tool for studying cosmic objects from exoplanets to active galaxies. He has been chosen as the leader of a European group which will lead some observations on the NASA Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer Satellite to be launched in 2021. He has 39 published papers.

Susanne Roosing is Dutch. She obtained her Technical BSc at Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Eindhoven, worked four years at the Blindness Genetics Research of Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, before enrolling in a PhD programme at the same university. After obtaining her PhD, she was for two years at Rockefeller University in New York as a postdoctoral fellow before returning to Nijmegen in the Blindness Genetics Research Unit. Susanne’s research focusses on the genetic causes of hereditary retinal dystrophies leading to blindness. She coordinates the European Retinal Disease Consortium. She has published 30 research papers.

The International Selection Committee consisted of Martin Andler, EuroScience Vice-President (chair), Stephane Berghmans, Anastasia Kiratzi, Jerzy Langer and Slobodan Radicev.

The EYRA 2017 dedicated to PhD candidates was shared between two winners Dr. Alejandra Consejo and Dr. Pavlo Bazilinskyy more in the evaluation summary. Company Editage, expert on Science Communication and Publishing, represented by Satyajit Rout sponsored the EYRA 2017 winners with a full package of Research Communications Services for them to accelerate the communication of their research findings and increase the chances of collaboration with key peers or institutes in their field.

The ceremony in pictures:

  • Pavlo Bazilinskyy: EYRA 2017 winner
  • Alejandra Consejo: EYRA 2017 winner
  • EYRA 2017 winners: P. Bazilinskyy and A. Consejo & sponsor 'Editage' represented by Satyajit Rout
  • Dimitra Georgiadou
  • Frédéric Marin
  • Kris Myny
  • Susanne Roosing
  • E. Viezzer and her winning presentation
  • EYRA 2018 Jury winners: Kris Myny and Eleonora Viezzer
  • Popular Prize laureate E. Viezzer and prof. M. Andler
  • K. Myny and E. Viezzer & sponsor 'Editage' represented by Satyajit Rout
  • All five nominees & sponsor 'Editage' represented by Satyajit Rout
  • EYRA and Rammal reception
  • EYRA and Rammal reception