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ASciNA Awards 2013 Recap

Bridges vol. 39, May 2014 / News from the Network

Photo Credit: Seth JoelIn October 2013, the Austrian Scientists and Scholars in Northern America (ASciNA) and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science and Research (BMWF) gave the ASciNA Awards to Michael Grünwald and Harald Ott. These prizes – €10.000 each– are awarded to scientists for outstanding publications within the last 12 months at North American research facilities. The submissions are reviewed by the Austrian Science Fund, FWF, and awarded in two categories: Principal Investigator and Young Scientist.

Harald Ott received the Principal Investigator Award for his biotechnological building of an artificial kidney. An alumnus of the Medical University of Innsbruck, Ott published his findings in the journal Nature Medicine. Since 2008, Ott has run his own laboratory at Harvard Medical School, his technique having the potential to revolutionize transplant medicine.

Michael Grünwald received the Young Scientist Award for describing how nanocrystals can be made to maintain their high-pressure structure even under normal pressure. Doing his research as a FWF-Schroedinger Fellow, Michael published his article in the scientific journal Nano Letters of the American Chemical Society. He is now working as a computer physicist at the University of Vienna.

South Pacific Chapter: ASCINA talks organized last year

The South Pacific Chapter hosted multiple events in 2013, including a number of speakers on their areas of expertise. In March, Hans Zima gave a talk on High-Performance Parallel Computing. In May, Martin Humenberger spoke about Real-time 3D Reconstruction with Stereo Vision and its Applications. In June, Stefan Brunthaler spoke on Biologically Inspired Computer Security, followed by a September talk from Julia Koerner on MERGE, providing an insight into emergent technologies and how they merge architecture, fashion, and design. Finally, Alexander Stremitzer’s November talk was titled Framing Contracts: Stretch It but Don't Break It.

The chapter also participated in the Austrian Science Talk held in LA, with the chapter heads Sebastian Linnemayr and Irene Maier handing out the ASciNA prizes to Harald Ott and Michael Grünwald.

Pennsylvania Chapter

The chapter had another successful Internship from the Vienna Institute of Technology. The intern, Klara Neuschwandtner, was in the US from September to November and did a commendable job through her collaboration with the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE).

For more information on chapter events, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About ASciNA: Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America (ASciNA) is an independent association established in 2002 with local chapters founded throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. ASciNA aims to support Austrian scientists and researchers in North America as well as Austrians who have returned from North America to Austria or Germany.