Lan Huong Tran
PhD Water Science, 2009
Research Associate, INRS
“My studies at INRS prepared me well for a career in scientific research. INRS is where I learned to work autonomously and effectively to bridge research and its applications.”
Lan Huong Tran enjoyed her INRS academic experience so much that she never left! Upon graduating with her PhD in Water Science in 2009, Lan accepted a research associate position at the Eau Terre Environnement research and training centre in Quebec City, where she’s still working today.
“Even if I have been at INRS since the beginning of my career, I had the opportunity to work on a multitude of projects,” says Lan. From the electro-oxydation of organic compounds and reclamation of mine tailings, to the recycling of critical materials in electronic waste such as used batteries, I tackled many different challenges in the lab but also in collaboration with industrial partners.”
Interestingly enough, it’s through a partnership between INRS and Vietnam, and an excellent presentation made by the INRS scientific director at the time, that Lan decided to enroll into the doctoral program in water science in 2005 to study industrial effluents and contaminated soil. A chemist by trade and a member of the Quebec Order of Chemists, Lan was attracted by the number of research subjects offered at the Eau Terre Environnement Centre related to our daily lives. She says that her studies at INRS prepared her well for a career in scientific research. “INRS is where I learned to work autonomously and effectively to bridge research and its applications.”
Lan was also impressed by the high-quality training she received at INRS and by the drive, enthusiasm, and generosity of the professors who spent countless hours finding the best solutions to optimize the work.
“The support and advice I received from INRS are invaluable,” says Lan. “Throughout my doctoral studies, I sometimes questioned my work and thought about changing direction. But each time, I was able to rely on the support of professors and colleagues who reassured me that my hard work was going to pay off. Over the last twelve years, I met many graduate students who went through the same hesitations and I gave them advice based on my own experience. Today, they’re all successful in their field. This is another reason why I love my job at INRS: Students come to see me all the time to discuss their research, but also to chat about their lives.”
She also holds fond memories of the diverse and multicultural student community at the Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre: A place for exchanging and sharing where she expanded her horizons.
Lan, who also considers her research lab as a workshop or a kitchen to create the best recipes for the environment, wishes that INRS alumni from around the world can build a network and join forces to solve pressing environmental issues facing the planet. We hope so, too. Thank you, Lan.
[As told to the INRS Foundation in November 2021.]