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On 25 November five Faculty of Science students received a Young Talent Encouragement Prize of 500 euros from the Royal Holland Society of Sciences (KHMW).

The prize-winning students of the Faculty of Science (from left to right): Constantijn, Bram, Zilva, Younes, Bente. Photo: Hilde de Wolf.

Exceptional study results

The lucky winners are:

  • Constantijn Dekker, Mathematics and technical mathematics;
  • Bram van der Velde, Physics and technical physics (joint with VU);
  • Zilva van Rossum, Biology;
  • Younes Hamdoud, Informatics and technical Informatics;
  • Bente Reus, Chemistry (joint with VU).

These students have won a prize of € 500,- for their exceptional study results.

Tata Steel Graduation Prize

Susan Rigter (Faculty of Science alumnus Physics) won the Tata Steel Graduation Prize for Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (€ 5000). The title of her thesis is Amorphous Organic-Inorganic Perovskites.

Susan Rigter won the Tata Steel Graduation Prize for Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. Photo: Hilde de Wolf.

What do the students actually think of it?

At the Faculty of Science we are very proud of these students, but what do they actually think of it? We have asked them a few questions:

What was your reaction when you read that you are one of the prize winners?

Constantijn: 'There is only one correct response when you receive an e-mail stating that you have won a prize, and that is to check that you are not dealing with a virus! But seriously: besides disbelief there was of course a lot of joy and pride. '

Younes: 'The initial mail had landed in my spam folder unnoticed. I was later called and congratulated on a certain cash prize. At first I was skeptical and actually wanted to hang up the phone immediately. When I found the e-mail and found out that I had actually won something, I was very happy because that is not often the case for me. '


How do you explain your exceptional study results?

Bente: 'I would not necessarily call my study results exceptional. I enjoy studying chemistry and my grades are the result of that. '

Constantijn: 'The study of mathematics suits me very well and I was very enthusiastic about it last year. It all went without saying, because I had a lot of fun in it for the majority of the time. '

Bram: 'I cannot explain my results other than from an interest in physics. Enthusiasm for the profession you are doing helps enormously in really wanting and then really starting to understand the material. I do have to add that there was a fair amount of luck involved in winning the prize. '


What are you currently doing in your studies?

Younes: 'I am now in my second year and am busy with courses on parallel programming and algorithms. The first course is mainly about making programs faster by doing several things at the same time. The second course is about algorithms; you can see these as a kind of cooking recipes. We are interested in how long they last in connection with their imports (How long do I take for my omelet with 1 egg? And with 1000 eggs?). '

Bente: 'I was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disease, last summer. As a result, I became completely paralyzed. Fortunately the recovery is going well and after a short stay in Heliomare I am recovering at home. I hope to be able to start my education again in February. '

Constantijn: 'I have started my second year. I quit the bachelor's degree in mathematics and computer science so that I can only focus on mathematics, because I like that much more. I am more concerned with understanding the topics and propositions than the figures I get, and that is why I think it is very important to have time to think things through carefully. '

Bram: 'This year I started the second year of my bachelor and I mainly try to develop myself outside my studies.'


What are you going to do with the 500?

Bram: 'With the 500 euros, I am giving my study round to those who are motivated and work hard, but have not necessarily achieved the most exceptional results. If there is still money left, there are plenty of other fun things to do! '

Constantijn: 'I don't really know that. I have to admit that I find these questions more difficult to answer than most exam questions! I'll probably put it in a jar and see if I can do something nice with it later. '

Bente: 'I don't yet know what I'm going to do with the prize money, but first I want to be able to walk around in Science Park again.'

Younes: 'I intend to repay a quarter of my study debt.'