As an environmental scientist who grew up in Vietnam, studied in France and now conducts his award-winning research at Trent University, Dr. Huy Dang understands the need for international collaboration in scientific endeavours, including a cause close to his heart – the fight against pollution.
“Pollution is inextricably a global issue that requires international collaboration,” Prof. Dang says. “Trent is the ideal institution for my research because it values diversity and promotes research across borders.”
For all of his hard work, Prof. Dang was recently awarded with one of Vietnam’s most prestigious national honours – the Golden Globe in Science and Technology for Early Career Scientists and the Medal for Creativity. The awards will help Prof. Dang develop bilateral research programs between Vietnam and Canada, and between Trent University, the International Institute for Environmental Studies and Vietnamese institutions.
Prof. Dang is involved in several international projects in Canada, France, New Caledonia, Fiji, China and Vietnam to investigate the impacts of pollution on the ecosystem and human health. He is also a key researcher with an international team in Vietnam to investigate and mitigate the impact of pollutants in the context of global climate changes threatening water quality and food security.
A global journey leads to Trent
Prof. Dang left Vietnam at age 17 to study in France, where he earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Geochemistry in 2014.
Coming to Canada in 2015, he worked as a postdoctoral research associate in Trent’s School of the Environment, before becoming a faculty member last year to lead the ENIGMA group, which researches analytical chemistry and isotope and environmental biogeochemistry.
At Trent, he enjoys the small class sizes that allow him to work closely with students so he can better understand their interests and skillsets to design the best-suited research projects.
The University also offers state-of-the-art analytical instrumentations, including at the Water Quality Centre, where he is a member of the board of directors.
“Trent offers a unique combination of three key ingredients fundamental to successful research programs,” he says. “Outstanding collegial environment, motivated students and world-class facilities.”
Students gain hands-on international experience
Prof. Dang’s students also benefit from his collaborative international work – they have the opportunity to participate in overseas research through long-term collaborations with universities in France.
As a visiting professor at the University of Marseille-Aix and Univesrity of Toulon, he has created an annual field course (ERSC 3240) in the Mediterranean coast of France. Next year, 12 Trent students will work closely with graduate students from France, the U.K. and China to study biodiversity and environmental pollution in the Mediterranean Sea.
Meanwhile, in Vietnam, Prof. Dang recently spoke to future Trent students at a virtual open house about his personal experiences, his research and the University’s values.
“At Trent, we aspire to climb the ladder of success,” he says, “but also make sure to leave the ladder down so others can follow.”
Learn more about Trent’s School of the Environment – one of Canada’s top post-secondary environmental institutions, which is the university of choice for future environmental leaders.