In 2015, Camilla Hurst won the Luxembourg national competition Jonk Fuerscher. In the same year she won the first prize in the CASTIC (China Adolescents' Science and Technology Innovation Contest) international Science Competition in Shanghai.
Since then, the young Luxembourg scientist has been on a winning streak. In 2016, she was again a winner of the Luxembourg national competition Jonk Fuerscher. And in July 2016 she was awarded the Georges Charpak Medal at Expo Sciences Europe in Toulouse.
On 20 May, Camilla Hurst won the 4th prize in her category with her project entitled The Role of Materials and Surfaces in the Transmission of Bacteria in Public Places at the International Science and Engineering Fair. This is the most prestigious pre-university scientific contest in the world.
The team from Luxembourg.lu asked Camilla Hurst three questions.
How did you get the idea to research bacteria?
I began my research three years ago, during the Ebola epidemic. I was interested in how viruses can be passed on from person to person so quickly, with very serious consequences. In my research this year, I was mainly interested in the aspect of the increasing resistance of bacteria to anti-bacterial treatments, due to the overuse of antibiotics. Most bacteria are passed on from person to person. This is why I tried to find ways to reduce this transmission, and thus to prevent the development of bacteria that are even more resistant.
What has changed in your life since you discovered a new bacterium?
Since I won the Jonk Fuerscher prize last year, I have had the chance to take part in other exhibitions and science competitions in Toulouse and in Shanghai in China. I was able to discuss my project with other young scientists and with specialists. I also had the chance to discover a culture that is very different to our own, particularly in China. I will have the same type of experience this year when I take part in the Intel Isef competition in Los Angeles, which is my prize that I won at the Jonk Fuerscher competition this year.
What are your future (scientific) projects and your goals?
In the future, for my project, I envisage continuing the search for more effective solutions to reduce bacteria naturally. I would also like to make public the results of my research and the solutions proposed so that we can act now to control the transmission of bacteria, and thus to prevent the development of new resistant bacteria.
(The editorial team of Luxembourg.lu conducted the interview with Camilla Hurst some time before her win in Los Angeles)