Students go to Bucharest for Plancks 2016 physics contest

29 June 2016

A team of four UK-based students took part in the Plancks 2016 physics contest in Romania in May, in a trip organised by Benjamin Cowan of the IOP’s University Student Network (USN).

Students go to Bucharest for Plancks 2016 physics contest

The three-day annual event was held in Bucharest on 20-23 May, with 23 teams from 16 countries taking part. The team, which competed under the name STASZIC UK, came 9th overall in what is believed to be the first year in which a UK team has entered the competition.

The four (pictured left to right) were team captain Mateusz Ogrodziński (a first-year undergraduate at the University of Warwick), Jakub Mrożek (a third-year undergraduate at University College London), Antoni Hanke (a first-year undergraduate at the University of Oxford), and Jan Marucha (also a first-year undergraduate at the University of Oxford).

They had to answer 10 “gruelling” questions in a four-hour paper examination set by various professors from the University of Bucharest, Cowan said. The overall winners were a team from the Czech Republic.

The competition was organised by the International Association of Physics Students with help from the Association of Physics Students and the Faculty of Physics at the University of Bucharest, which also hosted the awards presentations and closing ceremony.

Cowan, who is a member of the USN committee, said: “I was very excited about sending a team to PLANCKS 2016 – to represent the UK and showcase the talent of our physics students was a privilege. I am delighted with the results; reaching the top 10 is an excellent achievement and I am looking forward to finding a new team for next year’s competition. The USN hopes to run preliminaries early next year to choose the team for 2017, so we are urging students to keep an eye out for details of the competition.” The team collectively commented: “We'll be back next year with twice the university education.”