Two university professors to receive 2021 Kovalevskaya Award

The 2021 Kovalevskaya Award will be given to two Vietnamese university professors in recognition of their outstanding research achievements and great contribution to the national development, the award committee has announced.

The awardees are Prof., Dr. Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai, Vice President of the University of Science at the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City (VNUHCM); and Prof., Dr. and Meritorious Teacher Nguyen Minh Thuy from the Department of Food Technology, College of Agriculture, Can Tho University.

Mai, from the south-central province of Quang Ngai, graduated from the University of Science, VNUHCM with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Analytical Chemistry; and earned a PhD in Pharmaceutical at Japan’s Toyama University. The 50-year-old lecturer was awarded the professor title in 2020.

She has led 14 ministerial and provincial-level research projects, with one of the most outstanding ones on extracting active substances from plants for the development of new drugs for diabetes, gout and melasma.

She was awarded with Ho Chi Minh City Creative Awards in 2019.

Thuy, from the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, graduated from Thailand’s Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) with a Master’s Degree in Post-harvest Technology in 1992 and earned a PhD in Food Technology at  KU Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) in Belgium in 2007.

The 61-year-old lecturer was honoured with the professor title in food technology in 2020. Her research has focused on addressing issues in distribution of agricultural products and provision of support for farmers and agribusinesses hit by natural disasters, fire and epidemics.

The Kovalevskaya Award ceremony is scheduled to be held in Hanoi this May. Three female high school students will also receive Kovalevskaya scholarships, worth US$500 each, during the event.

The Kovalevskaya Award is named after Russian mathematician Sofia Kovalevskaya, and is awarded by the fund of the same name. The fund operates in eight countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

The award was first given to Vietnamese female academics in 1985. By 2020, 49 individuals and 20 groups of female scientists had received the award.

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