Jonathan Arias of the student group JELux speaks during the association’s research fair held on 20 May 2017. Picture credit: University of Luxembourg
Two graduate students who are part of an entrepreneurial association have received a prize for organising the first research fair at the University of Luxembourg.
Little did Paola Hernandez and Jonathan Arias know that their dedicated involvement would earn them an award. As heads of the Junior Enterprise Association (JELux), they organised the first research fair at the university earlier this year.
On 12 October, Hernandez and Arias were honoured with an award during the ceremony that signifies the official start of the academic year. And both were taken aback, as Hernandez, a master’s in mechanical engineering student, told Delano on 17 October:
“We were surprised because this evening gives awards to professors and it marks the official entry to the academic year. For us it was quite [unexpected] that they wanted to give us the award. There were no [other] students, I think we were the only ones.”
Arias, who is pursuing a PhD in neuroscience, stated:
“We are quite happy about the award, but I think it is a reward for the five generations of JELux students.”
JELux is a student association at the University of Luxembourg which allows students to collaborate with private companies. According to Arias, the outfit is open to students from all academic backgrounds and helps to promote their entrepreneurial interest.
The JELux team is seen during the “Bridging the Gap” research fair at University of Luxembourg on 20 May 2017. One of the guest participants, Bert Boerman of Governance.io, is seen third from left. Picture credit: University of Luxembourg
“Basically, students gain knowledge and companies get their problems solved; it’s a win-win situation”.
The research fair, called “Bridging the Gap”, was produced by JELux, showcased 15 projects and had a total of 50 attendees. Arias noted that the statistics were low compared to similar fairs held at other universities, however, the organisers were satisfied with the number of participants as the university community here is quite small.
On 12 October, the Junior Enterprise Association, called JELux, was honoured with an award for organising a research fair at the University of Luxembourg. Paola Hernandez and Jonathan Arias are seen holding a ceremonial prize cheque for €1,500. Also pictured: Marc Hansen, the secretary of state for higher education and research (on left); the university’s vice rector, Romain Martin (second from right). Picture credit: University of Luxembourg
According to Hernandez, all types of projects were included at the fair, which reflected the synergy between the members of JELux, who come from very diverse academic backgrounds:
“At the beginning, we wanted to do a fair that involved entrepreneurial projects, so startup projects by students, but since there were not many at that moment we decided to also bring in research projects. That’s why at the end, we came up with the idea of a research fair.”
Arias stressed that fostering soft skills as a student was important and JELux was a place to go further than the lecture room. As for the future, both hoped that the next edition of the fair will host more students. He said:
“We want to increase the involvement of the university community, we want to inspire the students to develop entrepreneurial projects and we want to involve them for collaborative projects with the private sector”.
The second edition of the research fair is preliminary scheduled for May 2018.