2015 Prize

The Harry Otten Prize for Innovation in Meteorology was awarded for the second time on 8 September, 2015 during the Annual Meeting of the European Meteorological Society in Sofia, Bulgaria. Harry Otten announced that the Board of the Harry Otten Foundation had selected Olivier Boucher as the winner of the 2015 prize of 25 thousand Euro for his idea “Probing the Upper Atmosphere by watching aircraft.”  

Boucher’s winning idea is to use a simple all-sky camera to observe condensation trails from aircraft, those long clouds that sometimes form behind flying planes. This detection can be greatly facilitated if you know where to look for them, using an aircraft message receiver that gives the location of all aircraft flying above the receiver.  

The camera measures the width and length of the contrails and their changes over time. These images provide valuable information about humidity and wind that can be used to improve numerical weather model forecasts. Such information, which will be taken mostly in clear air, will complement information from satellite observations of clouds and their motion. 

This proposal was evaluated as scientifically sound, technically feasible and highly innovative. Its potential to improve the quality of global weather forecasts would benefit all users of weather forecasts. 

Olivier is a research director of the French Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique since 2011, after spending 6 years with the Met Office Hadley Centre in the United Kingdom.  

The winner of the prize has been selected out of three finalists. The other two participants in the final round received 2500 Euro for the following ideas: 

Rogiros Tapakis and Alexandros Charalambides (Cyprus University of Technology) for their idea to use a solar measurements from a dense network of photovoltaic cells to help electrical power generation companies manage the balance of sources of power. 

Tim Hewson and Florian Pappenberger (Eureopean Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting) for their idea to predict small scale flash floods using forecast from much larger scale global weather prediction models.

Overall the jury received 13 applications for the prize from different European countries, Israel, and Cuba. The Harry Otten Prize is awarded every two years. More information is available at the website at www.harry-otten-prize.org.

Richard Anthes, Chairman of the Board of the Harry Otten Foundation, said “the finalists for this round of the Harry Otten Prize contributed outstanding examples of innovative ideas that have the potential for applications to benefit society.” 

Harry Otten, founder of the Harry Otten Foundation, added “I am delighted that the prize has been awarded for such an innovative proposal. Using photographs from the condensation trails from aircraft can bring in new and valuable information to improve global weather forecasts, which will benefit all societies in the world.” 

2013 Prize

The Harry Otten Prize for Innovation in Meteorology was awarded for the first time during the Annual Meeting of the European Meteorological Society in Reading (UK) on September 11, 2013. Harry Otten announced that the jury has decided that Karolina Stanisławska with her idea “Social media for meteorological prediction and information” won the prize, which is endowed with 25,000 Euro.

The idea “Social media for meteorological prediction and information” proposed by Karolina Stanisławska is about constructing a meteorological system based on the information extracted exclusively from social media content. The system would be a service providing crowdsourced information about actual weather conditions, identification of hazardous weather events and reaction of people to weather information.

Karolina was born in Poland and graduated in computer science at the Poznań University of Technology in 2011. She currently works as a researcher in climate modelling and greenhouse gases topics for the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki.

The winner of the prize was selected from three finalists. The other two finalists received 2,500 Euro for the following ideas:

The “Global Weather Alliance - the WeatherShare service - wxshare.org” by Karl H. Eggestad is a free and open video and audio clip and image material service specifically targeted for the worldwide weather broadcasting community.

“Forecasting and Mapping Ice Thickness for Ice Skating on Natural Lakes and Canals” by Gert-Jan Steeneveld, Bert Heusinkveld and Kevin Damman aims at improving the quantitative forecasting of ice growth and communicating this in a fast way to the general public.

Overall the jury received 19 applications for the prize mainly from different European countries and the USA. The Harry Otten Prize is awarded every two years.

Hans Reiff, Chairman of the jury: “Karolina’s idea is highly innovative with significant potential benefits to society.  These benefits include both use of people to provide weather data and information to meteorologists through the social media as well as information on how society reacts to weather information and forecasts from meteorologists.“

Harry Otten, Founder of the Harry Otten Foundation: “I am delighted that the Prize has been awarded to such an innovative proposal. I hope that the Prize helps to put her idea into practice.”

 

2012 Prize Round

Even though it was the first round of the prize, a total of 12 applications was received. However, in the opinion of the jury, no application fulfilled all the criteria to win the prize. 

The jury decided to issue honorable mention awards to two applications though, and granted 500 Euro to each of the authors:

Felicity Ahafianyo: Bringing Weather Information to the Door Steps of Ghanaians

Ms. Ahafianyo is working for the Ghanian Meteorological Agency. She noticed that weather and climate information is not always fully recognized in Ghana, especially by farmers who would need them most. She therefore proposed to educate through television and by publishing a weather calendar which explains the climate of each month in the different regions of Ghana. Additionally lessons in schools are part of the program she brought forward.

Martijn Koomen: Weather, Feathers and Frost

Mr. Koomen is a graduate from the Design Academy Eindhoven (NL). He proposed to built a piece of art to visualize wind by feathers being kept between two glasses. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EMS Annual Meeting 2015-Awards Ceremony

Harry Otten and the winner 2015, Olivier Boucher.
The three finalists together with Harry Otten.

EMS Annual Meeting 2013-Awards Ceremony

Karolina Stanislawska and Harry Otten with 2013 Prize
Karolina Stanislawska, Karl Eggestad, Harry Otten and Gert-Jan Steenveld receiving 2013 awards
Karolina Stanislawska, Harry Otten, Gert-Jan Steeneveld and Karl Eggestad celebrating over dinner after the awards ceremony

EMS Annual Meeting 2012 - Awards Ceremony

Chairman Hans Reiff introducing the Harry Otten Prize
Harry Otten presenting the Honorary Mentions
Vice Chairman Richard Anthes talking about innovation and guidance for applications.
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