Positive spirit of young intellectuals

After studying aboard, many young intellectuals have struggled to adjust back home. Each young scientist has a different idea of what they want to dedicate themselves to directly, and how to help the country.

Tran Ha Lien Phuong (fourth, right) is among 15 female laureates chosen from the 236 locally-awarded fellowship winners of L’Oreal subsidiaries and UNESCO around the world.
Tran Ha Lien Phuong (fourth, right) is among 15 female laureates chosen from the 236 locally-awarded fellowship winners of L’Oreal subsidiaries and UNESCO around the world.

Doctor Tran Ha Lien Phuong researches cancer treatment

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After five years of studying aboard in the Republic of Korea (RoK) for a doctoral degree, when Tran Hai Lien Phuong was wavering between continuing to stay in RoK and coming back to Vietnam, she remembered the advice of her old teacher. Her teacher said that Vietnam develops more slowly than other countries, imported goods are widespread in the market. “I decided to return Vietnam, although I didn't know where to start”, Doctor Phuong shared.

She found it difficult to find coworkers, machines and research grants. However, she received the support of her family and colleagues, as well as professors in the RoK. Thanks to the support of Professor Vo Van Toi, head of Biomedical Engineering at the International University and the school managing board of International University - Ho Chi Minh City International University, she has started her career.

With a project on the development of fucoidan-based polymeric micelles for cancer treatment and diagnosis, Phuong has become the first Vietnamese to receive the International Rising Talents Grant under the L'Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science program. The work has been highly appreciated for its modern focus on cancer therapy products which have significant positive effects and limited side effects.

The 34-year-old scientist, a lecturer from the HCM City-based Vietnam National University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, was among 15 female laureates chosen from the 236 locally-awarded fellowship winners of L’Oreal subsidiaries and UNESCO around the world. The award offers her a chance to continue to research the cancer treatment.

Doctor Nguyen Ba Hai offers US$1 vocational courses

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With a special love for cars since he was a little boy, Nguyen Ba Hai studied mechanical dynamics at the University of Technical Education Ho Chi Minh City after graduating from high school. He then received a scholarship to pursue bio-robotics in RoK.

After two years of studying in RoK, Hai patented his inventions that were transferred to RoK’s companies, along with an excellent graduation thesis. He received an additional scholarship to study a doctorate in RoK. He had the best dissertation of his graduating class at the age of 27.

After graduation, a professor suggested that he work for the Korea Automotive Technology Institute, earning US$5,000 per month. However, he refused and decided to return Vietnam and start a new journey devoted to Vietnam’s development. Hai decided to open one dollar short-term technical training courses in 2010.

“I realise that fewer young people have opted to study technical subjects but more tend to learn business, trade or banking. I decided to open one dollar technical training courses with the aim of inspiring interest in technical subjects,” Hai explained.

The 30-year-old doctor set a tuition fee of only US$1 per course in order to encourage learners. The courses provide learners with important technical knowledge, technical innovations, and visual programming language on the weekends. Learners range from secondary pupils to engineers or older people already working. To date, he has opened such courses in many provinces across the country and has already had 3,000 students.

The course uses teaching methods that encourage creativity so Hai’s learners can apply what they’ve learned in real life.

He and his students researched and created the SPKT Eye – a product designed to aid visually impaired people in moving. After several reforms to the design, the product’s ninth version - ‘Miraculous Eye 2’ - was designed as glasses. Hai and his colleagues established the Kien Binh Minh Limited Liability Company, which has produced and donated over 1,000 of the ‘Miraculous Eye 2’ to blind people.

With the contributions, Hai has been honoured as one of the “Exemplary young citizens of Ho Chi Minh City in 2012”.

Associate Professor, Doctor Ta Hai Tung

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Associate Professor, Doctor Ta Hai Tung has studied in Australia and Italy. He pursued developing satellite navigation, a new field in Vietnam.

Starting from the questions “Who am I” and “What I can do?”, Tung decided to return Vietnam. Now he is Director of the International Collaboration Centre for Research and Development on Satellite Navigation Technology in South East Asia (NAVIS Centre) under the Hanoi Polytechnic University.

The NAVIS Centre has been officially certified by ESA as one of the first 50 institutions that have acquired position fixes solely using available Galileo satellites, among 3 others in Asia (Japan and China) and being the only one in South East Asia. The project was carried out in March 2013, when all four Galileo satellites travelled over Hanoi, Vietnam.