Dublin student Shane Curran announced as winner of the 53rd BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition
17 January 2017
The winner of the 53rd BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) has been announced. Shane Curran, aged 16, a 5th year student from Terenure College, Dublin 6, has taken home the top prize for his project entitled ‘qCrypt: The quantum-secure, encrypted, data storage solution with multijurisdictional quorum sharding technology’. The announcement was made in the BT Arena at Dublin’s RDS by Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Education and Skills, and Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland. Shane competed in the senior section of the Technology category.
Shane’s award includes a prize-fund of €5,000, the BTYSTE perpetual trophy, and a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the European Space Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands. In addition, the winner will have the opportunity to represent Ireland at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Tallinn, Estonia later this year.
Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, said, “It is wonderful to see so many students entering the world of STEM through the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Initiatives such as this have a critical role to play in raising awareness and engagement around science and technology and the impact it has on every aspect of our lives. I would like to congratulate every student, teacher and school community involved for their fantastic work this week. The Exhibition is a highlight for the education calendar every year, and I am delighted that BT will continue to support this event until 2020.”
Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland, said; “It has been an incredible exhibition that has captured the imaginations of tens of thousands of visitors who came to support young people and their ideas. I want to congratulate every student that entered, and in particular Shane, our overall winner. Technology skills are critical to companies like BT, and we are delighted to help discover home-grown talent in critical skills such as security and data storage that are needed by organisations based here and globally.”
Speaking about the winning entry, BT Young Scientist judge John Dunnion commented; “qCrypt is a novel distributed data storage system that provides greater protection for user data than is currently available. It addresses a number of shortfalls of current data encryption systems; in particular, the algorithm used in the system has been demonstrated to be resistant to attacks by quantum computers in the future. As part of the qCrypt project, an entire software platform with an intuitive user interface has been developed. The application has been written using state-of-the-art coding techniques.”
Over 1,100 students from 375 schools across the island of Ireland competed for the coveted title of ‘BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year 2017’.
The award for Group winner went to students Michael Sheehan and Jack Murphy, both aged 16, 4th year students at Colaiste Treasa, Kanturk, Co. Cork for their project entitled ‘Prey availability for hen harriers in managed farmland’. The students were in the Biological & Ecological Sciences category at Intermediate level.
The Individual runner-up award was presented to Cormac Larkin, aged 19, a 6th year student at Colaiste An Spioraid Naoimh, Bishopstown, Co. Cork for his project entitled ‘Case study of Data Mining in Observational Astronomy: The search for new OB stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud’. Cormac was in the Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences category at Senior level.
The Group runners-up award was presented to Matthew Blakeney and Mark McDermott, both aged 14, 2nd year students at Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Enniscrone, Co. Sligo for their project entitled ‘Flint on the Moy? A Geological Study of an Area of Shoreline on the Moy Estuary’. The students were in the Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences category at Junior level.