26 July 2016

“Inspiring to see what all is possible”

U-Talent student Christian Primavera (17) wins silver at Physics Olympiad

Christian Primavera (17) has won a silver medal at the International Physics Olympiad in Zurich. In the Olympiad, 398 secondary school students compete by solving problems in the fields of theoretical and experimental physics. Primavera is the first Dutch person to win silver since 2004.

Christian Primavera is a participant in the U-Talent programme, in which motivated and talented students attend innovative educational courses. “At U-Talent, we get to see a lot of interesting new things, some of which also have to do with physics”, according to Primavera. “It was especially inspiring to see what all is possible.” U-Talent is a collaborative effort by Utrecht University, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences and secondary schools to promote innovation in science and technology education.

Fun team

Four other Dutch students participated in the International Physics Olympiad along with Primavera: Dennis Hilhorst, Xander de Wit, Sasha Ivlev and Bouke Jansen. Each of them earned an honourable mention. “In Zurich, the Dutch team started out by spending a lot of time together”, Primavera explains. “It was a really fun team, so we enjoyed it quite a bit. During the rest of the week, I also got to know a lot of the other contestants during the excursions.”

The Dutch team with Christian Primavera in the middle (with medal)

Good preparation

Earlier this year, Primavera won the final round of the National Physics Olympiad at Utrecht University. “The selection rounds were a good preparation, because then you know most of the material already.” Naturally, the Dutch team prepared even more for the International Olympiad. “We did a few days of practice training during the day, and we studied theory in the evenings. I also practiced at home with old Olympiads, so I knew what to expect.”

Physics and mathematics

Primavera has just completed his final exams, and next year he plans to study physics and mathematics at TU Delft. As a university student, he is no longer eligible to participate in the International Physics Olympiad, but he is already looking forward to the next step. “I believe that there’s also a physics competition for university students, and I think it would be fun to compete there as well.”