talk-show

BEING A WOMEN IN ENGINEERING – STORY FROM A RESEARCH UNIVERSITY

As a leading research university, VGU care about creating a fair environment for female colleague, encourage not only more female engineer to join the workplace, but also more girl and woman to attend our engineering study programs.

1. A conversation with renown women in a research university

The host is Katharina Beckmann – the Head of Academic and Students Affairs Department here at the Vietnamese-German University. She expresses her glad to be here to talk about a topic that is very dear to her heart: Being a female engineer at the research university of VGU.

Being a female engineer herself, having studied architecture, a lot of the challenges and conflicts discuss today she has faced during her studies or in professional life. Joining with Ms. Katharina are two other female professors:
Dr. Vi Nguyen Hong is the Academic Coordinator of the Master Program Global Production Engineering Management (GPE) and also a lecturer in Sustainable Product Development. Dr. Vi got a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering (2017), Old Dominion University, USA. She has several years of working in the industry, and her research university interests include the fields of sustainable development, environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, advanced manufacturing technology, and production planning.

Dr. Hien Nguyen Minh is a Senior Lecturer in the Bachelor Program Electrical & Computer Engineering and has been until recently the Vice Dean of Studies for the Faculty of Engineering. Dr. Hien got a Ph.D. degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, and has been a Postdoc at Stanford Research University, USA. She is teaching Signal Processing at VGU since 2015. And her Fields of Expertise are Digital signal processing, Digital image processing, Magnetic resonance imaging.

2. Brief introduction about women in a research university

Although Vietnam ranks high globally in terms of its female labor participation rate – around 79 percent of women aged between 15 and 64 are either engaged in paid work or are looking for jobs in Vietnam compared to 85 percent of men – Vietnamese women still face a lot of challenges being in the workforce. One of them is a significant gender pay gap. The income of women in managerial positions was about 12 percent lower than their male counterparts in 2016.
Besides, Vietnamese women still face prejudices, including societal and cultural notions of women being homemakers. And while the female participation rate in Vietnam is impressive, there is visible gender disparity regarding overall labor force participation within different industries.

In technical fields, it’s challenging for women to gain professorships even at research universities that employ women faculties. So, in fact, despite some improvements, Vietnamese women still have several hurdles to overcome to get equal access to job opportunities and career advancements. And unfortunately, VGU is no exception: as a research university, the majority of our lecturers are still male, and currently, only around 10% of the students in our engineering programs are female.

3. An honest conversation of being a female engineering

In the beginning, the talk show focus on the discussion of whether a man is better suited to become engineers. There are many examples of how it can be an advantage to be a female. A lot of changes in the past years but still No more different. Of course, there are challenges. But as a female, we also have advantages. She also gives some examples of the rate of female studying/working in the engineering field, in research university, and the case of VGU students.

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The reality of women working in engineering field or in research university is still very alerting

Next, both guests share the reasons why they chose your field of work and the path that lead them to become a VGU lecturer. Along with that are the challenges that they had to overcome during the studies and professional life being a female engineer in a research university?

Most importantly, the guest continues to propose tips for a future female engineering student at VGU on how to overcome those challenges and what characteristics they think should female students in engineering programs have. They also list out some of the main reason why research university and the industry is the right choice for female engineering students now, including Employers want female engineers, You’ll make a difference in the world, Engineers are paid well, You get to be creative, You’ll have plenty of career options…

How do you define “what is engineering” in the past and now? Did you experience any changes in your field of work, particularly the research university environment? This exciting topic from an audience’s question creates another fun exchange in the talk show. Engineers use both scientific knowledge and mathematics, on the one hand, to develop technologies and infrastructure to address human, social and economic issues and challenges on the other.

Engineers connect social needs with innovation and commercial applications. So to sum up on this topic of female engineering at research university:

Although huge steps have been made in the past, we still have a long way to go until we truly reach gender equality In Vietnam as well as all around the world, especially in the engineering field.

But we have encouraging role models amidst us like Dr. Vi and Dr. Hien that show us that it is possible to be successful in a male-dominated field and make a difference. At a research university like VGU, things are changing, and you can be positive about a better outcome.

Apply to VGU to one of our 14 Bachelor and Master Programs. And say yes to your bright future as a female engineer or in whatever field you chose to study at VGU.

Rewatch the whole talk show now for more details at https://youtu.be/cmZAt75T9Hw

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VGU PROMOTES STUDENT RESEARCH ACTIVITIES

With its goal to become a leading research university in the country and region, Vietnamese-German University always tries to provide the best condition and environment for the researcher and student to execute their projects. Follow on this mission, The President of VGU issued a regulation on the student research activities, which took effect from 22nd May 2020.

1. Objectives of the student research activities

A tier 1 research university needs to encourage its students to take part in professional research activities more, due to the following objectives:
1. To improve the training quality of human resources contributing to discover and foster young talents for the country, especially in the fields of engineering, economics, and other areas following the development of the substantial study programs at the university.
2. To meet student research requirements and aspirations, to promote dynamism, creativity, independent research capacity of students, and build up self-learning competence of students, gain the learning goal of the course.
3. To improve logical and critical thinking ability as well as scientific report reading, writing, and presentation skills.
4. To make efficient use of the potential well-equipped and advanced laboratories, apply scientific and technical achievements to solve practical problems in life-related to the field of training.
5. To help students acquire scientific knowledge and foundations, further develop learning, teaching, and research activities.
6. To contribute to the creation of new scientific-technological products for society.

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The student research demand should be considered when developing a plan

2. How to deploy the student research plan at a research university

2.1 Development of student research plan

The Research Management Department (RMD) announces student research programs to the Faculties as well as calls VGU students for application and submission of research project proposals up to 4 times per year. Besides, students are encouraged to submit research proposals anytime during the year.

Based on the number of student research projects in the previous years, RMD shall work with the Finance and Accounting Department (FAD) for the cost estimation and allocation for student research activities and submit to the PB for approval. This will be considered in line with PB’s plan to improve VGU research university rankings.

The student research plan must conform to the Faculties and university’s research orientation, including:

a. Determine the research focus, finalize the list of proposals, assign projects, implement projects, and evaluate the research result according to this regulation and regulations of Vietnam.
b. Organize an annual student research conference and other forms of student research activities.
c. Organize and participate in the research events and contests for students.
d. Organize and support students to have research results published, apply scientific and technological advances into practice.

2.2 Determine and conduct the proposed projects

Students propose student research topics and discuss them with an appropriate supervisor.
For those who wish to conduct scientific research but have not found an appropriate supervisor can make a request to the Faculty asking for proper supervisors.

Once the supervisor agrees and finalizes the proposal, students will submit their research proposals form to the RMD (form provided).

RMD is responsible for selecting a list of research proposals, coordinating with the Faculties to propose the establishment of Evaluation Committees for evaluating the proposals, based on that the PB decides to give the student’s research assignments.

The student research project evaluation committee consists of 5 members: 1 Chairman/Chairwoman, 4 members. The Chairperson is either the Dean or Vice-Dean or a lecturer who has solid background and experiences on the registered research topics; the other 3 members are either VGU lecturers or from outside, whereas the last member is an administrative clerk.

2.3 Inspection of the student research project

a. All of the student research projects have to be completed and inspected by the expiry date of the contract. If the project is not completed in due time because of objective reasons, the PI should contact the supervisor and RMD for a project extension.

The extension is only accepted one (01) time and no more than 3 months. After completing the research content and being approved by the supervisor, the PI submits documents to RMD for project inspection; required documents consist of:
– Final report.
– Project outcomes and proofs.

b. RMD shall coordinate with the faculties to propose to the PB to issue a decision on setting up an evaluation committee for student research project inspection.

The evaluation committee includes 05 members: Chairman/Chairwoman, 02 Appraisers, 01 Committee-man/Committee-woman, and 01 Clerk (form provided by RMD).

c. Based on the final report and research outcomes, the evaluation committee decides on assessing and grading the project.

d. Evaluation members assess independently by giving grades to each content in the evaluation form. The final assessment is the average grade of all members. The project is graded at 05 levels as follows:

– Excellent: ≥ 90;
– Very good: from 80 to under 90;
– Good: from 70 to under 80;
– Average: from 60 to under 70;
– Failed: under 60.

e. The result of the assessment is stated explicitly in the evaluation meeting minutes.

f. Based on the evaluation result, the committee proposes the project to participate in the scientific research award of VGU students and/or other international/ national scientific research awards for students. Or decide on handling unsatisfactory research projects.

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VGU aims to become a leading research university in the country and region

3. Other details on executing the student research plan

The excellent and valuable research will be considered for VGU’s annual student research award. Every year, RMD selects the list of notable student research topics to the PB for awarding.

VGU organizes the annual student research conference with the following contents:

1. Summarizing and evaluating student research activities;

2. Presenting the results of outstanding research projects;

3. The annual student research conference is held in the first semester every year.

RMD and the Industrial Relations and Technology Transfer Center (IR&TTC) encourage and offer supportive conditions for students to apply scientific and technological advances into practice from the results of their research.

VGU manages the collection, processing, archives, and dissemination of scientific and technological information of student activities which includes:

1. Manage and archive the results/products of student research projects in the library information system of the university.

2. Announce and publish the student research topics results as stipulated in the current regulations and on VGU’s home page and other public media.

With this new regulation, VGU hopes to encourage more students to participate in professional research activities, bring in innovative ideas, and create a solid base for a research university.