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EELISA Scientific Student Competition: a tradition is being born

2024. 06. 14.

The second event of the initiative was successfully held in Budapest, after an unexpected and sudden change of venue.

"Fifty years ago, me and five of my companions took part in the Hungarian equivalent of this competition, called TDK. We didn't win anything, and this decision was not unfair. It was just wrong'" - with this joke Professor András Pataricza, co-chair of the organising committee, opened the awards ceremony of the EELISA Scientific Student Competition held in Budapest. It is no coincidence that he began his speech by mentioning the long-standing TDK – the initiators of the international event should aspire to achieve similar success.

Pataricza András

The echo of the second EELISA SSC, now organised by the initiator, Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME), suggests that it has a good chance of becoming a tradition. Not only because, compared to the first competition in Pisa, Italy, almost twice as many entries - more than 140 - were found by the pre-screening experts worthy of judging. Not least because, at the awards ceremony, EELISA President Dale A. Martin expressed his satisfaction with the quality of the research presented. But also because it is clear that a competition based on the Hungarian TDK has a place and a function in this community.


This is what András Pataricza said when asked to briefly assess the experience of the event, notoriously moved to the Infopark Q building at the last minute due to the temporary closure of the central building of BME.

"There's a saying in Hungary, 'TDK is eternal', and it's true, this is something loved and appreciated by everyone for over 70 years, regardless of regimes and governments. It carries a value that is unique in the whole of Europe and the current initiative is a first attempt to internationalise it. There are still differences, of course, as the long-established requirements for TDK cannot all be applied yet, with different countries having different practices. There were, for example, some papers that were really valuable from an engineering point of view and would certainly have won a prize in an innovation competition, but scientifically were not outstanding," the professor said.


Overall, he said, it turned out that there were lots of equally good works coming from the international EELISA partners and they could be integrated in a natural way. There was a fairly even balance in the quality and even in the list of institutions of award winning students, although there was no sign of deliberate balancing in the judging. "And it is also important for our university that these foreign students went home having been shown the BME, Budapest and the technical culture of Hungary. Just as the performance of our own students is the best advertisement for our university, the foreign students will carry our good reputation," he added.


After the closing ceremony, we spoke to some of the participants who had achieved first place. Jacob González Isa, a graduate student at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), won the award for his work entitled Detection of metagenomic functional enzyme variants of biotechnological and ecological interest through phylogenomics, and is determined to continue his research at the University of Cambridge, where he will be doing his PhD. "I'm studying bioinformatics, so I don’t have a pure engineering background, but a competition like this is a great opportunity to gain an engineering network. In the field of bioinformatics, computational biology, you need engineering as well," he told


Jacob praised the university, saying its modern buildings were reminiscent of an American institution. Asked if he would change anything about the way the competition was run, he said that some of the sections were perhaps too eclectic, although acknowledged that this could also be seen as a positive – "after all, it's good to step out of your comfort zone trying to deliver a speech to people who are not experts in your actual field".

Miguel Urena Pliego, also from UPM, was awarded first prize for his work entitled Machine learning models for urban analysis: Historical evolution of the surface destined for cars in Vienna and Madrid. He had already visited Budapest before, on a weekend trip during his Erasmus scholarship in Vienna, but this was his first visit to the BME. He said he was very impressed by the local students and teachers he met, and developed good relationships with many of them. And he also has big plans with his research. " I'm working for a department at my university and we have a startup to use the results of out research. The idea is to create a product combining artificial intelligence and satellite imagery that we can then launch on the market," Miguel explained. As for the event origanisation, he suggested that the presentations could use a little more time. "But what is that compared to the fact that everything had to be reorganised due of the high water of the river Danube, and we didn't perceive any of that?" he added with a laugh.


Nuofan Gao, having moved to Europe four years ago from Shanghai, is now a student at last year's host, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (SSSA) in Pisa. His work is entitled Exploring the Success Factors of MetaApp: A Case Study of China's Metaverse Industry. He started by saying that the city was almost familiar to him, as it reminded him very much of Milan, Italy. However, the BME is huge compared to the SSSA, "almost the size of a Chinese university", and it is very impressive that a small part of the city is occupied by solely the campus. He said that the K building is particularly impressive, at first he thought it was the parliament building. He noted that the art exhibition in the lobby of building Q was astonishing. "It's quite strange when you first enter the university building and see all these things moving around without any control," he added. (Please read about the exhibition here.)


He summed up the subject of his research by saying that the metaverse industry in China is the opposite of what companies like Meta and Microsoft are following. "In America, the big technnology companies are using sophisticated equipment to produce high-quality metaverse images, but this makes the service unaccessibly for most users because of the equipment being expensive. Tot he contrary, the version popular in China sacrifices quality in exchange for more accessible content. It was implemented by a PhD student at Yao University, who then protected some interesting patents and set up his own company. It's an inspiring story for me too, because I used to think that PhD students were just supposed to go on an academic career path and eventually become professors."

Csenge Dremák graduated as a mechanical engineer and is now studying environmental engineering at BME. She says she would like to actively contribute to sustainability goals through her research. It is also related to this research (Production of wood-plastic composite using polyolefin and wood waste), dealing with the mechanical properties of wood-reinforced composite and the suitability of microplastics for recycling. The paper could become a thesis. "It was a good experience to present in English in front of an international audience, talking to foreign students. I was especially happy to see other sustainability topics in my panel," Csenge said.


She added that she likes being in an international environment, trying herself in new situations, and got the impression that the visitors were very open-minded. Several people asked after her presentation, so it seems "this event is very good for networking as well". For this reason, she would like to see more forums where students can exchange ideas about their research. Though all the informal programmes are good, she would still like to have more discussions about professional issues.


For András Pataricza, in addition to the work of the "fantastically enthusiastic teaching team and the equally committed organising team", it was an experience to see how ecstatic the participants were at the awards ceremony, "something I have never experienced at a domestic TDK competition before". The event has therefore proved its worth in every aspect and they are delighted to continue. No formal decision has been taken yet, it is up to the organising partners to decide, but "I would be very surprised if, after two such successful events, it was not supported by everyone."

Photo gallery of the event


A díjazottak:

Social sciences 2   
1st prizePawan KumarBudapest University of Technology and Economics (BME)
2nd prizeRosario Carretero CasadoUniversidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM)
3rd prizeAlessandro ValfrèScuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA)
Special prize - Interdisciplinary approachGuillermo Cruz PintoUPM
Honorable mentionAwrin RakshitFriedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg
Honorable mentionMatteo Dalle LucheSSSA
Honorable mentionCiprian NeguraUniversitatea Politehnica din București  (UPB)
Honorable mentionAna-Maria Marin, Georgiana Cretu, Radu-Marian Orită, Veronica ConstantinUPB




Social sciences 1   
1. díjNuofan GaoSSSA
2. díjLeonardo RicciSSSA
Special prize - InnovationRita LadjánszkyBME
Special prize – Social impactLilla HarangozóBME
Honorable mentionOzan DemirelIstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi (ITÜ)
Honorable mentionUlysse ManhesUniversité Paris Sciences & Lettres (PSL)
Honorable mentionCristina-Mihaela Fleaca, 
Radu-Marian Bujdoiu, 
Radu-Marian Bujdoiu




Innovative mobilty  
1. díjMiguel Ureña PliegoUPM
2. díjRebeka Anna JágerBME
3. díjRubén Flores GandurUPM
Special prize – Young talentBabiuc Daria, Victor LuncașuUPB
Honorable mentionGábor JevuczóBME
Honorable mentionSofija IlićUPM
Honorable mentionGeorge Daniel EnacheUPB
Honorable mentionRares-Alexandru NiculescuUPB
Honorable mentionMircea-Dan MiricăUPB
Honorable mentionJanka Tihanyi, 
Nóra Julianna Ráduly




Smart production  
1. díjCsenge DremákBME
2. díjRadulovic LukaBME
3. díjDániel NagyBME
Special prize – SustainabilityMarina Castro de TroyaUPM
Honorable mentionJacobo Garrido DelgadoUPM
Honorable mentionPaul Cretu, Andreea TanaseUPB
Honorable mentionBarnabás PiriBME
Honorable mentionLaura MailatUPB




1. díjBalázs EndrészBME
2. díjZsanett BertókBME
3. díjMiguel Grande RáezUPM
Special prize – Space detectionBianka Forczek, 
Levente Ákos Ludvig
Honorable mentionIulian-Nicolae Petriia, Daniel-Ioan MircuUPB
Honorable mentionCercel Dragos-Stefan, Dogaru Paul-Leonard, Hutart Mara-Ioana, Luca Dan-Andrei, Rusu Cosmin-ConstantinUPB
Honorable mentionLászló GácsiBME
Honorable mentionAhmet Turan AkcayITÜ




1. díjNandor KofaragoBME
2. díjÁrmin ZavadaBME
3. díjAlvaro Garcia-BarraganUPM
Special prize – Sports analyticsBalázs Márk MihályiBME
Special prize – Mobility supportMárk CzimberBME
Honorable mentionCătălin Chelmuș, 
Ionuț-Liviu Mogda, 
Gabriel-Alexandru Constantinescu, 
Andrei-George Nicola
Honorable mentionÁgoston DalottiBME
Honorable mentionAlberto González CalatayudUPM
Honorable mentionAndrei Time, 
Sorin Ionescu, 
Diego Augusto de Jesus Pacheco
Applied informatics  
1. díjKristóf FlochBME
1. díjKata Dóra VinczeBME
3. díjZoltán SimonBME
Special prize – New generation energyRadu Cristian OpreanuUPB
Különdíj – fiatal tehetségMárton Lukács GellérBME
Honorable mentionȘtefan-Matei Gheorghitá, 
Adrian-Ionuț David
Honorable mentionBenedek ZentaiBME
Honorable mentionLaurențiu-Alexandru Zaharia, Miruna-Elena Talmacel, Alex-Ionuț MarinescuUPB
Honorable mentionSorana-Eliza Baltaretu, 
Robert-Mihai Pivoda




1. díjEszter NagyhegyesiBME
2. díjNikolett GeraszinBME
2. díjRand SukkarBME
Special prize – Scientific and practical contributionDorottya Lizer, 
Luca Szakonyi
Honorable mentionJing ZhangUPM
Honorable mentionİrem EsenITÜ
Honorable mentionNuh ErturkUPB
Honorable mentionNóra HangodiBME




1. díjAhmet KaymakSSSA
1. díjLisabeth EmiliusFAU
3. díjLinnea EvansonPSL
Special prize – Clinical potentialLeandro MancinaZürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (ZHAW)
Special prize - Elderly careAlexa Diana KalyaniiUPB
Honorable mentionShannon VlahakisZHAW
Honorable mentionIrene Pinilla FernándezUPM
Honorable mentionAndra-Cristiana Maria-Fulasu, 
Ruxandra-Ioana Cipu, 
Ștefan-Cătălin Petrescu
Honorable mentionMihaela-Cristina StrîmtoreanuUPB




Applied sciences 1  
1. díjJacob González IsaUPM
2. díjMehmet Orhan ŞirinITÜ
Special prize - InnovationVictoria-Elena PlopeanuUPB
Special prize - Simulation-based designAlfonso Lainez MuñizUPM
Honorable mentionLaura PascalUPB
Honorable mentionBianca HârseanuUPB




Applied sciences 2   
1. díjIstván AndorfiBME
2. díjDonát Ákos KöllerBME
Special prize - Scientific impactBence FitosBME
Különdíj - Scientific impactDan MaurelPSL
Honorable mentionAlexandra-Maria Bors, 
Andrei-Robert Coman
Honorable mentionIsrael López Moreno, 
Helena Uyá Ramírez




Chemical and bioengineering  
1. díjAlessandro PasquiPSL
2. díjSuvija SuthakaranZHAW
3. díjBalázs BorbásBME
Special prize - Best presentationAdriana Recalde GarceteUPM
Special prize - InnovationAlin-Ionuț Alecu,
Ana-Maria Albu, 
Celina Maria Damian, 
Andra Mihaela Onas, 
Cristina Stavarache, 
Roxana Truscá
Honorable mentionEnrique Algar ArévaloUPM
Honorable mentionCristian RaduUPB
Honorable mentionDavid Hidalgo-CarvajalUPM
Honorable mentionPaul Valentin Lovin, 
Ana-Maria Albu, 
Iulia Neblea, 
Ioana Cătălina Gifu, 
Bogdan Trica, 
Cristian Andy Nicolae




Built environment  
1. díjSamuel Reyes SanzUPM
2. díjAdél OloszBME
Special prize - Environmental ImpactNerea Portillo JuanUPM
Honorable mentionAlejandro José Terrones GarcíaUPM
Honorable mentionMáté Álmos SzondiBME
Honorable mentionLevente SzatmáriBME
Organizing Committee (all members by BME): Balázs Kövesdi (chairman), András Pataricza (co-chairman), Eszter Tóthné Mischl (secretary), Cecília Liszkay (secretary), László Gergely Vigh (EELISA coordinator), Brigitta Szilágyi, Máté Zöldy, Ágnes Urbin, Noémi Csigéné Nagypál, Patrik Gádoros, Dóra Máthé, Sándor Kiss, Csaba Fehér, Márk Kovács, Bálint Molnár, Boglárka Tóth, Enikő Buda, Zsuzsanna Jászai, Dóra Baranyai, Marianna Oros-Klementisz, András Horváth, Éva Kármán-Tamus, Márton Pluzsik, Attila Ficsor, Milán Mondok, Márton Virt, Réka Mándoki, Mihály Dobos Kovács, Bálint Kurucz, Kata Buda.