Shane Curran took the top prize at the third day of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS for his project entitled ‘qCrypt: The quantum- secure, encrypted, data storage solution with multi- jurisdictional quorum sharding technology’.
Organisers say over 1,100 students from 375 schools competed for the title this year.
Judge John Dunnion said that Shane’s application has been written “using state-of-the-art coding techniques.” “qCrypt is a novel distributed data storage system that provides greater protection for user data than is currently available,” said Mr Dunnion.
“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. As part of the qCrypt project, an entire software platform with an intuitive user interface has been developed,” he said.
Shane’s award includes a prize fund of €5,000, the Young Scientist perpetual trophy, and a trip to the European Space Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands.
Shane will have the opportunity to represent Ireland at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Tallinn, Estonia later this year.
The award for Group winner went to 16-year-old students Michael Sheehan and Jack Murphy, who are in fourth year at Colaiste Treasa, Kanturk, Co Cork for their project entitled ‘Prey availability for hen harriers in managed farmland’.
The Individual runner-up award was presented to Cormac Larkin, 19, a sixth year student at Colaiste An Spioraid Naoimh, Bishopstown, Co Cork for his project entitled ‘Case study of Data Mining in Observational Astronomy: The search for new OB stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud’.
Jack O’Connor and Diarmuid Curtin from Desmond College Limerick won the Irish Aid-sponsored ‘Science for Development’ Award for their ‘Ergonomic Planter’ project.
Education Minister Richard Bruton presented Shane with his prize, and praised both the event and sponsor BT, who this week confirmed it would continue to support the exhibition for the next three years.
“The exhibition is a highlight for the education calendar every year, and I am delighted BT will continue to support this event until 2020,” he said.
The exhibition continues today and is open to the public from 9.30am until 5.30pm.