From MAI alumna to Head of Air Traffic Management Faculty of Vietnam Aviation Academy

1 February 2021

MAI has interviewed its 2008 alumna Nguen Thi Linh Phuong from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to learn about her professional achievements and how MAI University has contributed to her success.

Hello, dear Phuong. It's been a long time since you graduated MAI, and we are happy to reconnect with you. 

Do you recall when your interest in aerospace engineering first emerged?

As a child, I used to live near the Tan San Nhat International Airport, and the love for aviation was born in my mind at that period. Later on, at school, when I realized it was the time to think of the future profession, I decided to devote myself to aviation and study engineering for that field.

What did years ago motivate you to choose MAI?

As the last year school student, I applied for the scholarship from the Vietnamese Ministry of Education to study overseas. The Ministry offered a wide choice of countries to study in. First of all, I chose Russia because of the positive impressions my family members had of the country. Both my father and uncle used to study there and had been always telling how beautiful the country was and what a modern transportation system it had.

Then, I chose MAI as the top university in Russia that prepares engineers for the aviation industry.

What made your experience at MAI unique?

For me, MAI was a perfect place for studying with full equipment in labs, rich materials in libraries and the excellent staff of highly qualified mentors who gave many useful professional and personal advice.

I deeply appreciate all the professors, who gave me many different valuable lessons, particularly in the course and generally in life. And I’m very proud to have studied in the same group with the outstanding group leader, Mr Evgeny Neretin, who is the Head of Department 703 at MAI.  

As an international student, what were the most astonishing things you learnt about Russia while leaving there?

I was sincerely impressed with the Russian nature. It was fantastic. Also, the architecture is gorgeous, there is a rich cultural heritage there. And finally, the scientific achievements are of international importance. I was inspired by the fact that I was studying among people whose ancestors constructed and operated the famous “MIR” space station in Kazakhstan, and were the first to fly to space.

Secondly, all the people I met in Russia were very smart and kind.

Which extracurricular activities did you enjoy the most while studying at MAI?

At that time, I wasn’t joining many extracurricular activities and focused mostly on my studies. But, of course, at times I enjoyed some activities with my course mates. For example, in our spare time, we played table tennis in the dormitory or went to a picnic with my Vietnamese friends. During long holidays like New Year or Summer, I came back to Vietnam to visit my family.

We were happy to learn that you have been recently appointed for the position of the Head of the Air Traffic Management Faculty at the Vietnam Aviation Academy. How has MAI helped you in that role?

When in 2008 I graduated from MAI with good marks and returned to Vietnam, I was immediately accepted for lecturing at the Vietnam Aviation Academy. MAI diploma is considered prestigious in Vietnam. And since 2019 I have been working as the Head of the above-mentioned faculty.

I must say that engineering program in “Aviation devices and measuring computer complexes” at MAI gave me wide and useful knowledge from mechanic, computing, organization, projecting and economic management, that helped me quickly to execute well my obligations as a lecturer and a Faculty’s head at VAA.

What is the best thing about your job?

Working at The Faculty of VAA allows me to collaborate with more scientists and specialists in this interesting field and help more students acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. Besides, this great opportunity and duty motivate me to upgrade my knowledge and advance as a specialist by returning to MAI again for the PhD program from 2020.    

What are your current relations with MAI?

Currently, I am a first-year PhD student at Department 703 "Design of complex aircraft systems» of MAI. I am still in touch with Mr Evgeny Neretin, who has become the head of that Department and is my PhD supervisor. I started my PhD last year amidst the covid-19 pandemic, so the first semester courses were delivered online.

How has doing PhD at MAI online been so far?

It’s going quite well, MAI has developed a great system for online education, its well-organized, so the studies pass smoothly, the connection is also well. I was even surprised to enjoy the online course.

What advice would you give to young people who think of studying aerospace engineering in MAI?

If you intend to study aerospace engineering and get a high-quality education of an international level, MAI is one of the best universities that can help you make it happen. The University has great academic staff and all the necessary infrastructure at its disposal. MAI will make your dreams come true.

And what about those who have already graduated?

Stay proud of being members of the MAI family and if you choose to continue your education come back to MAI without hesitation.

Mariam Vermishian, MAI International PR manager

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