Professor Nguyen Dinh Duc – the aspiring educator who led the Vietnamese emerging generation to the global scientific world

Professor Nguyen Dinh Duc, University of Engineering and Technology, Vietnam National University (VNU), is well-known as a scientist and an educator who has contributed to the field of science nationally domestically and internationally. He is especially known for his role as an educator, introducing who introduce the international world of science to different generations of Vietnamese students.

Reaching a higher level of Global Integration

Professor Nguyen Dinh Duc is a scientist who has had significant influence internationally. According to the worldwide ranking of the most influential scientists published by the PloS Biology journal, Prof. Nguyen Dinh Duc was among the 2nd Vietnamese scientists working in Vietnam to make the top 10,000 for five consecutive years since 2019, and the top 100 – at 85th in the rankings of leading scientists globally in the field of Engineering and Technology in 2023.

Prof. Nguyen Dinh Duc is a member of the Editorial Council of 10 prestigious ISI international journals. He was also invited to present reports at plenary sessions of numerous international conventions.

Catching the Novel Trends in Research

Throughout four decades of his profession, Professor Nguyen Dinh Duc has conducted extensive research on novel materials, including thermally durable carbon nanocomposite materials, with applications in the field of national security and defense; multi-phase polymer composite materials for shipbuilding and civil products industries; advanced smart materials and structures with variable mechanical properties, high durability, heat resistance, which have seen applications in industry and nuclear energy; functional graded materials and nanomaterials with variable mechanical and piezoelectric properties, applied in semiconductor devices; auxetic energy-absorbing and blast-waves-resisting materials; Materials with negative Poisson coefficients used in biomedicine, information storage, etc. These are the leading research fields on advanced materials in the world today, which promise highly superior properties over traditional materials, as well as practical and future applications to meet the high technical requirements of the 4.0 industrial revolution.

Based on his research results, Professor Nguyen Dinh Duc has published over 350 articles, six curriculums, and monographs in Vietnamese, Russian, and English. Furthermore, among his scientific works, over 200 articles were published by highly regarded ISI journals of reputable publishers such as Elsevier, Springer, SAGE, Taylor & Francis, etc.

The research results and directions made by Professor Nguyen Dinh Duc gave birth to a scientific field of Advanced Materials and Structures, and their applications in Engineering and Technology in Vietnam, led by himself. The field has made many independent publications, which have attracted the attention of researchers worldwide, contributing to global scientific advancement.

Practical Contributions to the Nation

Aside from his impact on the global scientific community, the research on advanced composite materials made by Prof. Nguyen Dinh Duc has had practical applications domestically, namely the research on the use of the Inertial Navigation System in locating and navigating controlled vehicles, which he conducted along with the scientists from the University of Engineering and Technology, and the Department of National Defense. For the results and applications of this research, he was awarded the 3rd prize in the Vietnam Talent Award for highly application-oriented products. Regarding civil applications, his work on multi-phase composite materials with reinforced nanoparticles was a great success in the shipbuilding industry, enhancing waterproofing capabilities. It has also significantly contributed to creating durable materials against harsh conditions and materials that strengthen energy conversion in solar panels.

Establishing the model of highly skilled research groups, mentoring generations of talents for the nation

With extensive international integration, our nation’s development depends significantly on high-quality human resources. Following that philosophy, Professor Nguyen Dinh Duc has overcome countless difficulties during his years of research and education to establish a skilled research group specialized in advanced materials and structures at the University of Engineering and Technology – VNU Hanoi. The founding and development of this research model is a lesson worthy of replication across universities in Vietnam.

Professor Nguyen Dinh Duc’s research group is a superb model that closely incorporates the university’s education and research processes. The outstanding benefit of the research model is the creation of an environment in which the educational process is integrated with scientific research and practice, and the knowledge and findings made by the groups, after publication, are introduced and applied in the university and post-university programs. This model was also highly efficient, producing quality results for minimal financial investments.

Students from these research groups have become engineers, masters, and doctors, and their research results have been published by prestigious international ISI magazines. Two of his students were awarded the esteemed Nguyen Van Dao Award – named after the first director of the Vietnam National University. Another student of his was proudly honored by Forbes Vietnam. His students have continued to spread the professor’s passion and legacy – his research directions, to the later generations.

With the research group model, Professor Nguyen Dinh Duc has trained countless young, talented doctors; attracted and assembled teams; founded the Lab of Advanced Materials and Structures to produce mechanical engineers in this field; established the Faculty of Civil Engineering, training engineers, masters, and doctors; gathering outstanding scientists from major domestic and international universities to work and exchange.

As of today, the research group led by Professor Nguyen Dinh Dung has established and continues to maintain equal and cooperative relationships with highly-regarded laboratories and researchers in leading universities in the United States, South Korea, the United Kingdoms, Australia, China, India, …, namely the Tokyo University of Technology, the University of Tokyo (Japan), the University of Melbourne (Australia), the University of Birmingham (UK), Yonsei University and Sejong University (South Korea), Wuhan University (China), etc. The group has also attracted many young doctors from major domestic universities such as the University of Engineering and Technology, VNU University of Science, the Vietnam-Japan University, the Military Technical Academy, Hanoi University of Civil Engineering, the University of Transport and Communications, etc., to participate in collaborative research and training.

Introducing New programs to Serve the Industrialization and Modernization Process and International Integration

With a broad vision and a firm grasp of the trends, with enthusiastic agreement and support from the university’s leaders and the leaders of Vietnam National University, Professor Nguyen Dinh Duc opened the Doctoral Program in Mechanical Engineering (2013), established laboratories and introduced Program in Advanced Materials and Structures for mechanical engineers (2015), launched the Civil Engineering program (2017), and established the Department of Civil Engineering in 2018. In 2022, this Department was promoted to the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the University of Engineering and Technology with a scale of nearly 600 students per year. Also, in 2022, Professor Nguyen Dinh Duc developed Master’s and Doctoral Programs in Civil Engineering, conforming to the full range of training levels according to the national standards for this field. He had opened bachelor program Industrial and Graphic Design in 2024 also.

Two cohorts of civil engineers from the University of Engineering and Technology have graduated with a rate of 100% of the students employed immediately after graduation. In particular, one student was entrusted with technical responsibilities at a large international corporation. In 2022, 2023 – the student teams from the Faculty of Transportation Engineering Technology participated in the Forum 8 competition in Japan and won an international award for design.

Professor Nguyen Dinh Duc also proposed and founded the Master’s and Engineer programs in Civil Engineering at Vietnam-Japan University and the engineer’s program in Automation and Informatics at the International University, VNU.

The mentioned fields are all significant, with the aim of producing high quality human resources to serve the national development process.

Contributing Innovative Ideas and Strategic Decisions to Enhance the Position and Ranking of Vietnam National University

Professor Nguyen Dinh Duc has held several important positions in Vietnam National University, Hanoi and the University of Engineering and Technology, such as the Director of the R&D Department (2005-2008), the Director of Academic Affairs Department of VNU Hanoi (2012-2023), and Vice President of the University of Engineering and Technology, Vietnam National University Hanoi (2008-2012).

As the Director of the R&D Department – VNU Hanoi, Professor Duc proposed and established the Project to establish the Science and Technology Development Fund of Vietnam National University Hanoi. He also proposed and coordinated with the Organizational Board to develop criteria for leading scientific personnel, thereby planning training and nurturing programs for them; systematically developed the Strategic Science and Technology Development Plan of Vietnam National University for the period 2005-2010, which introduced new elements such as focusing on research on seas and islands, intellectual property rights, interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research, and especially emphasizing investment in building and developing strong research groups at Vietnam National University.

As the Director of Academic Affairs Department of VNU Hanoi since late 2012, Professor Nguyen Dinh Duc has spearheaded the development of a project and regulations for innovating admissions based on the High school Student Assessment (HAS) exam. He also suggested and drafted specific policies for excellent students from gifted specialized high schools, that allowed outstanding gifted students to be given priority admission to the universities and to accumulate certain courses in advance; he led and structured the majors and specializations at Vietnam National University; developed regulations for undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral training with many pioneering elements emphasizing high quality and international integration requirements.

Professor Nguyen Dinh Duc particularly focused on talent training and doctoral training. He developed an international-standard doctoral training project and a project to innovate doctoral training activities at Vietnam National University. Currently, Vietnam National University is the only institution in the country that requires research students to have international publications.

He also promoted the digitization of education management and innovation in teaching activities and emphasized STEM in training programs at Vietnam National University; he developed and implemented Vietnam National University’s Olympiad competitions to select excellent high school students nationwide to supplement the high-quality university admission human source at Vietnam National University.

Over a decade as the Director of Academic Affairs Department of VNU Hanoi, with determination and strategic vision, professor Nguyen Dinh Duc successfully led Vietnam National University through the gradual transformation of the structure of training fields from being primarily focused on basic sciences to training and researching in new, advanced, interdisciplinary engineering and technology fields. By now, the enrollment scale in Engineering and Technology at Vietnam National University has increased from 8% of the total 7,000 quotas in 2013 to over 20% of the total 15,000 quotas in 2023. The engineering and technology fields at Vietnam National University has risen to 386th globally in the QS ranking in 2022 and has become the foundation of the future development of Vietnam National University.

Currently serving as the Chairman of the University of Engineering and Technology, Professor  Nguyen Dinh Duc, along with the university’s board, is enthusiastically building the new Strategy, the Project of Autonomy, Plans, and Innovations of the Structure of Fields for the future, enhancing the mechanism of coordination and autonomy within the university, and improving the lives of faculty members. Along with the university’s board, he has developed the university’s development strategy until 2035, with a vision until 2045, aspiring for the University of Engineering and Technology to become an advanced technological university in Asia by 2035 and to enter the top 200 in the world by 2045.

A Great Pride for Generations of Students at Vietnam National University and Vietnamese Higher Education

With his outstanding contributions to Vietnam National University and national education, the President of Vietnam honored him with the Third-class Labor Medal (2016) and the Second-class Labor Medal (2022). He was recognized as an exemplary educator by the Ministry of Education and Training on the 40th Anniversary of National Education.; In 2022, he was also the first recipient of the Vietnam National University’s Teacher Award.

Professor Nguyen Dinh Duc’s being consecutively listed in the top 100 leading scientists globally in Engineering and Technology many years has affirmed the position and reputation of Vietnamese scientists on the international scientific map.

Throughout 40 years dedicated to the profession and Vietnam National University, Professor  Nguyen Dinh Duc, as an educator and scientist, has tirelessly devoted himself to the cause of education and training. His resilience, passion for science, and dedication serve as a shining example for the younger generations to follow and a source of pride for Vietnam National University and Vietnamese education in general.

VNU Hanoi – UET news

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