Utrecht students receive Young Talent Awards 2020

Graduation and encouragement prices for technical and scientific subjects

At the annual Young Talent Awards for the technical and scientific fields seven science students from Utrecht University were awarded. A total of 22 thesis prizes for master students and 57 encouragement prizes for first-year students were awarded. The Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen awarded the prizes on 30 November online in Haarlem.

The graduation prizes and encouragement prizes are awarded annually by the Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen, which aims to promote science. The graduation prizes go to the best master's theses in the technical and scientific subjects. The incentive prize is for students with the best grades in the technical and scientific subjects in their first year of study. Both prizes have several categories and different sponsors.

Graduation Award

The Young Talent Shell Physics Graduation Award, with a prize amount of 3,000 euros, went to Debye PhD student Marjolein de Jager, who did her master's research in the group of Laura Filion.

“For her masters thesis, Marjolein explored the behaviour of crystals made out of colloidal particles with a soft repulsion, looking at both the manifestation of defects in these crystals and the nucleation process responsible for their formation. To complete these two parts of her thesis, she mastered an impressive array of computational physics tools, and developed a strong theoretical understanding of multiple areas of statistical physics”, explains Filion. “Due to the high quality of her work, her chapters on defects are in the process of being written up and submitted to a scientific journal, and she is extending the last part into another publication as her first PhD project.”

De Jager also won the Young Talent Encouragement Award Physics five years ago. She is now a PhD student in the Soft Condensed Matter Group.

Encouragement prize

Six Young Talent Encouragement Prizes, each with a prize amount of 500 euros, were awarded to Utrecht science students. Jorn Knuit won the prize in the category Biology. Anna Reinhold received the prize in the category Physics and Technical Physics. The prize in the category Chemistry went to Hester Noordmans. Annick Nouwens won the prize in the category Pharmacy or (bio)pharmaceutical sciences. Rhodon van Tilburg received the prize in the category Informatics and Technical Informatics. And the prize in the category Mathematics and Technical Mathematics went to Richard Wols, who obtained the highest average grades among all students in technical and scientific subjects.