I was once asked “Who is your engineering hero?” and answered perfectly honestly that it is my father. My father ran an auto repair shed in South Vietnam; he repaired and serviced three wheel taxis and automobiles. People relied on my father to enable them to make a living and feed their children and he did all that he could to ‘keep them moving’. At the end of the Vietnam War, obtaining the most basic of materials or spare parts was either difficult or simply impossible. My father was a self-taught mechanic who was required to demonstrate an astonishing degree of skill in problem solving, ingenuity, determination and originality in order to do his job each day. He provided me with training in basic engineering that no amount of money can buy and an originality when approaching problems that has been of great help in my research work.
With engineering being ‘in the blood’ and an informal but high quality apprenticeship ‘under my belt’, I began a successful academic career in engineering. I was awarded a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Vietnam University of Technology in 1994 and subsequently obtained a Master’s degree in Management, a B.Sc. in Network and Communication Management and a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering.
My father not only gave me engineering skills and knowledge, he was also an extremely good teacher and I have inherited his skill for, and love of, passing on knowledge to others. I was a volunteer Instructional Student Assistant while undertaking studies for my Master’s in Mechanical Engineering and a Volunteer Tutor at XXXX University when completing my degree there. I have also acted as an enthusiastic and effective tutor in Math, Physics and Chemistry for high school students. I am excited by each of the various components of the program: the opportunity to combine research into the effective teaching of engineering concepts and techniques with the opportunity to teach enthusiastic engineers and to lead original research within a positive and challenging academic environment is exactly what I am seeking.
Through a particular interest in 3D computer based simulations, I have developed expertise in applying these to enable K-12 and pre-college students to visualize and understand complex physics phenomena and engineering problems and I hope to develop this further within the program. I also believe that such simulations have significant further potential for testing concepts and prototypes comparatively inexpensively and I am very excited at having an opportunity to develop my ideas in this area of work.
I have happily studied, worked and socialized with people of many cultural and social backgrounds. I am an experienced in team working and leading and am considered to be a sociable person with a well developed sense of humor which is useful when teaching!
I know that the program will attract many well qualified applicants. However, I do believe that I am an exceptional candidate. I am a very well qualified engineer and believe that I have demonstrated that I am well able to meet the academic demands of the program; I have been an enthusiastic and effective teacher of science and engineering; I have proven skills and experience in undertaking and leading research projects; my main recommendation is a love of engineering and a great desire to improve many lives by its effective application and also enthusing others to do so.