German science competition winners visit UQ for research experience

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German high-school students Kristof Heck, left, and Simon Huppertz visited UQ as a prize from a national youth science competition in their home country.

As successful finalists in Germany’s national youth science competition, two secondary-school students received a two-week study visit to The University of Queensland as part of their prize.

Kristof Heck and Simon Huppertz, both 18, won second prize in the physics category of the competition with a project on the complex material properties of the spheres in Newton’s cradles.

As part of their prize, the pair did a research project using laser tweezers at UQ’s School of Mathematics and Physics under the supervision of Professor Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop.

Both Kristof and Simon were impressed by UQ’s well-equipped laboratories and the sense of community at the St Lucia campus.

The equipment and computer laboratories are excellent and our project allowed us to get a good understanding of optical tweezers and the way they can be used to manipulate micro-scale objects such as cells,” Kristof said.

A third student, Saverio Nobbe, also 18, was awarded a prize in the competition for his research into ammonium-nitrate based solid rocket fuels.

Saverio will do an internship at UQ’s School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering in October, supervised by Professor Richard Morgan.

Jugend Forscht is a Foundation that stages a national scientific research competition targeting talented secondary school students in Germany.

UQ International and the Faculty of Science facilitate UQ’s annual collaboration with the Foundation to offer the supervised places for winning students.

Media: Julia Wright, Engagement Officer (International), Faculty of Science, Ph 07 3365 8598,

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