NSW whiz kids break Australia’s medal drought at Physics Olympiad

29 May 2013

Three New South Wales schoolboys have broken Australia's medal drought at the highly-competitive Asian Physics Olympiad in Indonesia. 

The trio was among eight physics whiz kids from across the country to compete against Asia's best and brightest students at the event held in Bogar, Indonesia, earlier this month. 

Year 12 Baulkham Hills High School student Dmitry Brizhinev snared a silver medal, while Year 12 Sydney Grammar School student Jack Spilecki and Year 12 North Sydney Boys High School student Eric Huang each bagged a bronze medal. 

NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, Professor Mary O'Kane, has sent letters of congratulations to the three medalists. 

"I was absolutely thrilled to hear the many months of preparation and study that Dmitry, Jack and Eric had put in before the competition paid off," Professor O'Kane said. 

"They went up against some of the smartest kids from 20 countries in our region, sitting some mind-bending theory and practical exams, and did themselves, their schools and their state proud. 

"I, personally, have had a keen interest in physics from quite a young age. I was given the book The Strange Story of Quantum by Banesh Hoffman as a school prize and it really turned me onto physics. It was very inspiring. 

"I hope their success at the Asian Physics Olympiad inspires Dmitry, Jack and Eric to continue their study and go on to even bigger and better things. 

"On behalf of the NSW Government, I congratulate them on their great personal achievements and wish them the very best for the future," she said. 

Gosford High School's Liam Hayes, Sydney Grammar School's Terry Shang and students from the ACT, Victoria and WA also competed at the event. 

"They, too, should all be tremendously proud of what they've achieved. To represent your country on the international stage in such a fiercely-competitive arena is a credit to all of them," Professor O'Kane said. 

Based on the students' performance at the Asian Physics Olympiad, five will be selected to travel to Denmark in July to represent Australia at the International Physics Olympiad. That team will be announced next month. 

The Australian Science Olympiad Competition is supported by Monash University and the Australian Government, through the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace relations and the Department of Innocation, Industry, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.