Professor Nguyen Xuan Huan on Digital Twin technology and its application in Vietnam – Interview with V-space

Professor Nguyen Xuan Huan receiving a present from the Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam Vuong Dinh Hue in his visit to the UK in June 2022.

Professor Nguyen Xuan Huan, VIS chair of UK & Ireland, was recently interviewed by V-space about his research area. Professor Huan is a leading expert in 5G/6G and IoT technology. He is the director of the London Digital Twin Research Centre at the Middlesex University, which focuses on researching and developing digital twin technology for various applications, including industrial IoT, smart agriculture, and healthcare.

According to Professor Huan, each new generation from 2G to 6G brings improvements in the services it provides and the technological capacity of the network. Developing countries such as Vietnam have a choice of investment opportunities in entirely new projects or upgrading the 4G network 5G. Nevertheless, the potential for 5G in Vietnam is huge, as the country has a large smartphone user base and there is still room for growth in the technology and enterprise markets.

Professor Huan also sees great potential applications of 5G and 6G technology in Vietnam. For instance, 5G infrastructure can improve cybersecurity for private business and institution, help revolutionise smart cities and industrial zones, or when implemented in AR/VR technology – enhance tourism experiences. In the future, development of 6G technology can also provide energy efficient solutions that are in line with Vietnam’s long term goal of sustainable development. 

Talking about what Vietnam can do internationally, Professor Huan suggested the country should focus on its key areas of interests, such as digital transformation and environmental issues. In fact, he believed Vietnam should not follow trends but rather negotiate directly with developed countries, institutions, governmental agencies on solving specific problems in Vietnam, such as waste treatment or traffic congestion. In addition, Vietnam’s large population and skilled workforce, particularly in mathematics and programming, make it an attractive destination for technology development and investments from international research institutions.

Finally, discussing the trade-off between academic research and its practical applications, Professor Huan mentioned that not all research can be feasibly applied in real-life. Nevertheless, universities have to always consider practical impact of research and their effectiveness. In his own research area, the Digital Twin technology, Professor Huan has used his knowledge to help monitor the condition of Thanh Long bridge in Vietnam, a project originally funded by the UK government and now by the VinGroup. While this may have little academic impact, it created positive returns in terms of economy as it reduced repair and labour costs for the local government.

You can read the full interview between Professor Huan and V-space in Vietnamese here.

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