Professor Brings Biomedical
Engineering to Vietnam
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR VO VAN
TOI is working to bring
biomedical engineering to Vietnam.
With support from the National Science Foundation, he has visited the country
twice over the past year. The first trip took place last spring and found Vo, an associate professor in biomedical engineering,
leading a delegation of American professors and researchers throughout the
country. The goals of the delegation were to assess the status of biomedical
engineering in the country and to identify areas in which collaboration between
the United States and Vietnam could
occur. Vo returned to Vietnam
in July 2004 with fellow biomedical engineering Professor and Acting Associate
Dean of Engineering Sergio Fantini to see what
progress had been made since the first visit, to spread the merits of
biomedical engineering further, and, to lay the groundwork for a summer 2005
biomedical engineering conference in Vietnam.
the field of Biomedical engineering is quite new,” says Vo. “
They are beginning to develop the infrastructure necessary to move
forward. For example, in January 2004 the Ho Chi Minh
University of Technology created its Biomedical Engineering Department. To help
this process along, I have proposed a model. I call it the Virtual Department
of Biomedical Engineering of Vietnam.”
As part of the virtual department plan, students from Vietnam will be
given scholarships to study at American universities.
Once in the United
States, these students will focus on
biomedical engineering research, management and leadership, and entrepreneurship.
The hope is that after these students graduate with their master’s or doctoral
degrees they will return to Vietnam and, in the words of Vo, “establish start-up
companies, convert intellectual products into commercially viable ones for
market, and conduct joint scientific research projects with the United States.”
Professor Vo and the Vietnam Education
Foundation (VEF) have worked together to make the virtual department a reality
at Tufts, with the VEF providing stipends for three Vietnamese students to
study at the university. Professor Vo, who was
appointed to the VEF Board of Directors by President Bush last May, and the School of Engineering welcomed these students to
Tufts in September.
(Published in Tufts Engineering Issue, Alma Matters: Special