Three Romanian students awarded at International Science and Engineering Fair in the USA

Three students from Romania were awarded prizes at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the most important and prestigious science and engineering competition in the world, under 21. The final round of the competition took place in Los Angeles, USA.

Filip Buscu, David Ghiberdic and Rares Marinescu, students at the International Computer High School of Bucharest (ICHB), took the prize in the Engineering Technology: Statics and Dynamics category. They invented and built an aircraft wing capable of increasing aircraft manoeuvrability, reducing fuel consumption by up to 5% and inducing invisibility properties.

Their project, dubbed Hawk Wing, was examined for three days by nine panels made up of representatives from major US universities, major technology companies and even the US Army.

The Regeneron ISEF is unanimously considered by the US and British academia as the most prestigious STEM competition in the world, well ahead of the international science Olympiads and the first time Romania has been on the podium.

“We only had a month to build the prototype, fly it and collect some of the data that confirmed our theory,” said Filip Buscu, “We built it three times, because we crashed it twice, but it seems that it was our determination to fight to the last minute that the examiners liked,” he added.

The Romanian students were financially supported by sponsors, the most important of them being Hidroelectrica.
“It’s amazing what these kids can do, how they can force technology to leapfrog stages and get immediately applicable results. For us it was an opportunity and an honor to financially support a team that has taken Romanian performance into the big league of science,” said Karoly Borbely, CEO of Hidroelectrica, quoted in a press release issued by the Ascendo Association.

KPMG, Banca Transilvania and the Magdalena and Ovidiu Buluc Cultural Foundation have also contributed to the project.

Filip Buscu is the initiator and leader of the Romanian Orbital Mission space program, which took ROM-2 and ROM-3, Romania’s first functional satellites, into Earth orbit. David Ghiberdic was part of the ROM-3 project team, and Rares Marinescu is a multiple medalist at international physics olympiads.

Currently, the teenagers are involved in several aerospace projects, including a large satellite with advanced research missions, built in collaboration with two major American universities.