Never Surrender to Difficulties, Engineer Says

At the beginning of the conversation, Mr. Phan Van Cua, an engineer of the Thien Huong Food Company and an applicant for the Ton Duc Thang prize, thanked everybody around him.

Engineer Phan Van Cua(!,R) and his workmate are repairing a machine

Explaining for his thank you, he said that people around have helped him a lot so that he can get an engineering degree and introduced an initiative to this year’s organizing board.

In 2003, engineers and highly skilled workers left the Thien Huong Food Company as the business affairs declined.

The company it lost over VND8 billion (US$484,000). Seventeen workers in the electro-mechanics section were heavily overloaded with work while receiving little salary. Some even quit the company.

Recalling these challenging days, Mr. Cua said that whatever difficulties he encountered, he will not leave a company which helped him to become an electrical engineer since he was a high school student. He decided to persuade workers to stay.

When he was 18 years old in 1979, Mr. Cua operated and electric generator. He and his workmates registered for an evening course at Ly Thuong Kiet High School. He later sat for an entrance examination at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology.

His most important initiative is digital technology and automated machines. The company used handmade machines which wasted time and gave inaccurate result. Mr. Cua figure out how to perform these functions using digital technology.

The inventions he and his colleagues benefited the company for 30 years. He designed an electric system for a subsidiary in the North, a waste water treatment system, and a packing machine for MSG that uses only 200 grams of packing per package.

His reward is to see the company grow and the quality of its personnel improve. The firm’s electromechanics section now employs 39 unskilled workers as well as a group of highly-skilled workers trained by Mr. Cua.

By Thach Thao - Translated by Dung Lam

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