return icon

The engineer with over 50 international publications

Failing in his attempt to be a shipbuilding engineer in his homeland, Mr. Mai The Vu came across an opportunity to study abroad and became a researcher majoring in self-driving vehicles.

Before becoming an Assistant Professor in Department of Intelligent Mechatronics Engineering at Sejong University in South Korea, Vu won a full scholarship and graduated with a Master’s degree and a PhD from Korea Maritime and Ocean University (KMOU). He also won many scholarships for foreign students at Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology -KIOST.

However, no-one thought that his major would later be different from the subject he was trained for while studying at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HCMUT) in the Department of Marine Engineering, Faculty of Transportation Engineering.

Winning a scholarship

Từ chàng kỹ sư suýt thất nghiệp đến hơn 50 công bố quốc tế

Mai The Vu (born in 1990) is an alumnus of HCMUT. 

Vu graduated from HCMUT in 2013. At that time, shipbuilding enterprises were facing many difficulties. He tried in vain to be employed to work as a shipbuilding engineer.

While he was confused about his future career, his former head teacher in the university suggested an opportunity to study at KMOU. Without hesitation, he decided to take that chance to study in the Department of Mechatronics Engineering.

“I had never thought of becoming an overseas student as I always assumed that it was costly to do so. But I still wanted to try,” Vu said.

His profile was approved but he encountered many difficulties when he arrived in South Korea.

“My biggest problem was that I had to participate in a completely different field of study. Moreover, I had to learn Korean to communicate with other students and professors,” Vu said.

When he was a postgraduate, he had to spend most of his time in the laboratory. As a result, it was not an unusual thing that he had to stay at the lab until after midnight.

“Korean professors only cared about results. I had to report my research once a week, so I worked every day. They sometimes got many projects for me and other postgraduates to do. Therefore, participants could understand the procedure for research. Although each member had to multitask, these were chances for us to have more experiences,” Vu added.

VN scientist with over 50 published articles on underwater robots

Từ chàng kỹ sư suýt thất nghiệp đến hơn 50 công bố quốc tế

In the first couple of years in South Korea, Vu mainly focused on developing underwater construction robots. This was the subject presented in his first scientific article.

“Using an underwater construction robot, workers control it to bury a cable or ladder on the seabed. In this article, I calculated forces to operate the robot to follow pre-programmed instructions,” he said.

It took him a year to finish his first article. The hardest thing was that he had to find an idea and then look for supporting information. There are not many references related to Mechatronics Engineering.

Writing skills also caused him to struggle with the article. In the first stage, as he did not have much experience in authoring an article, he could not draft a scientific article in the appropriate language. He had to communicate with his professor every day to ask for the professor’s opinions. After a month improving his article, he finished and it was published on a well-known magazine.

During his time in South Korea, Vu has published more than 50 articles in international scientific magazine. Among these, 11 articles were classified as Q1 (he was the main author of seven articles), and 10 articles were classified as Q2 (he was the main author of five articles). Four of his articles were named as some of the best presentations in scientific conferences in South Korea in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Từ chàng kỹ sư suýt thất nghiệp đến hơn 50 công bố quốc tế

Vu with his wife in Korea.


In his opinion, building a network among colleagues is an important thing to a scientist. “Scientists cannot work on their own. By joining this network, scientists can communicate and learn from one another about their field,” Vu said.

He has built his own network including researchers from Iran, Japan, South Korea, the USA, Taiwan… After eight years of living in South Korea, Vu continues to pursue his career of developing underwater robots that help find minerals or lost objects, and are used in military.

Despite unexpected turning point, Vu said that he cannot come back to Vietnam.

“I think that this is a deep subject, and I do not have enough knowledge to carry out research independently. Moreover, the underwater robot field in Vietnam has not received much attention. In the future, I hope that I can return to Vietnam and apply my research to solve problems relating to underwater techniques,” Vu said.

Doan Hung - Quynh Trang - Mai Anh

Novel project by young students featured in Vietnam Yellow Book of Innovation 2021

Novel project by young students featured in Vietnam Yellow Book of Innovation 2021

Research results on innovative equipment systems for production of silage as animal feed by five Hanoi students has been included in the Vietnam Yellow Book of Innovation 2021.

Female valedictorian discovers security vulnerabilities of US tech giant Oracle

Female valedictorian discovers security vulnerabilities of US tech giant Oracle

Before becoming valedictorian at the Academy of Cryptography Techniques, Le My Quynh had been been honored by a US tech group for her discovery of important security flaws.



Demand for logistics real estate increases sharply: Savills Vietnam

Vietnam’s logistics industry is developing strongly thanks to the growth of the e-commerce industry, according to Savills Vietnam.

Discover the exquisite rainbow rice noodles of Can Tho

Rainbow rice noodles, also known as five-coloured hủ tiếu, are a fun take on the traditional Vietnamese rice noodles and a must-try for every tourist to Can Tho City in the Mekong Delta.

A unique cave awaits explorers in Quang Binh Province

Va Cave in the core zone of the Phong Nha- Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh Province, with its unique stalagmites and stalactites, is a natural beauty waiting to be discovered by explorers.

The most important 'economic corridors' for next 10-30 years

The national planning draft for 2021-2030 with a vision towards 2050 focuses on the formulation and development of economic corridors, dynamic zones, large cities and economic zones associated with the national infrastructure framework.

Artisans strive to keep traditional craft alive

Artisan Tran Van Ban is busy all day from early in the morning to the evening. He is carving out beautiful mooncake molds to serve people's demands for the Mid-Autumn Festival which is approaching in the next few weeks.

Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam returns home to join a V.league 1’s club

Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam is set for a return to V.League 1 after touching down in HCM City with his agent.

VN Aviation Business Association proposal raising domestic airfare ceiling

The president of the Vietnam Aviation Business Association (VABA) has proposed to adjust the ceiling fare for domestic airlines to promote the industry's recovery.

More than 251 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered in Vietnam

More than 251 million doses of COID-19 vaccines have been administered to Vietnamese people of all ages across the country, including nearly 100,000 doses given on August 14, according to the Ministry of Health.

Foreign experts learn from Vietnam’s biphasic in vitro maturation technology

A group of four Australian doctors and experts visited My Duc Hospital in Phu Nhuan district, Ho Chi Minh City, to learn from the Vietnamese side’s experience in biphasic in vitro maturation (CAPA-IVM) from August 13-14.

HCM City ready to reactivate COVID-19 treatment hospitals

The Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City has recently requested its medical facilities to get plans readied for the acceptance and treatment of COVID-19 patients in the context of increases in the number of new cases.

How many supermarkets are in Hanoi, HCM City?

In some localities in the country, no new supermarket has been set up over the last seven years.

Can the Vietnamese metaverse classroom compete with Facebook and Google?

With beautiful graphics, colors and materials, Vietnam’s Elite Meta is dreaming of competing equally with giants Facebook and Google.

PM thanks Russian scientists for preservation of President Ho’s embalmed body

Russian experts have joined the preservation of President Ho Chi Minh’s body for over 50 years since he passed away in 1969.

Shares to keep upward trend this week: brokers

Vietnamese shares are forecast to continue their upward trend this week as profit-taking pressure is cooling down significantly.

Emulating the ambitions of Singapore’s high-tech vision

With its vibrant economic development, Vietnam offers an unparalleled investment destination for Singaporean corporations.