Quantum pioneer Adam Kelly named one of Europe’s best young scientists

17 Sep 2019995 Views

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EUCYS 2019 winner Adam Kelly. Image: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

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Dubliner Adam Kelly has been named Europe’s best young scientist for his work in trying to usher in a quantum computer revolution.

Following his win at the 2019 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) last January, Adam Kelly has now received another major accolade after being named a first-place winner at this year’s European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) in Sofia, Bulgaria.

His project, titled ‘Optimising the simulation of general quantum circuits’, involved the development of a tool to select the optimum algorithm for the simulation of particular quantum circuits, which may inform the development of a practical quantum computer. After winning over the judges at the BTYSTE in Dublin, Kelly’s prize included the chance to represent Ireland at EUCYS.

The four first-prize winners of the competition – including Kelly – have won €7,000 each.

The other winners included: Magnus Quaade Oddershede from Denmark for his project, ‘The wingtip’s influence on the efficiency of airplane wings’; Alex Korocenev and Felix Christian Sewing from Germany for ‘Hoverboard – a magnetically levitated vehicle’; and Leo Li Takemaru and Poojan Pandya from the US for their project, ‘Investigating the role of the novel ESCRT-III recruiter CCDC11 in HIV budding: Identifying a potential target for antiviral therapy’.

A string of achievements

Commenting on Kelly’s success, Mari Cahalane, head of BTYSTE, said: “I want to congratulate Adam for his success here at the EUCYS. As one of the most highly regarded international student science competitions, it is a fantastic demonstration of student STEM achievement.

“Ireland has consistently done very well at the competition and Adam has continued this strong record with his achievement here today.”

Kelly’s trophy cabinet has been filling steadily since winning SciFest in November 2018, and being one of three Irish students named as prize winners at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held in May. He was among three winners of the Dudley R Herschbach SIYSS Award, which is given to highlight “some of the most remarkable achievements by young scientists from across the world”.

In addition to having an asteroid named after him, Kelly is set to go on an all-expenses-paid trip to the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar during the Nobel Prize ceremonies in December.

Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

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