ATLANTA, Nov. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Months of dedication and hard work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) paid off tonight for three students named National Finalists in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, the nation's premier research competition for high school students. Research on an infrared photodetector with potential applications in car collision avoidance and mine detection earned top honors and the $3,000 Individual scholarship for Saumil Bandyopadhyay of Glen Allen, Virginia. Research that could help in the development of anticancer drugs won the $6,000 Team scholarship for A.J. Toth and Jim Andress of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The students presented their research this weekend to a panel of judges from Georgia Institute of Technology, host of the Region Six Finals. They are now invited to present their work on a national stage at the National Finals in Washington, DC, December 1-4, 2012, where $500,000 in scholarships will be awarded, including two top prizes of $100,000. The Siemens Competition, a signature program of the Siemens Foundation, is administered by the College Board. "These students have invested time, energy and talent in tackling challenging scientific research at a young age," said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, president of the Siemens Foundation. "The recognition they have won today demonstrates that engagement in STEM is an investment well worth making." The Winning IndividualSaumil Bandyopadhyay, a senior at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies in Richmond, Virginia, won the individual category and a $3,000 college scholarship for his project entitled, Universal detector of light and b-radiation: multifunctionality enabled by quantum-mechanical wavefunction and density-of-states engineering, photomodulated electron tunneling, and quantum confined charge transport in nanowires. In his project, Saumil developed a novel universal light and beta-radiation detector that has the capability to perceive infrared light at room temperature, a problem with these detectors, with a rate at least 10 times higher than other common detectors.