Shane O’Connor & Liam Carew Awarded 2nd Place At EU Contest For Young Scientists (EUCYS)


Shane O’Connor and Liam Carew, winners of the BTYSTE 2023, have been awarded second place at this year’s EU Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) in Brussels – the Awards ceremony was held on Saturday afternoon.

Shane and Liam, former students at Abbey School, Tipperary town, were singled out by the EUCYS judging panel for their BTYSTE winning project, titled ‘Assessing the impact of second-level education on key aspects of adolescents’ life and development.’

The project saw Shane and Liam survey 2,000 12–19-years-old students across Ireland to examine how they found their education experiences impacted their social, physical, and mental wellbeing. Liam and Shane, who sat their Leaving Certificate exams this year, wowed the judges at the EUCYS with the depth of their research, which found that secondary school is vital for the social development of most students.

At EUCYS, the young Tipperary men, competed against over 130 young scientists aged 14 to 20 years from 36 countries, including EU member states and the USA, Canada, and South Korea.

Both travelled home from Brussels on Sunday and are due to start their third level studies in UCC on Monday – in July the pair spent 15 days in the UK  – also part of their prize for winning the BTYSE 2023.  This two-week residential STEM event was held at Imperial College London and included visits to Oxford and Cambridge.

Speaking on their achievement, Shane O’Connor says “It was an honour to represent Ireland in Brussels and share our work with the international STEM community. With the level of competition so high, we cannot believe our work has been recognised as one of Europe’s best today.”

Liam Carew added, “It is fantastic to end EUCYS on such a high. We are heading straight into our first year at University College Cork (UCC) on Monday, and we can safely say that the skills we have developed at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition and here at EUCYS have been crucial in preparing us for university life.” 

Mari Cahalane, Head of the BTYSTE, BT Ireland says the entire BTYSE team are incredibly proud of Liam and Shane and what they that they have achieved, from their time at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition 2023, to now taking home the second prize at the EUCYS.

Ms Cahalane is now encouraging others to be confident and to get their entries in for the exhibition in January 2024 by Monday the 2nd of October. Entrants are asked to fill out an online application form and simply submit a one-page proposal outlining their idea. Qualified entries will be announced at the end of October and will be showcased at BTYSTE 2024 in January – and then you never know …..