With the help of porous metallic substances, Felix Mende was able to filter hazardous pigments and an antibiotic out of wastewater. His research might one day help to make water cleaner by removing pesticides and antibiotics from it. It is an extraordinary project – created by an extraordinary developer. That’s because Felix Mende isn’t a professional researcher with a Ph.D. – he’s a 19-year-old student in his third semester at the Technical University of Dresden. In 2016 Mende won the President’s Award in Germany’s best-known contest for young researchers – the national Jugend forscht competition.
The Innovative Minds of the Future
At the end of May 2017, Germany’s best young researchers will be coming together in Erlangen for the 52nd national Jugend forscht contest. The participants will present their projects in seven areas of expertise and answer the judges’ questions. Siemens will be the contest’s national sponsor for the third time, after having previously served in this capacity in 1976 and 1997.
Best of the Best
In line with the slogan »Zukunft. Ich gestalte sie.«,” 200 young researchers will take part in the final round of the national Jugend forscht contest next year. The event will be held in Erlangen from May 25 to 28, 2017. Every year, the national contest is the climax of a round of competitions. In this final round the researchers, each of whom has previously won first prize in one of 16 state competitions, present their projects to the public. This makes the final round a contest between Germany’s best up-and-coming young scientists. The research projects will be presented in a total of seven areas of expertise. A panel of judges, consisting of specialized teachers, academics, and experts from the business community, will assess the projects.
Finding and Promoting Young Talent
Siemens and Jugend forscht have had a long and successful partnership. Next year the company will be sponsoring the national final round for the third time, after having previously served in this capacity in 1976 and 1997. Moreover, Siemens has been the main sponsor of the regional competition in Middle Franconia for many years and is also the state-level sponsor of the competitions in Berlin and Saxony.
Siemens considers its sponsorship of Jugend forscht to be an effective means of finding talented future employees and attracting them to the company. That’s because the finalists of this national contest are the winners of the previous regional and state competitions in the following areas of expertise: work environment, biology, chemistry, geo and space sciences, mathematics/IT, physics, and technology.
Former National Winner Represents Siemens
Siemens will be represented in its role as sponsor of the 52nd national final round by Frank Anton, who is now turning the vision of electric flight into reality at Siemens Corporate Technology. In 1975 Anton was the national winner of Jugend forscht in the field of technology. “Jugend forscht is great,” says Anton. “Young researchers have creative and innovative ideas, but they have reached their goals only by persistently researching their topics. This is what gives them the self-confidence they will need in order to come up with scientific answers and technological solutions for difficult issues in the future. We at Siemens have learned to listen to the young generation of researchers. Their self-confidence will serve as the basis of our company’s success in the decades ahead.”
As the event’s sponsor, Siemens was allowed to choose the city where the national contest will take place. Siemens selected Erlangen because the city is home to many of the company’s divisions and serves as a key hub of its operations. In fact, Siemens has more than 23,000 employees here. The company plans to build a new Siemens Campus in Erlangen by 2030. The campus will cover 54 hectares and provide workplaces in offices, research facilities, and labs. The result will be a new forum where good ideas can find a home. Moreover, the promotion of talented young people is a key concern in Erlangen, where Siemens currently (as of September 30, 2016) has around 1,000 trainees.