Maxime Buck won fourth prize in the "systems software" category at Regeneron ISEF; Credit: FJSL

The Fondation Jeunes Scientifiques Luxembourg (FJSL) has announced that two young scientists from Luxembourg recently participated in the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Dallas, Texas (US).

Moritz Rohner and Maxime Buck's respective efforts, supported by Brunata-Metrona and FJSL, received recognition at this annual school science fair in the United States; the Regeneron ISEF took place from Saturday 13 to Friday 19 May 2023.

As FJSL explained, Moritz and Maxime had impressed the jury of the "Jonk Fuerscher" national competition back in March 2023 with their research/innovation projects and were thus selected to participate in ISEF.

With his physics project "Compressed Air Propulsion and Model Rockets", sixteen-year-old Moritz from Lycée de Garçons in Esch-sur-Alzette studied theoretically, numerically and experimentally the thrust of a compressed air rocket, in particular with the objective of achieving a vertical landing.

Fellow sixteen-year-old student Maxime from Lycée Michel Rodange and Luxembourg Tech School developed a new virtual reality (VR) application called "Marbles VR", which allows to build realistic virtual marble tracks with an unlimited number of pieces. 

For his avant-garde and original application (the software contains many innovations in the way it handles hand tracking, noted FJSL), as well as the amount of work done (200 hours of programming, 1,000 lines of code), the ISEF jury awarded Maxime the fourth prize in the "systems software" category (sponsored by Microsoft) of the Grand Awards.

Part of this prize involves a $500 reward, but as the young man acknowledged, "ISEF was a life changing multicultural event that brought me much more than just an award."

The two finalists had to defend their projects against 1,638 other prodigies from all over the world, divided into 21 scientific disciplines. Prior to the competition, they had already undergone a thorough selection process based on their written documents. According to FJSL, Maxime was even almost disqualified because of a misunderstanding: many young scientists had tried Maxime's software during the final of the Jonk Fuerscher competition in Luxembourg and the ISEF jury saw a possible case of unauthorised testing on humans. Ultimately, the finalist was able to defend himself from any infringement during a preliminary interview with the jury.