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First Batch Of Aerospace Technology Major Training To Be Implemented Print
On April 20th 2016, President of VNUHCM signed the decision on assigning VNUHCM-International University to implement a trial undergraduate course in Aerospace Technology major. This is the very first and sole major of its kind in Vietnam so far.
In the admission session to universities and colleges in 2016, Aerospace Technology major admitted 12 successful applicants with the standard grade of 18.5, which was a beginning of the national strategy in aerospace technology research and applications towards 2020.
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A Special Major
Aerospace Technology is a 4-year engineering major in the field of satellite technology applications, including: Processing and analyzing signals, satellite photographing, remote-sensing technology and satellite tracking. The course consists of 141 credits under ABET’s standards for engineering programs with the fundamental subjects:  Mathematics, Physics, Aerospace Technological Science, System Design & Building and in-lab experiments.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phan Bao Ngoc, one of the curriculum designers of the Aerospace Technology major, stated: “This is an international-standard program with the focus on training engineers specialized in photograph processing and satellite signals analysis, which creates a human resource for the national strategy as well as societal demands”.

In preparation for the first batch’s enrolment, VNUHCM-International University had built 7 laboratories among which there is one laboratory for satellite simulation to provide students with practicing conditions.

100 per cent of the lecturers in this major had been qualified with international standards. Most of the them was trained overseas while some experts are working at the National Satellite Center, Hanoi Aerospace Technology Institute. In addition, the foundation of Aerospace Technology major will enable overseas Vietnamese experts to come back to work and research at VNUHCM-International University, namely Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vo Tuong Thuy (University of Nottingham, UK)

According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phan Bao Ngoc, there are not many obstacles in terms of teaching facilities as this major could be associated and share laboratories with other departments within the campus such as Department of Electronics & Telecommunication, Department of Information Technologies… Facility sharing would also maximize the efficiency of laboratories usage. “However, research facilities are still in shortage, which needs investment from the Government and VNUHCM as well as scholarships for this special major’s students”, said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ngoc.
Aerospace Technology major is expected to strengthen the orientation of aerospace technologies research that includes designing, launching and operating small-sized remote-sensing satellites.
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Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phan Bao Ngoc – the founding architect of Aerospace Technology major.Photo courtesy: NVCC 
 
Big Chances, Huge Pressure
Having determined to pursue this special major, 12 freshmen in the Class of 2020 have been experiencing various sentiments. Vo Ngoc Thuy Tien the freshman, stated: “I am not being under any pressure. In contrary, I am extremely proud to be among the very first young trailblazers. At this time I have clearly identified my orientation and hope to be able to create some useful inventions for the community”.

Thinking about the opportunity to work with the top experts in aerospace technologies, Le Kim Long the freshman is either interested and worried: “As a first-batch enroller, I am proud but somewhat self-pity because there is no more mentors other than our lecturers to give us instructions. We have to research and finish all tasks ourselves. There will be big chances and huge pressure at the same time”.
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 Welcoming ceremony for the freshmen of Aerospace Technology major. Photo courtesy: NVCC
 
Having enrolled in this brand new major, its graduates will hopefully have a great number of career opportunities. According to Ass. Prof. Dr. Phan Bao Ngoc, Aerospace Technology graduates will be certified as regular engineers who can work in public organizations or enterprises that apply satellite data in monitoring namely resources–environment, urban planning and management,… At the moment, there are more than 10 private enterprises relating to the fields of remote-sensing, virtual map and satellites locationing in HCMC only. Besides, during the training process, enrollers will be equipped with entrepreneurship skill in order to be able to found start-ups and develop technologies in the field of aerospace technologies.
“Aerospace Technology major is associated with the National Satellite Center and Aerospace Technology Institute to offer internship and career opportunities. Moreover, 10 per cent of the excellent junior students would be given chances to take 1-to-3-week internships by the partners of VNUHCM-International University in East Asian countries and territories such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan”, said Dr. Ngoc.
 
NGUYEN HANG – BICH HUE
 

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