By Huynh Ngoc Dieu
“Hi, I am Dieu, from Vietnam. I am PhD student at the Institute of Biosciences, TU BAF Frieberg, Germany, I am about to finish my PhD this year (2021). I joined the Empower program because I would like to learn new skills and to have mentors that could enable me to move forward with my passion besides professional work. I am interested in environmental issues, particularly those related to water pollution, remediation, and green solution. Everyone can do the best of oneself to make positive impact. Me too, whenever it is possible, I will do the best of myself to help others and protect our mother earth.”
What project idea did you generate or nurture during your time in EMPOWER program?
I had an idea to connect researchers, stake holders working on mining related areas and environmental sectors to reduce negative impact of mining activity to environment (e.g. tailings), local people and develop projects for sustainable mining.
What lasting memories do you associate with your time in EMPOWER program?
I had learned many valuable lessons during Empower program, especially the first lecture of the Empower program from Dr. Jean Paul: “In order to solve the problem, we must first understand it”. Moreover, it was a great time with members of Empower team, who are very motivated and kindhearted with wonderful project ideas.
What is the current status of your EMPOWER project?
I did not have much progress with the project that I planned during Empower program (due to professional career goals). But I believe that I will get back to it soon.
What is the next phase of your project?
Next step of my project is to start an online meeting with EU and Vietnam researchers, stake holders and introduce about project ideas (e.g. on sustainable mining) and establish possible cooperation.
What internal and external contacts did you build throughout your time in EMPOWER program?
During my time in Empower program, for internal contacts, it was an honor for me to know Empower team members as well as Dr. Wopat and Dr. Okwor who did their best to organize the program. In regard to external contacts I am happy to get in touch with Vietnamese researchers who have worked in mining related areas and environmental issue in Vietnam and Australia.
What is your motivation for joining this EMPOWER project?
My motivation was to learn multi-skill competence besides my doctoral research and to be mentored to develop projects in my home country.
Will you tell us your life motto at the end?
Maybe there are several ones, but at the end or most of all I believe in “having courage and being kind in every action I do”.
Which elements of EMPOWER training do you find most helpful?
Each section of the program has its value. For me, the most helpful training was the method to identify and narrow down the problems.