Sara Picarazzi and Alessandra Rossi have been named the winners of this year’s CooperVision FORCE Student of the Year competition. They will receive a full delegate package, including travel and accommodation, to attend an international contact lens meeting in the next 12 months.
The students, from the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy, were named the recipients of the award in recognition for their research project that evaluated the absorption of eyeshadow in soft contact lenses. The pair found that cosmetic absorption was greater than expected and different types of contact lens material interacted differently with the cosmetic.
The final of the annual competition, which saw students from nine countries across Europe compete, was held in Budapest between 19–20 May.
As well as the overall winner, judges recognised the work of a further two projects. They awarded specially commended accolades to Malgorzata Hadzicka from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland, and Marie Kodetova and Barbora Hrackova from Masaryk University in the Czech Republic.
Chairing the judging panel was Aston University’s Professor James Wolffsohn. Also on the panel was Dr Eef van der Worp, Elena Garcia Rubio and Pascale Dauthuile.
Commenting on the winning project, Professor Wolffsohn said: “This project was original, interesting and an important topic, with an informative and evidence-based introduction.”
Winner, Ms Picarazzi added: “I didn’t expect to win, but I am really happy we did. It shows the important work our university can do and gives us the chance to publish our project. FORCE opens up a great opportunity for study. It’s really important for young researchers starting out in their careers.”