The scientists who come back to home country

14:07 | 30/01/2017 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Although studying for their PhDs and having good working opportunities abroad, many Vietnamese intellectuals have made a decision to come back to their country in order to contribute to the development of science. Their stories have inspired young people to pursue scientific research.  

the scientists who come back to home country

Prof. Nguyen Van Hieu (first from the right) receives the Ta Quang Buu Awards

Prof. Nguyen Van Hieu works at Hanoi University of Science and Technology’s International Training Institute for Materials Science (ITIMS).

He has had 130 scientific works and 85 articles in ISI journals, of which 22 articles were peer-reviewed internationally. His research topics mainly focus on nano materials for gas sensors and biosensors, synthesis and application of grapheme and integrated circuits reliability. Hieu was awarded the title of professor in 2015 and is currently the youngest professor in Vietnam. He was also the recipient of the Ta Quang Buu Awards by the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2016 for his research on design of SnO2/ZnO hierarchical nanostructures for enhanced ethanol gas-sensing performance.

Prof. Hieu got his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at Hue University, his Master of Science in Materials Science at Hanoi University of Science and Technology’s ITIMS, and his doctorate in electronic materials at the Netherlands’ University of Twente, where he was also offered opportunities to work in large corporations such as Philips. Working conditions in the Netherlands at that time were relatively good with high wages. However, his mentor-teacher said, “Vietnam is a country with many difficulties. Those people who have a capacity like you should return home. Although an individual does not contribute much, the gathering of many intellectuals will help the country develop.”

Two weeks after graduation, Hieu decided to return home to be a lecturer at Hanoi University of Science and Technology’s ITIMS. “I and my family have experienced many difficulties. My savings from the Netherlands were spent after four or five years. However, I made a wise choice in coming home,” Hieu said.

When you are good at work, you will be well-paid. Young people cannot do anything if they keep asking the state to create good working conditions for them, especially in the current context of the country, Hieu said.

the scientists who come back to home country

Nguyen Ba Hai, a 34-year-old doctorate holder

Nguyen Ba Hai, a 34-year-old doctorate holder, rejected a work opportunity in the Republic of Korea with a salary of US$5,000 per month. Instead he returned home to be a lecturer at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education. He has patented five international and one domestic inventions, and has had many research works published in international journals.

Hai and his colleagues researched and successfully produced thousands of glasses for visually-impaired people in the country, called “haptic eyes”, which help the blind feel obstacles near or far, high or low, big or small. Six seconds after the device is turned on, it starts activating a navigation function. When sensing an obstacle, the device vibrates at an intensity dependent on the distance of the obstacles.

Although many aids have been developed over the years to help the blind and visually impaired, their prices are often high. Hai’s glasses, on the other hand, sell for about US$100 a piece. His invention has won high praise from domestic and foreign organizations and many wanted to buy it for billions of Vietnamese dong, but he refused.

In addition to glasses for visually-impaired people, Hai also studied successfully to produce coffee makers combining Japanese-Vietnamese-Italian technology. Each machine makes 10 cups of concentrated coffee in accordance with Vietnamese taste in only 10 minutes. Thanks to its success, Hai and his colleagues have built the Javi Coffee chain to create jobs for low-income people in Ho Chi Minh City.

Hai attributes his repatriation decision to the love of family and country.

The international environment is professional, but it might not really be a good one, Hai said. In his mind, the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education is the best environment to study and lecture. In fact, many people after graduation have also come back to the country and currently hold important positions in large businesses or work in the services sector, he added.

Nga Quynh