Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – The sewer was dark and foul smelling, not to mention its toxicity. We still had to dip into the sewage to dredge its bed, Hoàng Đức Thảo, Director of the Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Urban Sewerage and Development Ltd. Company (BUSADCO), recalled.
“Although we wore boots and gloves we sometimes still stepped on nails or were cut by razor blades mixed into sludge,” he said.
The workers’ hardship inspired me to think of ways to help clear the sewage while protecting drainage workers’ health, Thảo said. And the Sewer Cleaning Winch Machine was born in 2003 after months of scientific research.
Instead of going into the sewer, directly dealing with hazardous waste and sludge, workers can now stand on a manhole and control the machine. When the winch is hauled up, rubbish and stagnated sludge is peeled off. Work efficiency was increased dramatically, Thảo said.
The invention helped Thảo win the Việt Nam Science and Technology Innovation Award in 2004.
The invention was part of his scientific research projects on building urban and rural technical infrastructure, protecting the environment and coping with climate change, which have been nominated for the Hồ Chí Minh Award on Science and Technology.
An award ceremony for this year’s Hồ Chí Minh and State prizes for science and technology will be held this month.
Another significant part of Thảo’s projects was assembled reinforced concrete components for protection of riverbanks, lakes and dykes, one of top scientific and technological events in 2015.
The product is used for preventing land slides, erosion and coping with climate change, he said.
His scientific projects have been applied in 42 out of 63 localities nationwide, making the rural environment cleaner, limiting landslides, erosion of dykes, canals and ditches.
Hồ Chí Minh award nominee
Nguyễn Đình Hậu, Director of the Department of Science and Technology for Economic-Technical Branches under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said scientific research projects by Thảo were likely to be widely applied in construction of rural and urban infrastructure, water supply and sanitation for rural areas.
His research project on using assembled reinforced concrete components for protection of riverbanks, lakes and dykes from erosion received great attention from the Selection Board of the Hồ Chí Minh Award, Hậu said.
The product is produced as a component cast into a hollow concrete block with thin walls. The structure does not use steel but uses a cubic structure with diverse shapes, styles and sizes. This solution is open design, easy for construction in tough conditions and the cost is about 20-30 per cent less than conventional structures, according to Thảo.
With this group of scientific and technological research projects, Thảo is expected to become the first scientist from the business sector to receive the Hồ Chí Minh award for science and technology.
The Hồ Chí Minh award is held annually by the Government to honour the nation’s scientists.
Thảo stressed that the research must come from real demands and the scientific and technological products must be consumed.
All products, from the new system for rainwater collection and odor-control, to septic tanks for poor people in rural areas were made because they were needed, he said.
Growing up working class, the 46-year-old Thảo understood the hardships of workers, which motivated him to improve technology and equipment to help improve working conditions.
Thảo has so far made more than 40 scientific products that are highly appreciated by domestic and international scientists.
In 2011, he was awarded the title of Labour Hero by the Government. Two years later, his company, BUSADCO, was also awarded the title. - VNS