23 January 2017

Dublin student announced as winner of the 53rd BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition

Dublin student announced as winner of the 53rd BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition

Sixteen-year-old Shane Curran, a 5th year student from Terenure College, Dublin, has taken home the top prize in the 53rd BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE).

Shane’s winning project - ‘qCrypt: The quantum-secure, encrypted, data storage solution with multijurisdictional quorum sharding technology’ competed in the senior section of the Technology category.

Shane’s award includes a prize-fund of €5,000, the BTYSTE perpetual trophy, and a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the European Space Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands. In addition, he will have the opportunity to represent Ireland at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Tallinn, Estonia later this year.

Ideas galore

Shay Walsh, managing director, BT Ireland, said: “It has been an incredible exhibition that has captured the imaginations of tens of thousands of visitors who came to support young people and their ideas. I want to congratulate every student that entered, and in particular Shane, our overall winner.”

He continued: “Technology skills are critical to companies like BT, and we are delighted to help discover home-grown talent in critical skills such as security and data storage that are needed by organisations based here and globally.”

Greater protection

Discussing the winning entry, BT Young Scientist judge John Dunnion, said: “qCrypt is a novel distributed data storage system that provides greater protection for user data than is currently available. It addresses a number of shortfalls of current data encryption systems. In particular, the algorithm used in the system has been demonstrated to be resistant to attacks by quantum computers in the future.”

He added: “As part of the qCrypt project, an entire software platform with an intuitive user interface has been developed. The application has been written using state-of-the-art coding techniques.”

More than 1,100 students from 375 schools across the island of Ireland competed for the coveted title of ‘BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year 2017’.

The award for Group winner went to students Michael Sheehan and Jack Murphy, both aged 16, 4th year students at Colaiste Treasa, Kanturk, Co. Cork for their project entitled ‘Prey availability for hen harriers in managed farmland’. The students were in the Biological & Ecological Sciences category at Intermediate level.