One of EIROforum outreach activities is support for the “European Union Contest for Young Scientists”. In the category “special donated prizes” all EIROforum members offer a one-week stay in their organisations. In this contest New Zealand counts as an “international guest” such as Canada, China, Japan, South Africa and the United States of America. In 2009 19 year old High school student from New Zealand Jake Martin won the prize which brought him to JET in July this year. JET Insight talks to him on his last day at JET.

The 19 year old demonstrating his experiment to other young scientists

The 19 year old demonstrating his experiment to other young scientists

What is the project you won the European prize for?

My experiment is about Carbon. Firstly I made a Unit to burn wood, then I run it to a combustion engine and powered my house. I turned the wood into bio charge to put on the soil and take atmospheric CO2 out the atmosphere, by doing so you counteract global warming.

What did you expect from your stay at JET?

I have done a bit of research into fusion reactors when I became interested in energy. I really couldn’t expect the huge facilities here. In New Zealand it is almost unheard of to have such a huge Physics Experiment.

What is your impression now after seeing the experiment?

I‘m really taken aback by the amount of engineering, technology and science that goes on behind the scenes. I can see a lot of challenging issues, but the potential of fusion energy is really worth overcoming those challenges.

What has surprised you most during your stay?

I met about ten scientists and engineers during my stay and I was taken aback by the enthusiasm they had for their work. I had a lot of advice on continuing on and becoming a researcher. I had a really pleasant chat with a plasma physicist that really made me rethink my own studies.

JET is implemented in a strong European community. Do you have similar networks in New Zealand?

I was amazed at the collaborations between the different European Countries; I don’t see that in New Zealand, being so isolated, away from the rest of the world. It really opened my eyes to what is available for me, if I want to come to Europe to do some research here.

Do you have fusion experiments in New Zealand?

There are no fusion reactors in New Zealand due to our size. We have so much renewable energy here that we do not need to experiment too much. Actually we have a complete radiation nuclear ban in New Zealand which means no boats can come and ship uranium; We are pretty much anti fusion and fission, so, I thought it was quite funny when they sent the New Zealand boy to come to the fusion experiment.”