Dr. Huy Dang, assistant professor in Trent’s School of the Environment and Chemistry Department, is fast gaining a reputation as one of the University’s (and the world’s) promising young researchers to watch. Conducting groundbreaking research on rare earth metals, he was recently recognized as one of Vietnam’s top 20 young faces under 35.
“This recognition is a great honour, and I am deeply thankful to my mentors, collaborators and students worldwide who made this possible,” says Professor Dang. “This is certainly not only an appreciation of my own research and effort but also recognizes and reinforces the leadership of Trent University in research, especially environmental science, on a global scale.”
Research with global impact
In addition to the international recognition, Prof. Dang and his research group, ENIGMA, recently received significant funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), as well as an internal operating NSERC grant through Trent’s Office of Research and Innovation for research on rare earth metals and other chemical elements that facilitate technological innovation and the low-carbon energy economy. ENIGMA hopes to contribute toward the circular economy of these emerging but vital natural resources globally with other Canadian and international partners.
“The knowledge gained through this research will be essential to hi-tech industries and electronic waste recycling in Canada and globally,” says Prof. Dang. “This is quite timely and critical, as this research will guide risk assessments, help establish environmental regulations and develop sustainable rare earth industries.”
Research with a global reach will, of course, require global collaboration – something at which Prof. Dang excels. Both graduate and undergraduate students will have the opportunity to collaborate on and develop research projects in Prof. Dang’s lab.
“We will be working with the International Institute for Environmental Studies (IIES) to develop specialized seminars and student forums to provide students with opportunities to be involved in environmental research at an international scale,” explains Prof. Dang. “Once travel restrictions are lifted, we hope to organize a graduate student forum in Ho Chi Minh City in partnership with the Vietnam National University and the Institute for Circular Economy Development.”
Prof. Dang believes that Trent’s combination of an outstanding collegial environment, motivated students and world-class facilities will stand him in good stead as he continues his research, which he hopes will inspire a new generation of environmental geochemists in this critical field.