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Head of science institute devotes time to helping researchers

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The Advanced Institute for Science amp; Technology promotes Vietnam’s materials science with a high number of successful scientific research works and technology transfer deals.

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Dr Pham Thanh Huy and his co-workers


AIST’s head, Prof Dr Pham Thanh Huy, talking about his role and the institute’s achievements, said he simply “supports researchers when necessary and gives explanations” whenever he can.

Huy likes to repeat the opinion of Dr Tran Chi Thanh, director of the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute, that being a director doesn’t mean writing many research articles, but means creating favorable conditions for researchers to have more articles.


More than 10 years ago, when outlining the AIST establilshment plan, Huy thought carefully to design a laboratory which “has infrastructure good enough even for reserachers returning from overseas”.

Many PhDs refuse attractive jobs opportunity overseas and return to Vietnam, but they need good laboratories to work.

AIST’s laboratory includes four modules which support each other. One module focuses on creating materials with physical and chemical methods. 

Module 2 has optical analyzers, devices for measuring optical, magnetic and electrical properties of materials. Module 3 is a clean room with many devices for single-layer thin film fabrication, and multi-layer multi-layer film. And Module 4 contains electron microscopy systems (SEM, TEM).

It took Huy and his co-workers four years to set up a “good enough” facility, but it took much more time to create a “trustworthy, democratic and transparent atmosphere at AIST”.

“As a head, I have to find out the strength of researchers and take full advantage of the resources. I don’t have to write more scientific articles, but have to give them more opportunities so that they can have good articles,” Huy said.

At least 90 percent of scientists at the institute have completed overseas training establishments.


In 2010, AIST found support from Rang Dong Light Source & Vaccuum Flash to build a laboratory, which laid the foundation for the cooperation of the two sides. 

AIST’s scientists helped solve many of Rang Dong’s questions and the cooperation between them has paved the way for AIST to work with many businesses and transfer technology to them.

Commercialization of university research findings faces obstacles in Vietnam. Only a few research works conducted at universities can be applied in reality. Most discoveries are put in mothballs after the authors announce their findings in scientific journals.



Source: VietNamNet

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