Professors Tran Thanh Van, Le Kim Ngoc awarded Friendship Order

Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan presented prestigious Friendship Order to Vietnamese French Professors Le Kim Ngoc and Tran Thanh Van at a ceremony held in Hanoi on July 8 for their outstanding contribution the country’s scientific development and childcare in Vietnam.

Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan (C) presented prestigious Friendship Order to Vietnamese French Professors Le Kim Ngoc (L) and Tran Thanh Van.

The two professors, Tran Thanh Van and his wife Le Kim Ngoc established an Association in France to help Vietnamese children in 1970. They have returned home to organize many exchanges between Vietnamese and foreign scientists since 1993.

In 1970, the couple established the Support Association for Vietnamese Children in France and called for donations from the French government and various charity organizations in many countries to set up the SOS Children’s Village in Viet Nam

In 1993, an organization namely "Rencontres du Viet Nam" (Meeting Viet Nam), led by the two professors as its co-chairmen, made debut and started operation. “Meeting Viet Nam” is the organizer of the most prestigious particle physics conferences, International Physics Science Conference in the country.

Vietnamese-French professor spouses managed to persuade French Professor Odon Vallet of Sorbonne University to offer 25,000 Odon Vallet scholarships worth VND130 billion to best students and young researchers; built International Center of Interdisciplinary Science Education (ICISE) in Binh Dinh Province’s Quy Nhon City.; opened the Vietnam School of Physics and School of Physics and Astronomy with classes taught in English in the country, called for donations from the French government and various charity organizations in many countries to set up the SOS Children’s Villages Da Lat,  Dong Hoi and in Hue.

Professor Tran Thanh Van was born in Quang Binh province, North Central Coast of Viet Nam.

In 1953, he went to France at the age of seventeen to study and graduated from the University of Paris with two BAs in Physics and Math in 1956.

Only two years later, he successfully defended his Master thesis and started to work in Elementary Particle Physics industry in 1966, he became a PhD in the same year. From then on, he was not only lecturer at the University of Paris but also a senior researcher at the France’s National Center for Scientific Research.

He was awarded the French Legion of Honor Medal by the French Government as well as the Honorable Academician title by the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Mrs. Le Kim Ngoc was born in Vinh Long province. Like her husband, she went to France for study of molecule biology.

With the extraordinary skills in English, French and Vietnamese, she manages the Secretary Group in these meetings and also helps her husband organize his work schedule as well as the meetings, interviews and working visits of international scientists.

By Tran Binh – Translated by Kim Khanh

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