Born in 1977, Nam completed his doctoral degree for Chemical and Biological Engineering at the UK-based University of Sheffield and post-doctoral degree at the US-based Georgia Institute of Technology. He obtained the professor level in 2014, at 36, becoming the youngest professor in Vietnam at the time.
Associate Professor Nguyen Sum at the Quy Nhon University was the other laureate of the 2017 Ta Quang Buu Awards for his research on the Peterson hit problem, an open problem in polynomial algebra. The research was internationally published in 2015.
Born in 1961, Sum has taken part in 11 scientific studies and published 15 articles on international magazines.
The Ta Quang Buu Awards is the most prestigious scientific award in Vietnam to honour scientists in the science-technology field.
The 2018 edition of the annual Asian Scientist 100 celebrated top researchers, academics and innovators, who made significant contributions to fields ranging from space exploration to structural biology. Each of the 100 honourees on the list won a national or international prize in 2017 for their scientific research or leadership.
In 2016, the first year the list was published, two female Vietnamese were honoured, namely Tran Lien Ha Phuong of the International University (National University – HCM City), and Dang Thi Oanh of Thai Nguyen University. The 2017 list featured another female Vietnamese scientist Le Thi Kim Phung from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology.