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FNR Awards 2020 CELEBRATING science & research in Luxembourg

For the 12th time, the FNR held the FNR Awards - the annual celebration of science and research in Luxembourg. For obvious reasons, the normal physical event was simply not possible this year, but this did not stop the celebration from taking place! A solution was found and the event was shifted to 100% digital for the first time. Seven FNR Awards were presented across four categories.

The 2020 FNR Awards were live streamed on various platforms on 19 November 2020. Watch the replay below to get the full experience. Present in the 'studio' was host Lisa Burke, FNR Secretary General Marc Schiltz and Government Commissioner Romain Martin, with the awardees joining the Ceremony via video.

2020 FNR AWARD WINNERS

Outstanding PhD Thesis

WINNER

THIERRY TITCHEU CHEKAM

(University of Luxembourg – SnT)

Thierry investigated how to improve software testing techniques. This is important because bugs still happen in deployed software and can have serious consequences.

He designed an automated (machine learning) test input generation technique that can improve the quality of one method used for testing (so-called mutation testing) by 20 to 30% compared to the state of the art.

Outstanding PhD Thesis

WINNER

MACIEJ CHRZANOWSKI

University of Luxembourg / ArcelorMittal Belval / Differdange

In his thesis, Maciej analysed the structural behaviour of a particular type of heavy composite columns, that form the backbone of modern high-rise buildings.

He also proposes an innovative engineering model and a new type of shear connectors that both help to improve the safety and cost-efficiency of tall building construction.

Find out more about Maciej's research below

Maciej Chrzanowski has been featured in Spotlight on Young Researchers - read his feature here

Outstanding Research-Driven Innovation

WINNER

CLAUDINE KIRSCH & SIMONE MORTINI

University of Luxembourg

Kirsch & Montini developed a series of short videos that show educators and teachers how multiple languages can be used throughout the day.

The videos are used in professional development courses and are currently the only evidence-based videos that exist to show practical examples of multilingual pedagogy, activities and strategies for both the formal and non-formal education sector.

Outstanding Scientific Publication

WINNER

CAROLE LINSTER, NICOLE PACZIA, JULIA BECKER-KETTERN, JEAN-FRANÇOIS CONROTTE, DANIEL KAY

University of Luxembourg

Caroline Linster and her team helped to identify the cause and mechanism of a previously unrecognised rare childhood disorder.

Beyond the direct impact of human health, this work highlights the importance of metabolite-repair systems in cellular biology and human health. This is a concept which has only emerged recently and has been led by Linster and her team.

Outstanding Scientific Publication

WINNER

LAURENT PFISTER, NÚRIA MARTÍNEZ-CARRERAS, CHRISTOPHE HISSLER, JULIAN KLAUS, GWENAEL E. CARRER, MIKE K. STEWART, JEFFREY J. MCDONNELL

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)

The team from LIST explored how the deeper storage space below the thin layer of soil that mantles the river basin controls how catchments store, mix and release water.

Tracking the movement of water (i.e. rainfall, turning into stream and river flow) below the surface of the Earth is fundamental to understanding the impacts of humans on the landscape and mitigating the impacts of climatic change on society.

Outstanding Promotion of Science to the Public

WINNER

CAROLE BLOND-HANTEN

Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)

Carole Blond-Hanten designed “GG”, a giant board game that helps to raise awareness among children, young adults and adults towards gender imbalances and stereotypes.

In addition, it teaches players the underlying scientific method that was used to collect the research data on which the game is based.

Find out more about this project in the video below

The "GG" was featured as a success story in the 2019 FNR Annual Report. Read the feature here

Outstanding Promotion of Science to the Public

WINNER

SOPHIE WAGNER, SABINE SCHMITZ, RUXANDRA SOARE LELUBRE, LUCIE DEBROUX, LISA SMITS, PHILIPPE LAMESCH

University of Luxembourg (LCSB)

The project "Mind the Brain", organised as part of the 10-year anniversary of the LCSB, combined art and science by collaborating with renowned Luxembourg-based artists.

10 giant painted brains with a link to different brain research topics were exhibited at public spots in Luxembourg city and sold afterwards to raise funds for research.