RMIT Vietnam is continuing its push to encourage post-graduate research, and PhD candidates in the School of Science & Technology are helping to lead the way.
Eleven PhD students are currently conducting research across semiconductor design, image processing, material engineering, photonics, and other areas.
These students, who started in 2013 in the Master of Engineering program, recently showcased their progress at a ‘three-minute thesis’ event where they updated academic staff and undergraduate students on their work.
These students are also benefiting from an initiative conceived by Associate Professor Anthony Holland, Acting Head of the School of Science & Technology, and supported by funding from the RMIT Melbourne Research and Innovation Office.
The initiative encourages greater connections between student work and industry, and develops opportunities for enhanced academic mentoring.
The first part of the initiative involves seeking advice from industry regarding existing research gaps so that students can focus on areas with real-world application. The other component of the initiative connects students with academic mentors, highly regarded experts in their fields, to provide additional guidance to ensure the research is as rigorous as possible.
“Working with professors in Melbourne is of immense value,” says Associate Professor Holland. “The mentoring is the most important, even if it is just a couple of hours a month.” The idea, he says, is to improve the academic inputs that the students receive in order to achieve quality research “outputs.”
Associate Professor Holland is also teaming up with other academic schools at RMIT Vietnam to encourage post-graduate research. In association with RMIT Vietnam’s School of Business & Management, he is developing a project for ‘excellence in computational research.’
The project develops three-dimensional modelling capabilities for areas such as materials development using advanced software. Moreover, according to Associate Professor Holland, there may be applications for the work in big data processing and modelling.
Associate Professor Holland is aware that the science and technology research capabilities of RMIT Vietnam are in their infancy, the University having just launched its PhD program in 2016. However, he is very upbeat about the future and is exploring partnerships with other Vietnamese universities in order to move RMIT Vietnam’s research forward.
“Even RMIT in Melbourne had to start from something as well,” he says. “But we keep progressing, and I believe we are in a good position.”
The first cohort of eleven PhD students is expected to graduate in December 2017.
Story: Brett Davis