Dashayin Gilbert, fondly knowns as Dash, beat off stiff competition from more than a hundred young scientists from various countries, to win third place for his Formula One Aerodynamics project in the Physics and Astronomy category, under the Mechanics subcategory.
As well as identifying the most important aerodynamic elements that help Formula One race cars gain lap times on high-speed circuits, Dash's fascinating study also impressed judges by including sustainable solutions. His research into elements that contribute to the most drag is incredibly beneficial to the motor and aviation industry, to help reduce carbon emissions.
"I am beyond happy to have won this category award as it gives me the confidence to know that I am heading in the right direction in realising my dream of becoming a member of a Formula One team. Although an amazing achievement, I still want to prove my conclusions and am really keen to learn about computational fluid dynamics simulations and how this can add to my findings,' he says.
A science enthusiast from an early age, the 17-year-old couldn't wait to get stuck into this project and marrying his love for science with his other huge passion – Formula One, made perfect sense. He has been gripped by the sport from a young age, even learning about its technology and engineering a few years ago, and now hopes to pursue a career in the field when he finishes school.
Dash's project was first chosen by his school to compete in a national, and then international science fair held by Eskom. From here, the top seven projects including Dash's and one by Ra'ees de Witt from Curro Hermanus were chosen to represent South Africa at the world's largest global high school competition.
"We are incredibly proud of Dash and his fantastic achievement in America. It is both beautiful and refreshing to watch such a talented individual live out his passion and win awards at this level. His dynamic personality, drive, and enthusiasm for sciences and sports not only make him a wonderful role model but will no doubt set him in good stead for what I am sure will be a very bright and successful future. Well done, Dash," said Riaan Stroebel, Executive Head at Curro Durbanville.
The Regernaton ISSEF is one of the world's oldest high school competitions. More than 1,750 scientists from 63 countries took part in the overall fair this year, with almost $8 million in awards and scholarships handed out to the winners.