Falling in love with Vietnam and Vietnamese people, Quentin Desmet decided to come back to Vietnam to continue his Ph.D. study under the framework of LOTUS laboratory. He had a short interview with us about his experience at USTH and in Vietnam.
In 2019, to finish his engineering degree in Fluid Mechanics, Quentin Desmet had to complete an internship abroad. He sent applications to many universities which had the fields that he was interested in. He received an internship offer from the Department of Space and Applications of USTH and started his journey in Vietnam.
The more he discovered Vietnam, the more he felt for the country and wanted to stay connected with the people he met. After his 3-month internship in 2019, he looked for opportunities to keep studying around USTH and hopefully with Assoc. Prof. Thanh Ngo-Duc, Co-Director of the Department of Space and Applications, who is an experienced researcher in climate modeling and climate change.
During the Covid pandemic, under his supervision, Quentin Desmet underwent a 6-month internship in Laos. After that, he started his Ph.D. in Environmental Science at the Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France, under the framework of LOTUS laboratory with the co-supervision of Prof. Marine Herrman in France and Assoc. Prof. Thanh Ngo-Duc in Vietnam. After finishing the first half of his Ph.D. at his French university, he came back to USTH, where he had found a lot of inspiration and motivation, to continue his study, in August 2022.
“The study environment at the Department of Space and Applications is amazing. Everyone, no matter what level they are at, works together in the same office. There is no strict rule about how to organize your research, the time you must get to work, and the time you should leave. We can proactively self-organize our work. However, surprisingly, this flexibility doesn’t make people around me lazy but actually makes them more motivated and more productive.” Quentin Desmet expressed his amazement at the working ethics of his colleagues at USTH.
“The exuberant ambiance not only drives us to produce better work but also brings us closer with no judgment towards each other, which creates positive energy in the office.”, he stated.
According to Quentin Desmet, the lecturers of USTH have abundant experience of living abroad and in research. The students consider them as good examples who they learn a lot from. Being impressed with the training quality of USTH, he sent this message to those who are looking for exchange opportunities: “USTH provides excellent programs, so you shouldn’t underestimate this university just because it is in Vietnam. You will learn much more than you expect.”
Talking about his experience in Vietnam, Quentin Desmet said his first impression when he arrived in Vietnam was a feeling of freedom and the respect Vietnamese people have for each other. “It is also fascinating that people here can socialize so well with each other and live peacefully without any political conflicts in relationships.”
Quentin Desmet fell in love quickly with Vietnamese food, especially with Phở, which is one of the Vietnamese traditional foods made with a clear beef – or chicken-based broth, rice noodles, herbs, and thinly sliced meats. Quentin Desmet chose “Phở” as his favorite Vietnamese food because of its signature savory and rich taste, which could hardly be found in any other dishes.
He really enjoys the early mornings of Hanoi when calm still reigns over the city. “There is nothing better than waking up in the stunning yellow sunlight, which isn’t happening much in France these months because of the winter.” He said. Despite being a busy city, Hanoi still has its own charm and peaceful aspects, which makes Quentin Desmet appreciate and want to stay longer.
He shared the great news with us that when he came to Vietnam in 2019, he met his sweetheart and they were planning to get married soon. “My Vietnamese supervisor proposed to be the MC at the wedding ceremony. It will definitely be an unforgettable memory for me.” He was excited to talk about the important milestone of his life.
Congratulations Quentin Desmet on your big news and we wish you successfully complete your Ph.D. with the best result.