George Azzopardi and Guru Swaroop Bennabhaktula from the Faculty of Science and Engineering have won the Ben Feringa Impact Award 2023 for their project ‘4NSEEK; Forensic Against Sexual Exploitation of Children’. In the ‘students’ category, Nine van den Wijngaard of the Faculty of Law was the clear victor.
The Ben Feringa Impact Awards were presented 25 May at Forum Groningen by Ben Feringa himself, chaired by Marie-José van Tol (Associate Professor Mood and Cognition at the UG). Jouke de Vries opened the afternoon and Heino Falcke, astronomer and founder of the Event Horizon Telescope Consortium, which managed to capture the first photo of ‘the black hole’, provided the impressive interlude.
‘4NSEEK; Forensic Against Sexual Exploitation of Children’, George Azzopardi and Guru Swaroop Bennabhaktula, Faculty of Science and Engineering
This project focuses on the development of an AI tool that enables enforcement authorities to examine footage of sexual exploitation of minors. The tool can identify the device that was used to create the studied footage and whether or not a given set of images or videos were created with the same equipment. With this technique, enforcement authorities can investigate available footage more efficiently and accurately, and thus build a stronger case against suspects.
‘Complaining about lawyers as a form of occupational therapy’, Nine van den Wijngaard, Faculty of Law
Nine's research is about dealing with so-called ‘frequent complainants’ in disciplinary procedure rules. The deans of the local Bar Association handle a large number of complaints every year. Of course, it is important that complainants have the opportunity to file a complaint. But the low-threshold nature of the complaints procedure has created a group of frequent complainants. Nine investigated what legal means the dean has to act against these frequent complainants. Her research has produced a set of practical do's and dont's for the Bar Association.
With the Ben Feringa Impact Award, the UG wants to give an impulse to the recognition and rewarding of impact-driven scientific research. The faculties were given the opportunity to nominate researchers and students for the award up until the end of last year. The award is presented every year since 2020.
The award for best student project was once again made possible this year thanks to the Ubbo Emmius Fund.
Find all the finalists here
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