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The Werner von Siemens Prizes 2021 were awarded to the best students, teachers and young scientists. Find out more about the winners!

The Werner von Siemens Prizes 2021 were awarded to the best students, teachers and young scientists. Find out more about the winners!
photo: Siemens/The Werner von Siemens Prizes 2021 were awarded to the best students, teachers and young scientists. Find out more about the winners!
21 / 05 / 2022

The Werner von Siemens Prizes, which are awarded by Siemens to the best students, teachers and young scientists in the Czech Republic, were awarded for the 24th time yesterday. Independent juries selected the best theses, projects and personalities in the engineering and science fields in eight categories: best basic research result, best thesis, best dissertation and best teacher. Along with the students, the supervisors and mentors of their theses were rewarded as well. Awards were again given this year for overcoming barriers to study, excellence in women's scientific work, a graduate thesis on Industry 4.0 and a graduate thesis on smart infrastructure and energy.In the twenty-fourth edition of the Werner von Siemens Prize, the juries selected the winners from 568 applications, and CZK 900,000 were distributed among the 21 winners. Thirty-one per cent of the entries were from women, with women representing 24% of the winners. Most of the winners are from the CTU Prague (6 winners), followed by the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (4 winners), and the third place was taken by the Brno University of Technology (3 winners). Since the beginning of the competition, CZK 14,300,000 have been distributed among the winners.

In the category of the most significant basic research result, the Werner von Siemens Prize 2021 was awarded to a team of authors led by Mgr. Bruno de la Torre, PhD, from Palacký University in Olomouc, CATRIN, for the work entitled "Imaging the non-uniform distribution of the electron charge on the atom: sigma-holes." The members of the awarded team are Mgr. Benjamin Mallada Faes Aurelio Gallardo, MSc. (AV - FZU) and Mgr. Maximilián Lamanec (AV - IOCB). Via a new method, the authors of the winning paper were the first worldwide to observe the non-uniform distribution of the electron charge around a halogen atom, the so-called sigma-hole. The new imaging method that led to this scientific success opens the way to improving the material and structural properties of many physical, biological or chemical systems that affect our daily lives.

First prize in the Werner von Siemens Prize 2021 for the best dissertation was awarded to Ing. Petr Hauschwitz, PhD from the Faculty of Nuclear and Physical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague. He received the award for his thesis entitled "Large-scale functionalization of surfaces using laser-created micro-and nanostructures." The award-winning work describes unique methods of laser micromachining and opens up new possibilities for creating functional surfaces, such as superhydrophobic, antibacterial, ice-phobic, self-cleaning, or anticorrosive.

In the category of the best diploma thesis, the winner was Ing. Senta Műllerová from the Faculty of Textiles of the Technical University of Liberec for her thesis entitled "Incorporation of antibiotics into biodegradable nanofibre layers for new medical applications." In her work, she focused on increasing the efficiency of nanofibers used in medicine using surface modifications and the incorporation of active substances into nanofibers.

As the best teaching fellow, the 2021 Werner von Siemens Prize was awarded to Assoc. Mgr. Petr Kovář, PhD, from the University of Mining and Metallurgy - Technical University of Ostrava, where he teaches mathematics. The jury appreciated Petr Kovář's long-standing efforts to arouse his students' enthusiasm for mathematics and complex mathematical questions. Petr Kovář has written two textbooks and many teaching texts and regularly holds lectures popularising mathematics at secondary and primary schools.

The award for excellence in women's scientific work went to Ing. Hana Macíčková Cahová, PhD from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Academy of Sciences. In her paper entitled "Dinucleoside polyphosphates act as 5′-RNA caps in bacteria," she and her team demonstrated that the peripheral ends of RNA depend on the load and environment to which the cell is exposed. This finding represents a significant potential for future applications in applied medicine.

The award for overcoming obstacles went to Ing. Tomáš Zbavitel from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Brno University of Technology. Tomáš Zbavitel has been deaf since birth, but despite this, he successfully passed the state final exam (the first in sign language) in the Engineering Mechanics field and defended his thesis entitled "Classification of objects by image processing based on topology change." Using neural networks, Tomas Zbavitel created a unique technical dictionary for the deaf that can be used to translate technical terms into sign language.

The award for the best paper on Industry 4.0 went to Ing. Stefan Grushko, PhD from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Mining and Metallurgy - Technical University of Ostrava. The award was given to the dissertation entitled "Motion planning of a manipulator in a dynamic environment using information from an RGB-D sensor". The award for the best thesis on Smart Infrastructure and Energy was given to Ing. Nikola Pokorný, PhD from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague. He was awarded for his thesis entitled "Glazed Liquid Photovoltaic-Heat Collector."

The jury also awarded a special mention for visionary work in the Industry 4.0 field to Ing. arch. Jan Petrš, PhD. for his work "Building Robotic Systems - Design of a Self-Configuring System with Shared Actuators." The thesis deals with a robotic system that enables self-assembly in the field of architecture.

 

About the Werner von Siemens Prize

The Werner von Siemens Prize is organized by Siemens with prominent representatives of universities and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, who are also the sponsors of the individual categories and participate in the best entries evaluation. This year, 56 experts and representatives of academia and non-profit organisations sat on the independent juries. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Industry and Trade provided patronage for the 24th annual awards. The partners of the competition are Siemens Mobility s.r.o. and Siemens Advanta.

With its scope, amount of financial rewards and history, the Werner von Siemens Award is one of the most important independent initiatives of this kind in the Czech Republic.

 

Citation for the Werner von Siemens Award:

  • Ing. Eduard Palíšek, Ph.D., MBA, CEO of Siemens Czech Republic:

"Science and research are the basis for progress and prosperity because they provide answers to the complex questions that countries and companies are dealing with today." "Educators are still not getting the recognition they deserve. They have been able to support their students and pupils in a difficult time of coronavirus crisis, tirelessly helping them to navigate an increasingly complex world. I hope that the philosophy of the Werner von Siemens Prizes, where we recognize their teachers alongside their students, shows how much we value their work."

"The awards for overcoming obstacles to study and for excellence in women's scientific work are our answer to the question of diversity. I hope the trend of advocacy on these issues will gain momentum."

  • Mgr. MgA. Roman Kokšal, CEO of Siemens Mobility Czech Republic:

"I very much appreciate the fact that in the Czech Republic, we have had the opportunity to reward talented students, scientists and teachers for over twenty years. Education and development are part of our corporate DNA which is very closely linked to the Czech academic sphere. It is mainly thanks to quality graduates that we can continually expand our local competencies, lead international projects and be a reliable partner for our customers." 

  • Mgr. Vladimír Kulla, Director of Siemens Advanta for the Czech Republic and Europe: 

"The R&D field is a highly competitive environment, and it is doubly true for corporate development. The quality of the winning entries in this year's Werner von Siemens Prize shows that Czech students and young scientists are not lost in the world."

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