Engineering Education Conference a Catalyst for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Vietnam

The Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HEEAP) and its partners hosted the third annual Vietnam Engineering Education Conference (VEEC) recently at the Novotel in Danang City, Vietnam. Those attending included more than 270 guests from 80 different institutions of higher education, government and industry.

HEEAP is a partnership among the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and Intel. It launched in June 2010 to help improve the quality of higher education, specifically in mechanical and electrical engineering.

VEEC is a major annual event bringing global industry, government and academic professionals together to discuss transformative ideas and solutions to engineering and technical education programs in Vietnam. The theme this year was “Engineering Education as a Catalyst for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Vietnam.”

The conference included interactive plenary sessions, panel discussions, technical sessions and seminars with emphasis on partnerships between education, industry and government to innovate and build capacity in engineering and technology innovation in teaching, research and discovery.

“HEEAP partners have been significant contributors in innovating and updating the program content, research and teaching methods in Vietnam higher education engineering institutions, contributing to the complete transformation of education and training,” said Prof. Bui Van Ga, deputy minister of the Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training. “The Vietnam Engineering Education Conference provides an effective link between professional public-private partnerships that brings industry, government and academia together to enhance innovation in engineering and technology education and research.”

Featured presenters at the conference included, Dr. Sonia Ortega, program director, United States National Science Foundation (NSF); Rena Bitter, the U.S. Consul-General in Ho Chi Minh City; Joakim Parker, USAID mission director; Dr. Le Manh Ha, vice chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee; Kenny Sng – Intel Asia Pacific and Japan solution architect manager; professor Tran Van Nam, president of the University of Danang; and professor Le Kim Hung, Rector, University of Science and Technology – The University of Danang.

Keynote presentations highlighted how the Maker Movement can transform science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and higher engineering education, as well as interactive industry/academic panel discussions on inspiring the undergraduate engineer’s entrepreneurial and innovative mindset with ideas and models for Vietnam. Other keynote presentations focused on building bi-lateral technology and economic development partnerships and how higher engineering education can be a catalyst for development in Vietnam.

“Education cooperation remains a cornerstone of our bilateral relationship, and the Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program—or HEEAP—is a pioneering example of the great results that can be achieved through vibrant public-private partnerships,” said Bitter.

Conference technical sessions addressed topics such as: creating a sustainable engineering graduate pipeline, developing capstone projects and forming industry partnerships, entrepreneurship and technology innovation, leveraging online and mobile applications in the classroom, undergraduate research models in engineering education, and faculty development and collaboration, among others.

The conference also included technology exhibits from HEEAP’s technology partners and VEEC sponsors. The event was hosted by University of Science and Technology – The University of Danang (DUT), a partner of HEEAP and ASU. Specific conference partners included USAID, National Instruments, SHTP, Siemens, Cadence, Pearson, Intel, Danaher, Mekong Technologies and Mediasite.

Visit our Flickr page to see more pictures. Next year’s event will take place in April, for more information, visit the conference website at

Photo Captions:
1. Mr. Joakim Parker, Vietnam Mission Director, U.S. Agency for International Development,  Dr. Victoria Kwakwa, Country Director, World Bank Vietnam and Mr. Phuong Hoang Kim, Director General, Department of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade during the panel “Vietnam in 2030: How can Higher Engineering Education be a Catalyst for Development.”
2. The participants of the panel “Inspiring the undergraduate engineer’s entrepreneurial and innovative mindset: Ideas and models for Vietnam.”