With the final nearly upon us, excitement builds as FORCE finalists prepare to showcase their winning research projects and go head-to-head with fellow optometry students for the FORCE Student of the Year title.
FORCE (Future Ocular Research Creativity Event) is an annual competition run
by CooperVision, pitching students against one another from universities and colleges across Europe. Each student finalist has conducted a contact lens and anterior eye-related research project and will present their findings to a panel of four judges in the hope of becoming the ‘CooperVision FORCE Student of the Year’. This year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the final is being held virtually for the first time, with winners of the national and regional events from 2020 and 2021 presenting their projects.
The aim of the competition is to inspire students to strive for excellence in their research projects and to develop their knowledge base to benefit their future careers. Winners of this year’s FORCE competition will present their papers at the Netherlands Contact Lens Congress (NCC) in Veldhoven in March 2022.
CooperVision EMEA Professional Services Manager Fabio Carta is leading the online final on Saturday 11 September 2021 and will be joined by FORCE Student of the Year 2019, Juliette Papin. Fabio is looking forward to the day, and says, ‘I am delighted to present the eighth, and first-ever virtual, FORCE final. It wasn’t easy to get here, and the pandemic has somewhat changed the structure of the event as students will compete for the FORCE title for both 2020 and 2021. The competition aims to provide all finalists with an experience that goes beyond the competition itself. FORCE has always represented a chance for both professional growth and a cultural exchange between students from different countries. I wish all the finalists good luck and I am looking forward to the day and seeing the students’ research projects.’
Judging the FORCE competition this year is Elena Rubio Garcia, Director of INOP in Spain; Dr Stefan Bandlitz, Senior Lecturer at Cologne School of Optometry in Germany; Pascale Dauthuile, President of AFELC in France; and Chair of Judges Professor James Wolffsohn, Pro-Vice Chancellor at Aston University in the UK
Teams and topics
- Marika Martena, University of Salento in Italy – ‘Evaluation of the effectiveness of a soft contact lens indicated for accommodative support on the symptoms of eyestrain and on the visual functions of young adults’
- Leona Bačáková, Department of Optometry and Orthoptics, MED MUNI, Brno in Czech Republic – ‘Photographic examples of the most common physiological and pathological ophthalmology findings’
- Stelyan Nikolov, Medical University of Varna in Bulgaria – ‘Daily disposable versus monthly silicone-hydrogel lenses, a randomised cross over study’
- Klara Lenneer, Linnaeus University in Sweden – ‘Does the short-term adaptation to MiSight® 1 day and Proclear® multifocal contact lenses affect contrast threshold and accommodative lag in young myopes?’
- Teresa Borrego and Marìa Berraquero, Complutense University of Madrid in Spain – ‘Visual performance of MiSight® 1 day under mesopic and scotopic illumination’
- Ciaran Conway, Technological University Dublin in Ireland – ‘The effectivity of the Topcon Eye-Light® in treating meibomian gland dysfunction’
- Chiara Sicoli, University of Salento in Italy – ‘Association between soft contact lens decentration and scleral shape’
- Andréa Catroux, ISO Nantes in France – ‘Influence of face mask associated with contact lenses on dry eye’
- Aleksandra Kościółek and Aleksandra Fojcik, Wrocław University of Science and Technology in Poland – ‘Clinical applications of anterior segment OCT speckle’
- María Mangas Alonso and Alba Rojas López, University of Valladolid in Spain – ‘Changes in visual quality after the use of monofocal contact lenses and dual-focus lenses for the control of myopia’
- Ishvinder Bahra and Charis Hedges, Aston University in the United Kingdom – ‘Optimisation of blink exercises with the Blinkful app’