In December 2019, on the occasion of the announcement of the public SUN-ERGY kickoff event, SUNRISE and ENERGY-X asked young researchers to enter a photo competition. The task was to illustrate, both with a picture and a short abstract of no more than 250 words, their work on renewable energies’ conversion and storage into clean fuels and chemicals.

The response was phenomenal: we received eleven entries in only three weeks! Some entrants highlighted their aim to keep working towards mitigating climate change through creative illustrations. Others tried to show their daily work in the lab through their microscope cameras. The standard of writing was impressive, and the scope of ideas inspiring.

The winner is a compelling picture and abstract by Amedeo Agosti, a PhD fellow student at the University of Bologna, Italy. Amedeo submitted an original piece on Giacomo Ciamician, his dream of having a civilization based on the utilization of solar energy and how he contributes to make it come true through his research on the artificial photosynthesis. It stood out to the judges as a reminder of why many scientists do research: to make the world better tomorrow than it is today.

All entries underwent a public voting on the recently created SUN-ERGY Instagram account on January 16-22, 2020. The three most- “liked” pictures were then ranked by a judging panel, that was formed by three members of the SUN-ERGY board: Joanna Kargul (University of Warsaw), Frédéric Chandezon (CEA), and Andreas Förster (DECHEMA).

We also selected two runners-up. PhD fellow student Philipp Gotico at the Institute of Molecular Sciences in Orsay, showed his research in the reduction and valorization of carbon dioxide. Fellow Gastón Larrazábal at the Technical University of Denmark explained how to make sustainable fuels and chemicals out of thin air.

Our contest winner will be awarded one travel grant of €500, in order to give a talk and present his work at the SUN-ERGY kickoff event on February 5-6, 2020 in Brussels. All the eleven photo entries along with their respective abstracts will be showcased in form of a photo exhibition, during the meeting. This will be a unique opportunity to promote the young researchers’ work to move from a linear to a circular economy by 2050!

We would like to thank our judging panel for their great commitment and all the participants who took part in the competition. All the entries show that today’s young scientists have a wealth of ideas, talent and conviction that research can transform their world. We look forward to seeing what they do next! 😊

Check out Amedeo Agosti’s presentation at the SUN-ERGY kick-off event.