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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.

 

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IMPROVE TRAIN SAFETY WITH AN OUTSTANDING PROJECT BASED ON WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY AND SIMULATION IN RESEARCH

Obstacle on the rail is the number one factor causing an accident for train transport. Therefore, a useful and practical monitor system plays an essential part in train safety. The new project from VGU tackles this matter with the use of wireless technology and simulation in research and has shown tremendous results.

1. Utilize the wireless technology application

Though not a new approach when it came to monitoring field, wireless technology has proved to be extremely convenient and call for further research to deploy its full potential.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Project title:
Design of a new monitor system for railroad and obstruction based on wireless technology to improve train safety
Code number: B2018-VGU-07
Coordinator: Dr. Do Xuan Phu
Implementing institution: Vietnamese-German University
Duration: from 1st January 2018 to 1st January 2019. The project has been expanded to 31st December 2019

2. Objectives

The main objective of the research project is to design, fabricate, and test the monitoring system for train rails based on a wireless technology system to detect safety barriers for railway traffic early. The parameters of the box follow the specific objectives as follows:

+ The size of the monitoring box is expected to be between 150 x 80 x 60 mm (length x width x height). This size depends on the sensor components, circuits, batteries,… arranged inside the box.

+ Energy-saving activities, with battery capacity operating 24/24 hours for a maximum of 1 month. The battery capacity lasts for a long time, depending on the data update adjustment to the monitoring wireless technology network.

+ Monitoring box for transferring data information is adjustable, at least 1 minute updated 1 time.

+ Connection to each other via a private wireless technology network, the connection distance between two consecutive boxes is 5 meters (this is the minimum expected range). As expected, the private network, however, if conditions allow it to be connected via the accessible internet in our country.

+ Range scan for a box within a distance of 5 meters. This is also the most extensive scan of the sensor system placed inside the box.

+ Monitoring box can use solar energy to provide monitoring. The estimated solar energy supply is 30 W. Note: this value does not include the solar cell conversion efficiency.

+ The ability of waterproofing in high rain conditions and the high humidity of our country.

+ The measurement error and information processing of the box does not exceed 5%. This difference is interpreted as the ability of the intelligent algorithm to apply in distinguishing shapes not exceeding 5% of the error.

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The monitoring box using wireless technology

3. Subjects of the study

Through the above analysis, the study object is the current railway monitoring system; the selected area is intersected with the residential road. The study will focus on designing the technical monitoring box with the most economical price and the wireless technology connection and development of the signal processing algorithm from the box. The design of a monitoring connection box is based on the following combinations:

a. The circuit connects the sensor and wireless signal: the circuit is selected so that the structure is compact, uniform (easy to replace), easy to repair and maintain.

b. Signal collection sensor: The expected signal is the signal from the shape sensor (infrared), distance signal, signal to detect moving objects.

c. Wireless technology signal generator circuit and from there will connect to the central signal processing cluster for the final result.

d. The battery pack maintains the operation of the circuits and sensors with the goal of enough energy and savings so that the longest use time. The maintenance of this energy depends on updating the signal over time, for example: 1 minute/time, 5 minutes/time,…

Signal processing connection design focuses on:

a. Signal processing algorithm: clustering method, adaptive method, fuzzy model algorithm, neural networks. These algorithms will be reviewed and developed in combination with each other to increase the processing capability against signal interference. This is the core of the signal processing connection design.

b. The basic hardware system to apply this algorithm: computers and connectors collect wireless technology data from the monitoring box.

4. Approach and method of the research

The study was approached by the method

a. Calculation in research: calculate the interconnection of devices together, the ability to use energy efficiently.

b. Simulation in research: the signal processing process is simulated on a computer to test the effectiveness of the proposed processing algorithm, the ability of the network system to be connected in collecting and processing.
Both methods use analytic operations and compute numbers as needed.

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Using calculation and simulation in research to estimate the effectiveness of the monitor system

5. Creativeness and innovativeness – how wireless technology was utilized

a. The newness of the project:

Designing a high-performance and low-cost obstacle monitoring box using wireless technology in the market with many expensive surveillance devices is now one of the biggest challenges for the research team.
It is also the novelty of a modern surveillance device to be suitable for all users, from the railway industry to the households. The team has succeeded in producing equipment that satisfies very high requirements and completes the project with high quality, plus scientific publications with the highest levels of gray matter.

b. The creativity of the project:

The project has used existing equipment sold in the Vietnamese market to carry out manufacturing and also uses the existing telecommunications network in our country to communicate. This is the most exceptional creativity of the project, ensuring timely replacement of damaged equipment and utilizing the current wireless technology network to connect monitoring.

Through this objective review, the economic benefits for installing railway wireless technology monitoring boxes are quite high, accounting for 98.82% for 1 year, and if considering 5 years, the benefit-cost is 80.24%. This proves that when the research is successful, in addition to improving the safety of the railway system, economic benefits are also significantly improved.
If you are interested in the project, please feel free to contact the PI – Dr. Do Xuan Phu at phu.dx@vgu.edu.vn for further details.

phat-trien-do-thi-o-Vietnam

FLOODING IN URBAN DEVELOPMENT – NEW PROJECT ON DEVELOPING AND ASSESSING TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT MEASURES

Regarding the subject of urban development in Viet Nam, there has been one tremendously practical factor that was not mentioned very often – urban flooding. The project from Dr. Vu Anh Tuan from Vietnamese-German University – which was just liquidated recently, takes a closer look at the effects of this matter on traffic, and propose a solution to minimize this impact on urban development.

1. Elevate the urban development research in Viet Nam

Sustainable urban development and transportation are one of VGU’s key research directions in recent years, with several projects focus on finding new methods to improve life in the cities. The project B2018-VGU-08 was finished in December 2019 and liquidated in March 2020, one of four projects funded by the Ministry of Education and Training in the period of 2018-2019.

General information:

Project Title: Developing and assessing traffic management measures under flooding conditions caused by heavy rains and high tide surge in Ho Chi Minh City
Project code: B2018-VGU-08
Principal investigator: Dr. Vu Anh Tuan
Research institution: Vietnamese-German University
Project direction: Sustainable urban development and transportation
Duration: 18 months (June 2018 – December 2019)

2. Managing flooding in urban development

The ultimate objective of the research is to formulate a set of weather-responsive traffic management measures to minimize the traffic impacts of heavy rains and urban floods. The study has three specific objectives for urban development as follows:

1) Collecting data (including surveys) and analyzing the levels of road flooding in HCMC due to heavy rains and high tidal rises.

2) Conducting travel behavior surveys and analyzing the patterns of travel behavior changes due to adverse weather conditions (before, during, and after the adverse weather), and its impacts on traffic and mobility.

3) Formulating traffic management strategies to mitigate the negative traffic impacts of heavy rains and urban floods.

3. Creativity and innovation

This research has contributed to the literature on the patterns of travel behavior changes under adverse weather conditions and urban flooding; the impacts of adverse weather and urban flooding on traffic and mobility in urban development sustainability, transport network capacity; the weather-responsive traffic management measures to minimize traffic impacts of heavy rains and urban floods.

This research has applied various techniques of analysis, for instances descriptive analysis, independence tests, binary logit models, and VISUM-based traffic simulation model, to (1) capture possible changes of people’s travel behavior under the adverse weather conditions; (2) quantify the impacts of adverse weather conditions, urban flooding and weather-responsive traffic management measures on traffic and mobility.

The value of research contribution is expressed by a methodology developed for assessing possible impacts of adverse weather and urban flooding and weather-responsive traffic management measures. The method could be used for designing traffic management solutions and further improved in future urban development researches.

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Dr. Vu Anh Tuan presents the project and its effect on urban development

4. Research results – Creating an impact on urban development

The research has been completed concerning the goal of formulating a set of weather-responsive traffic management measures to minimize traffic impacts of heavy rains and floods in urban development. Specifically, three objectives have been achieved, including:

1) Collecting data of traffic volumes and flow speeds on 15 roads that floods have often occurred (i.e., surveys on regular and rainy days) and analyzing the levels of road flooding in HCMC due to heavy rains and/or high tidal rises and its impacts on traffic.

2) Conducting travel behavior surveys with 500 respondents and analyzing the patterns of travel behavior changes due to adverse weather conditions (before, during, and after the adverse weather), and its impacts on traffic and mobility in urban development.

3) Formulating traffic management strategies to mitigate the negative traffic impacts of heavy rains and urban floods.

A transport model has been built on VISUM and used for traffic impact assessment of proposed measures. The results of this research shall be a scientific base for practical design of traffic management measures to efficiently respond to heavy rains and urban floods in the urban development of HCMC, with a focus on potentially effective measures and specific road user groups (e.g., students, workers, and public transport users).

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The project aims to improve on the urban development sustainability of Vietnam traffic system

5. Transfer method, beneficiary, and impacts of the research results:

The research results will be transferred to the Ministry of Education and Training for the purpose of education and research reference.

The research results will also be transferred to HCMC’s Department of Transport, Management Center of Saigon Tunnel (MCST), Center for Urban Road Infrastructure Management, Traffic Police, and District People’s Committees to refer to and may conduct further studies in urban development to bring the proposals into practice.
If you are interested in the project, please feel free to contact the PI – Dr. Vu Anh Tuan at drtuan.va@vgtrc.vgu.edu.vn for further details.

Sustainable Urban Development (SUD) is a full-time two-year (4-Semester) joint-degree Master Program offered by Vietnamese-German University (VGU) and Technical University of Darmstadt. Basics of urban planning and understanding of general urban structures are necessary to get an idea of sustainable urban development. Graduates from this course will be able to analyze and assess growing problems in urban areas critically and to develop appropriate solutions from different aspects (architectural, social, economic, ecological and institutional, etc.)

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NEW PROJECT ON WATER TREATMENT FROM VGU STUDENTS

Environment science and water treatment have always been one of VGU’s essential directions in research. Therefore, we encourage not only the research staff and lecturers but also our students to participate in. One of our latest projects on the subject matter comes from one from Mechanical Engineering program, but with the passion for the environment and a new approach to water treatment solution, he had successfully created the textile wastewater treatment block with the electrochemical method.

1. Textile water treatment – the old-new story

Water treatment is used to call any process that improves the quality of water, could be for drinking, industrial usages, river flow conservation, or irrigation. Water treatment removes contaminants and undesirable components or reduces their concentration so that the water becomes fit for its desired end-use. Each purpose requires a different level of purification and specific water treatment methods.

Textile wastewater is highly polluted, characterized by high colorization as well as high Chemical and Biological Oxygen Demands (COD and BOD, respectively). For long, this is one of the industries that pose a dire threat to the environment if the water treatment is not operating per standard. The blooming of the fast fashion market surely did not help since clothes and garments are used at a more rapid pace nowadays. Currently, the primary and typical water treatment process is via biological agents. While it is a tried-and-true water treatment methods, the system is bulky, requiring a large amount of upfront capital to set up.

2. Electrochemical – a new method for water treatment in the textile industry

In March 2019, Mechanical Engineer student Tran Le Hoang, supervised by Dr. Tran Le Luu (Master Program in Water Technology, Reuse & Management), successfully defended the project on building a textile water treatment systems block with the electrochemical method. Recently, the research paper on this project has been accepted by the international scientific journal “Desalination and Water treatment” (ISI indexed, Q2, Officially Journal of European Desalination Society).

Electrochemical, using the interaction between electrical current and chemicals to run its reactions, is a new and relatively untested water treatment methods. However, within this project, it has shown its promises: being a simple system, easy to set up and to run. After five hours, practically all colors have been removed, with values of COD and BOD all fall within acceptable limits in Vietnamese Discharge for Wastewater. Despite being made on a small pilot scale, the water treatment systems only have a similarity in operational cost compared to a full-scale operating system using biological agents.

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Textile water treatment systems block with the electrochemical method

3. The future of water treatment is promising

More and more research and project on water treatment have been developed lately as a direct response to the disastrous state of our environment right now. A new approach like Tran Le Hoang’s project is indeed the needle in the haystack the industry is waiting for. With the joint efforts of scientists and industries, there is hope that the water problem will be solved in the near future.

As a research-oriented university, VGU always cares about projects that affect the pressing issues in the world. Environment, water treatment, and climate change applications are one of the school’s main research directions. The Water Environmental Technology Labs at VGU is a modern and high-end lab in the field. Aim to present the students with new areas and methods of sustainable urban drainage, water supply, water treatment, and urban water management. The lab is accessible for the learning and scientific research of WTE students, provide them the exposure to the latest tech. With this strength in facilities, along with the support from our experienced lecturers, it is expectant that more researches on this water treatment topic will be carried out shortly, preferably by VGU students.

Reference: Tran Le Hoang, Tran Le Luu (2020) Fabrication of textile wastewater treatment block unit using the electrochemical method, Desalination and Water treatment, Accepted Manuscript.

VGU offers the 4-semester master’s program of Water Technology, Reuse, and Management (WTE) in associate with TU Darmstadt. Graduates will learn to define and describe the challenges of water treatment, water reuse, and water management of fast-growing cities and rural areas in a wide range. They know methods and processes which could be able to solve such problems as well as their advantages and disadvantages. The graduates can decide which methods and procedures have to be used to solve a particular problem, and they are also able to use such methods and processes in practice. Finally, they get the knowledge to adapt known methods and processes to develop new techniques and procedures to solve new problems in the future.