Women in Wind Q&A: Quynh Tran (Vietnam)
The Women in Wind Global Leadership Program sat down with Vietnam, one of this year’s Participants, to chat about her pathway into renewable energy and the key issues facing women in the wind sector.
Quynh is an electrical engineer who has experience working with power systems and microgrids. Her research focuses on mathematical modeling and optimization techniques in power systems, with the integration of renewable energy resources. She formerly worked as a researcher at the Institute of Energy Science in Vietnam, and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii in Manoa.
How did you first become interested in renewable energy and joining the clean energy transition?
When I was a researcher at Institute of Energy Science in Vietnam, I applied for a training course in Slovenia about “Sustainable Energy Solutions: Technologies, Trends and Policy options,” funded by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). During presentations of the course, we discussed many topics related to renewable energy, such as why renewable resources are important, their benefits, how they improve our environment and economy, the experience of the developed countries and so on. I ended up loving it.
After finishing the course and returning to Vietnam, I chose to study renewable energy to obtain a deeper understanding of this field. Until now, it is still what I’m most excited about and interested in doing professionally.
Tell us about your expertise and passion in the sector. For you, what is the next “space to watch” in renewable energy?
My main major is electrical engineering, with experience in working with power systems and smart grids. At Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, my research focuses on modeling electrical production, transmission and distribution systems with high penetration of renewable energy resources. I joined the Gridstart team to participate in the research and development of advanced power systems solution, in order to enable grid integration of renewable energy and improve energy policies and technological achievements in my region.
The world is on the way to achieving 100 per cent renewable energy. An increasing number of countries and regions are embracing sustainable energy generation and the landscape is rapidly evolving. There are more achievements to come, but more effort is needed. When the renewable energy transition is developed to the its threshold, I think that energy hub will be possibly the next “space to watch” for exploring a wide range of integration of future technologies and management strategies.
What sort of challenges did you encounter in entering the sector? Can you tell us about an achievement wherein you overcame such a challenge?
The challenge that I had to face when I entered the sector was being treated equally. Science and technology is a difficult sector, requiring mastery of knowledge. Especially in the male-dominant renewable energy sector, with constantly developing technology.
Becoming a researcher in the field of renewable energy is the success that I have achieved. Being confident with what I want in my career and not giving up, working hard and constantly learning to expand my knowledge is the way I have been proving that women can do the same work that men can do.