5 October 2015 | 18:06

Dr Tzeno Galchev is the winner of the 2015 John Atanasoff Award

The microelectromechanical systems specialist, Dr. Tzeno Galchev is the 13th laureate of the presidential award “John Atanasoff”, awarded for outstanding achievements in the field of information technologes.
The Award of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria "John Atanasoff", named after the creator of the first electronic computer - the famous scholar of Bulgarian descent, John Atanasoff, is presented each year since 2003. Its aim is to encourage the personal achievements of young Bulgarian scientists heading R&D units of leading research institutes and global companies in various fields of information technologes, including cryptology, computational linguistics, robotics, microelectronics, emedded systems and sensors among others.
The winner of the 2015 “John Atanasoff” award, Dr. Tzeno Galchev earned his doctoral degree from the University of Michigan in the USA. His research interests are in the area of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Dr. Galchev has worked on developing microsystem technologies for harvesting kinetic energy and transforming it to electricity for supplying different wireless and mobile electronic systems using renewable energy. The harvesters that he developed are patented and still hold the record in conversion efficiency for some types of low-frequency vibrations. He is currently working on developing microsystem technologies for studying and stimulating the central and peripheral nervous systems. Along with his colleagues, he has developed several microsystems that can record the electrical neuronal signals in the brain for the purpose of studying its functionality, with the hope that in the future the same tools can be used to cure a number of different neurodegenerative diseases. He is currently collaborating on this topic with colleagues in the Institute of Information and Communication Technologies (IICT) at the Bulgarian Academy of Science. Dr. Galchev has authored 30 scientific papers and has over 350 citations.
Dr. Galchev presented the highlights of his work at a special open-access lecture in Vivacom Art Hall, on Tuesday, 6 October. 
The winners of this year’s “John Atanasoff  -  students and their teachers” category are Marin Shalamanov, and his tutor Peter Petrov, as well as Viktor Kirilov and his teacher Krasimir Assenov. The youngsters achieved outstanding results at some of the most competitive international computer sciences olympiads. 
Two new categories were introduced to the “John Atanasoff” awards this year. The “First steps in computer sciences” category, oriented towards students aged 12 to 22, whose participation in international and national science contests received accolades. And secondly the “John Atanasoff – for projects with social value-added” category is for individual and group projects that address open and relevant issues of social significance. The projects can be carried out as stand-alone start-ups, or as projects under the hat of existing private, academic or NGO organizations. Team member age is capped at 35. 
The winner in the “First steps in computer sciences” category for 2015 is Hristo Stoyanov. He is a first-year student in Stanford University, USA. He represented Bulgaria in the international competition Intel ISEF 2015, taking part in the “Systems software” category. A year earlier his written work ranked inside the top 5 of the RSI contest. 
The “John Atanasoff – for projects with social value-added” category for 2015 was claimed by Georgi Darzhanliev and Stanimir Nenov for their project Pravatami.bg - a platform that aims to improve the understanding of legal matters by the wider public. This is achieved with the help of short, practical articles discussing legal cases in accessible language. 
In 2015, the laureates of each category received additional prizes brought by foundation “America for Bulgaria”, SAP, Lenovo, Sofia Tech Park and WebIt. The purpose of the additional prizes is to encourage the laureates to push their careers further and find a wider audience where they can present their achievements. 
  • The “John Atanasoff” Award - 10 000 lv., provided by foundation “America for Bulgaria”
  • “John Atanasoff – for projects with social value-added” category - the winning team of 2, will travel to the WebIT world conference in Istanbul, in November 2015. The prize is provided in partnership between WebIt and Sofia Tech Park.
  • “First steps in computer sciences” category - a tablet provided by Lenovo and participation in the SAP bootcamp in Barcelona, in November 2015.
  • “John Atanasoff  -  students and their teachers” category - a tablet provided by Lenovo for the students and a Lenovo laptop for their teachers. Additionally, the students will participate in the SAP bootcamp in Barcelona, in November 2015.