Professor Nguyen Dinh Duc’s Laboratory:
A LABORATORY REACHING INTERNATIONAL STANDARD IN VIETNAM
Now, in Vietnam and many countries around the world, a department is a basic-level organization model which deploys to train common graduate and undergraduate levels in a universities. However, in some advanced research universities of some countries, such as Japan, a department model is combined with a laboratory one into a “two-in-one” model. Reality in Vietnam has also proved that, a laboratory model combined with research is a new and preeminent model.
Recently, a laboratory model as above has appeared in Vietnam. At VNU Hanoi – University of Engineering and Technology, a laboratory of Advanced Materials and Structures was established by Professor Dr.Sci. Nguyen Dinh Duc in 2015. The formation and development of this laboratory can become a experience lesson that other universities in Vietnam need to learn.
The way leading to success isn’t often easy. In early stage, the research group only had a teacher and some students. But with his dedication, Professor Dr.Sci. Nguyen Dinh Duc didn’t only have interesting lectures with deep professional knowledge, but he also “lighted” fires of scientific passion and job love of his students, arousing their creative potentials. Professor Dr.Sci. Duc and his students together tried and did research diligently. Finally, their efforts was remunerated. More and more their articles pulished in prestige international journals. This was a great source of encouragement for them, encouraging scientific research passions for other students. Therefore, more students came to him, the group was more and more crowded. By dedicated guidance of Professor Dr.Sci. Duc, many students improved their learning results, from learning ranks were average or good, they were passionate to study and became very good or excellent students after a period to be trained in the group.
Till now, Professor Dr.Sci. Nguyen Dinh Duc’s research group has been strong, it doesn’t not only have a large group including students and fellows, but also has many young doctors to join in. Most of students in the group become good engineers and have research results published in prestigious ISI international journals after graduating from the university. Some his successful students can be listed as Tran Quoc Quan (1991), a PhD student (now he is trainee in UK), who has 15 articles published in prestigious ISI international journals; Pham Hong Cong who has 18 ISI articles; Pham Toan Thang who has 5 ISI articles (now, he is a PhD student in Korea); Vu Thi Thuy Anh (a PhD student who has 7 ISI articles); Hoang Van Tung (had 5 ISI articles when defensing his PhD thesis in 2010), etc. Some other students such as Vu Dinh Quang, Vu Minh Anh, Nguyen Van Quyen, Tran Van Anh, Vu Dinh Luat, Hoang Van Tac, Nguyen Trong Dao, Ngo Tat Dat, Pham Thi Ngoc An, etc., especially Pham Dinh Nguyen – a third-year student, also have research results published with Professor Dr.Sci. Nguyen Dinh Duc in ISI international journals… Most of students in Mr. Duc’s group come from far provinces, their families are poor and some students have especially difficult family conditions. However, all articles of he and his students are published internationally with internal force 100% made in VN, in a condition which lacks expense, equipment and laboratories.
On the research group foundation, VNU University of Engineering and Technology has established a laboratory of Advanced Materials and Structures. This is a combination of two models: a department model (training fully levels from engineer, master to doctor) and a laboratory model (deploying scientific researches with modern equipment); concurrently has appointed Professor Dr.Sci. Nguyen Dinh Duc as a director of the laboratory. Now, the laboratory has already built a training program and deployed to train about 20 students who choose technical mechanics industry per year and train master and doctor levels in a field of technical mechanics. Besides, the laboratory also attracts dozens of graduate students and fellows from all parts of the country come to research and study.
From Professor Dr.Sci. Nguyen Dinh Duc’s model, we can get a lesson: for success of a research group, the first, we need a talented and enthusiastic teacher to lead students. The second, we need to catch up with advanced and modern researches of the world. The third, we need a training and research environment where has a high academic content such as VNU. The fouth, we need to arouse ambitions and passions for scientific research of young people. Above is the first and the most important factors creating success of a research group.
Professor Dr.Sci. Nguyen Dinh Duc says that, the focus of intensive research and the strength of this research group is fields of: composite, functional and nano materials. Now, the laboratory is also a leading research setting in fields of advanced structures made from functional materials with cracks, nano materials applied to increase energy conversion coefficient in solar panels, piezoelectric materials having changed mechanic and physics properties, auxetic materials (with negative Poisson coefficient and have abilities to decrease shock and absorb explosion wave), new composite materials having special properties applied in extreme conditions and special constructions. Thence, a school of science about advanced materials and structures at Vietnam National University due to Professor Dr.Sci. Nguyen Dinh Duc leads is formed.
So, from a very primitive research group, from 2010 to now, Professor Dr.Sci. Duc has built a modern laboratory according to new model in Vietnam, training is combined with scientific research. With perseverance, passion and effort, he and his students who work in the laboratory have steadily and confidently reached the international standard. His laboratories have acquired many important results in research and contributed practically to the present life which reflected in articles, patents, and inventions. The members of the laboratory who own one or even two patents have published more than 100 high-value scientific articles in prestigious ISI international journals, several monographs published in Russian and English. In addition, this is also the place to train many young talents, highly qualified experts in this field. From this success, PhD student Tran Quoc Quan, a member of the Lab, has been the youngest among the 3 talented young scientists (when he was PhD canditate only) so far to receive the most prestigious award of Mechanics named Nguyen Van Dao. Up to now, the Advanced Materials and Structural Laboratory has made its name in the domestic and foreign scientific community. Therefore, it is the pride of VNU University of Engineering and Technology and Vietnam National University. Professor Dr.Sci. Nguyen Dinh Duc – Director of the Laboratory has also been invited to participate in the editorial boards of many domestic and foreign scientific journals and has been reviewer for over 60 prestigious ISI journals in the word.
The laboratory has been having an equal cooperation relationship with reputable labs and scientists in leading universities such as Tokyo Institute of Technology and Tokyo University (Japan), University of Birmingham (United Kingdom), The University of Melbourne (Australia), Korea, Canada, etc. and has attracted many young doctors of major universities in the country (VNU University of Engineering and Technology, VNU University of Science, Vietnam Japan University, Le Quy Don University, University of Transport and Communications, etc.) in terms of research and training cooperation.
The success of this laboratory model has shown the preeminent strength in the training of students and researchers combined with scientific research to create pioneers in science for the country. Such young intellectuals trained in “made in Vietnam 100%” laboratories will be high-quality human resources, and it is the new factor contributing to the cause of industrialization, modernization, and integration.
Professor Dr.Sci. Nguyen Dinh Duc said that, besides the current research directions, the development strategy for the laboratory in the coming years is to focus on 3 modern research fields and have them applied in practical practices: Civil Engineering (related to math materials and structures for transport, construction and infrastructure works); New energy; Climate change (Rain and flood forecasts and solutions for designing and constructing infrastructure works to adapt to climate change).
Model of building and growing with domestic resources with careful planning has gradually developed from research group to the establishment of laboratory organization which is closely linked to training with research, combining research with practice like Advanced Material and Structure Lab at VNU University of Engineering and Technology. As a result, it creates a new model that is suitable for research universities in Vietnam. In recent years, this group research and laboratory which annually publish 10-15 articles in prestigious ISI journals, research results are invited to report at major international conferences, and now they are the same line with the strong international research groups.
With the support of the Government, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education and Training, the president of VNU Hanoi and the Rector of VNU Hanoi – University of Engineering and Technology, the laboratory will surely develop stronger and be able to meet and interact with more talents.
Professor Dr.Sci. (Dr. Habilitation) Nguyen Dinh Duc is Vietnam’s leading expert in Composite, Advanced materials and Structures. He is the Director of Advanced Materials and Structural Laboratory in VNU Hanoi – University of Engineering and Technology.
Professor Dr.Sci ND Duc has published over 250 scientific papers and reports, including over 135 articles in ISI international journals. The famous professor has been giving lectures at many prestigious universities around the world and is an editorial board member of many prestigious ISI international journals.