Austria: Where I learned and improved myself

31. August 2021 ScholarsAlumni
Couple in Schönbrunn Park
Ba Lam Do first came to Austria in 2013 for his PhD studies at the Faculty of Informatics, Vienna University of Technology. He was very fortunate that his wife, too, received a scholarship for her PhD studies in Austria. After completing his studies he returned to Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST). In 2020 together with colleagues at HUST and researchers at TU Wien he successfully submitted an application within the program Cooperation Development Research.


While I was a PhD student at TU Wien, my wife was a PhD student at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU). Thus, in our journey to overcome the research challenges, we had a passionate companion. During our four years in Austria, I considered myself very fortunate because I studied in an excellent academic environment. At the TU Wien, my supervisor was Prof. A Min Tjoa, a talented, dedicated, and supportive person. I also had two more instructors during my four years of research, i.e., Dr. Amin Anjomshoaa and Dr. Elmar Kiesling. Under their enthusiastic guidance I gradually completed my research on “Semantic Integration and Exploration of Statistical Data“ and published several scientific papers. As a result, I had the opportunity to visit other countries such as the US, Italy, and Greece to present my research results. Besides improving my knowledge, I learned many useful lessons from my instructors about scientific working methods and communication skills. All my supervisors were quite busy, but they always took the time to listen and answer my questions. The weekly discussions in our team helped me to understand the essence of the scientific problems we were researching about.

Besides studying, I also have many memorable experiences about the culture and life in Austria. Before coming to Austria I was very curious about the life, people, and beautiful scenery here. Thanks to OeAD we had many opportunities to explore the country through visits to different places such as Hallstatt, Graz, Salzburg. Each trip gave me more joy and love for the scenery and culture in this beautiful country. I also remember the friendliness of the Austrian people, from the Austrian friends in my lab to those who we accidentally met on the street, asking me if I needed help when they saw me looking for my way. Especially, it is impossible not to mention the dedicated, attentive, and friendly support of the OeAD officers in Vienna. All these feelings and sentiments make me look forward to returning to Austria in the future. 2017 was a particular  memorable year for me and my wife, as we both completed our doctoral program in Austria and soon after welcomed a new member to our family. Now, our daughter is four years old, an adorable and affectionate girl. We also welcomed a new member to our family at the end of June 2021. I hope to visit Austria again with my wife and our two children in the near future.


After completing my studies in Austria, I returned to Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST) where I share the knowledge and experiences I gained in Austria with my students. In 2020, together with my colleagues at HUST and researchers at TU Wien, we submitted an application to the OeAD program Cooperation Development Research (Kooperation Entwicklungsforschung) to build a semantic knowledge-based question answering system for tourism in Vietnam. Fortunately, the application has received approval to be implemented in 2020-2022. The goal of this project is to contribute to the sustainable development of Vietnam's tourism. The project has two main missions: (i) to enable the development of an open ontology-based knowledge base of tourism in Vietnam and (ii) to explore the possibility of using web technologies to develop a smart tourism question-answering system on top of that knowledge base. Thus the project promotes culture, history, famous landscapes, and famous historical figures of Vietnam. Unfortunately, due to the COVID pandemic, we could not meet face-to-face, so we held online meetings to discuss the implementation of the topic. These meetings help us improve the content of our research and allow me to meet my friends and colleagues in Austria.

Ba Lam Do is currently a lecturer at School of Information and Communication Technology (SOICT), Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST). He received his Ph.D. degree from the Faculty of Informatics, Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), Austria in 2017. His main interests include semantic web, data integration, and blockchain.