April 27, 2015

Southampton, United Kingdom, 20th April 2015 — Global contact lens manufacturer CooperVision has announced that the 2015 CooperVision FORCE Student of the Year is Fiona Buckmaster, a third-year optometry student at Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland. Fiona investigated the effects of environmental conditions on tests of tear production. Her study showed that many patients with borderline results with the Schirmer test may be misdiagnosed as having dry eye if the test has been undertaken in a low humidity environment.  

Second place went to Antje Brenner of the Beuth Hochschule für Technik, Berlin, Germany. In joint third place were Benoit Pelatan from the Institut Supérieur d’Optique, Bordeaux, France, and Remke Sep and Maikel Vermeer, a team from Hogeschool Utrecht, the Netherlands.

The Future Ocular Research Creativity Event (FORCE) is an annual competition in the field of contact lenses pitching the very best students from colleges and universities all over Europe against each other. Students are invited to undertake a six to eight-week research project on a contact lens-related subject of their choice and to present their findings.

Winners from each country go forward to the FORCE final for a chance to become CooperVision FORCE Student of Year. The prize is a full delegate package, including travel and accommodation, to attend a major international contact lens meeting.

This year’s FORCE final took place in Budapest, Hungary on 11th April and was attended by students and educators from nine countries. The teams and topics were:

  • Antje Brenner, Beuth Hochschule für Technik Berlin, Berlin, Germany
    • Compliance of German daily disposable contact lens users: a web-based survey. It’s better than we thought

  • Barbara De Bortoli, Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy
    • New materials for sanitizers contact lens cases: silver ions (Ag+)

  • Benoit Pelatan, Institut Supérieur d’Optique, Bordeaux, France
    • Does the near-dominant eye influence the choice of multifocal contact lenses?

  • Fiona Buckmaster, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK
    • The effects of humidity on tests of tear production

  • Francisco Jiménez and Beatriz Cabrera, Universidad de Granada, Spain
    • Comparative study of multifocal contact lenses and multifocal intraocular lens implants

  • Joanna Kostańska-Nowacka, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland
    • The influence of contact lenses on condition of the anterior part of the eye in patients with type I diabetes mellitus, including wearer comfort

  • Markéta Šmoldasová, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
    • The effect of chlorinated water on the tear film

  • Remke Sep and Maikel Vermeer, Hogeschool Utrecht, the Netherlands
    • Soft multifocal contact lenses versus orthokeratology as therapy in myopia control

  • Szilvia Tömöri, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
    • Contact lens wearing habits of physically active, dry-eye patients

Judging the projects were researchers and clinicians Dr Dorota Szczęsna Iskander (Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland), Giancarlo Montani (Bari, Italy) and Bo Lauenborg (Aarhus, Denmark) along with Chairman Nick Rumney (BBR Optometry Ltd, Hereford, UK).

Entries were invited for clinical trials, clinical review papers and case reports, and were judged for the evidence for and importance of the project, and the quality and clarity of presentation.

Presenting the awards on behalf of the judges, Nick Rumney said: ‘Fiona challenged orthodoxy by overturning our understanding of a technique we thought was familiar. She approached the subject rigorously and scientifically, and she designed an elegant experiment which was, at heart, simple but gave results and conclusion of great clarity.’

He added: ‘CooperVision is to be congratulated on maintaining this unique cross-Europe competition, which goes from strength to strength. FORCE is very much a force to be reckoned with and is a great vehicle for cross-country collaboration and young optometrist development.’

Fiona will receive a complimentary trip to the 2016 NCC (Nederlands Contactlens Congres) and, as national winner of Student of the Year, the British Contact Lens Association’s Clinical Conference & Exhibition next month.

She commented: ‘It was such an honour to represent the UK so to win is just incredible. The whole experience has opened my eyes to some of the opportunities that are available through doing research and through meeting with people from different aspects of optometry.’



MEDIA CONTACT: Fiona Healey, Five by Five

           CONTACT DETAILS:  fiona.healey@fivebyfiveuk.com

                   02380 827372



About CooperVision FORCE

Entries for the national CooperVision FORCE (Future Ocular Research Creativity Event) can be submitted from spring of each year. Students then have time to plan and submit their piece of work to their colleges and universities and colleges. Successful regional candidates go forward to the FORCE final.  

For more information, visit www.coopervision-force.com.


About CooperVision

CooperVision, a unit of The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE:COO), is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of soft contact lenses and related products and services. The Company produces a full array of monthly, two-week and daily disposable contact lenses, all featuring advanced materials and optics. CooperVision has a strong heritage of solving the toughest vision challenges such as astigmatism and presbyopia; and offers the most complete collection of spherical, toric and multifocal products available. Through a combination of innovative products and focused practitioner support, the company brings a refreshing perspective to the marketplace, creating real advantages for customers and wearers. For more information, visit www.coopervision.com/.


About The Cooper Companies

The Cooper Companies, Inc. ("Cooper") is a global medical device company publicly traded on the NYSE Euronext (NYSE:COO). Cooper is dedicated to being A Quality of Life Company™ with a focus on delivering shareholder value. Cooper operates through two business units, CooperVision and CooperSurgical. CooperVision brings a refreshing perspective on vision care with a commitment to crafting a wide range of high-quality products for contact lens wearers and providing focused practitioner support. CooperSurgical focuses on supplying women's health clinicians with market-leading products and treatment options to improve the delivery of healthcare to women. Headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif., Cooper has close to 10,000 employees with products sold in over 100 countries. For more information, please visit www.coopercos.com.