Ho Chi Minh City International University Researcher Wins $20,000 in ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women

JAKARTA (October 20, 2017) – The United States Mission to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) announced Dr. Nguyen Thi Hiep as the winner of the third annual ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women, sponsored by ASEAN, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and UL. Dr. Hiep received $20,000 for her exceptional research on using at-home healthcare solutions to reduce pressure placed upon urban healthcare systems. She was honored at an Award Ceremony in the presence of ASEAN Science and Technology Ministers and Senior Officials in Nay Pyi Taw, Burma.  

“Migration from rural to urban areas put a lot of pressure on healthcare services in big cities. With ‘smart’ medical devices and biomaterials, it will be possible to take care of people in their homes,” said Dr. Hiep, a leading researcher and lecturer in Biomedical Engineering at the International University-Vietnam, National University-Ho Chi Minh City. “My work focuses on biomaterials such as bio-glue and needle-less suturing kits for wound healing that can be easily used to provide more effective first aid.”

The 2017 ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women supports promising early-career women scientists in the ASEAN region and encourages collaboration between ASEAN Member States and the United States around sustainable solutions for urban centers across Southeast Asia.

“Science, technology, and innovation will lead us to solutions beyond our expectations,” said Barbara Guthrie, UL Vice President and Chief Public Safety Officer. “At UL, we work to inspire the next generation to think critically, ask questions, and be well equipped to tackle and solve the complex challenges facing our world. Dr. Hiep is a brilliant scientist and is a confident, amazing woman, working like UL to make her country, the ASEAN region, and the world a better place.”

“In the wake of rapid urbanization, many ASEAN cities are now faced with increased pressure on infrastructure and public service and health systems, urban poverty and slums, and shocks resulting from natural disasters,” said U.S.Mission to ASEAN Deputy Permanent Representative Jane Bocklage. “The United States is proud to support women across ASEAN who are harnessing the power of science, innovation, and technology to address these urban challenges across the region.”    

Dr. Mei Fong Chong, a professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, received a $5,000 honorable mention award for her exceptional research on workforce retention and safety. She is increasing the efficiency of wastewater treatment sites at palm oil mills in urban areas.

The ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women is one of the many U.S. initiatives in support of ASEAN and its 10 Member States. The United States partners with ASEAN to support economic integration, expand maritime cooperation, cultivate emerging leaders, promote opportunity for women and address transnational challenges. Through USAID’s cooperation with ASEAN, the United States addresses the root causes of poverty and instability and strengthens the foundation for prosperity and security. The United States and ASEAN are celebrating 40 years of partnership in 2017.

To learn more about the 2017 ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women, follow @USMission2ASEAN and #SciencePrize on Twitter and Facebook.