Ngoc Nguyen

Ngoc Nguyen
Ngoc Nguyen
Staff Research Scientist
(217) 333-6510
Suite 206 Applied Research Institute

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Dr. Nguyen is a polymer science and engineering expert who currently serves as a staff research scientist at the Illinois Applied Research Institute (ARI) of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

His academic journey began at the Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST), where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Chemical and Printing Engineering. During his Bachelor's program, he conducted studies and completed his research thesis on color management in industrial printing workflows. After graduating, he spent two years working in the printing industry. He earned a Master's degree in Chemical Engineering at HUST, where he worked on developing water-based inks for packaging printing.

After achieving his Master's degree, Dr. Nguyen became a lecturer at HUST and spent four years there teaching and doing research on printing inks before embarking on his Ph.D. studies. He pursued his doctoral degree at the University of Delaware, where he worked with Prof. Michael E. Mackay, his Ph.D. advisor, in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. His research focused on flow-induced and -refined crystallization, morphology control of semiconducting polymers, and polymer-based nanocomposites. Dr. Nguyen also worked under the guidance of Prof. Jeffrey Pyun in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Arizona on the development of various polymeric sulfur materials using Pyun's novel synthesis technique called inverse vulcanization of elemental sulfur. This method has since been widely used in research communities.

After his Ph.D., Dr. Nguyen moved to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) as a postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Amit K. Naskar in the Materials Science and Technology Division for two years, where he worked on lignin valorization. He was later promoted to R&D staff scientist in the Chemical Sciences Division at ORNL. Then Dr. Nguyen returned to Vietnam and worked as a tenured assistant professor at HUST for two years before joining ARI.

Dr. Nguyen's extensive experience in academic, national lab, and industrial settings has allowed him to bring a unique perspective to his work.

Other Professional Employment

  • Staff Research Scientist, Applied Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2021-present)
  • Assistant Professor, School of Chemical Engineering, Hanoi University of Science and Technology (2019-2021)
  • R&D Staff Scientist, Chemical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2018-2019)
  • Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Materials Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2016-2018)
  • Lecturer, School of Chemical Engineering, Hanoi University of Science and Technology (2006-2010)
  • Chemical Engineer, Tan Long Ltd., a representative of Dainippon Screen Japan (2004-2006)

Research Statement

Dr. Nguyen's research spans both fundamental and applied aspects, with a central goal of comprehending and precisely controlling the structure and properties of polymeric materials. Utilizing advanced characterization methods such as in-situ neutron/light/X-ray scattering techniques, alongside thermal, mechanical, rheological, and morphological analyses, he explores the fundamentals of macromolecular interactions, structural relaxation, molecular dynamics, morphology, and phase changes. His investigations delve into the fundamental understanding of macromolecular behaviors through materials design and during processing, ultimately aiming to enhance material performance. Dr. Nguyen's primary focus is on the development of low-cost, mass-producible materials that exhibit tailored moduli, strain deformations, tunable thermomechanical properties, shape memory effects, and self-healing capabilities. The overarching goal is to create multifunctional materials catering to specific applications.