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Cong Trinh

Trinh at the Duetsches Museum in Munich, Germany.

Trinh at the Duetsches Museum in Munich, Germany.

Cong Trinh is an associate professor and the Ferguson Faculty Fellow in Chemical Engineering in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He has been at UT since 2011.

Why this field?

Trinh has always been interested in cellular biology, especially synthetic biology and metabolic engineering, a field that focuses on studying and altering cells for their maximum potential. He likens cell dynamics to complex highway systems and said he wants to develop the Google Maps of that particular system.

Trinh earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston in 2003 and his doctorate from the University of Minnesota in 2008, both in chemical engineering. He completed postdoctoral research training at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2008.

He is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Society of Biological Engineering, the American Chemical Society, the Society of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, the International Metabolic Engineering Society, Tau Beta Pi—the Engineering Honors Society, the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi, and Omega Chi Epsilon—the Honor Society of Chemical Engineering.

Outside interests

Trinh said he loves to travel and explore different places. Most of his travels are work-related because he rarely has time for long journeys just for fun.

His favorite recent trips have been to Rigi and Lucerne, Switzerland, and Munich, Germany. He said he loves the architecture, food, and culture of those places and that both are “pretty relaxing and good places to just get lost in the world.”

Trinh came to the United States right after attending high school in Vietnam. He said he’d love to return to Vietnam to travel, since he never had the chance to do that as a youth. A lot about the country has changed in that time, and he’d like to explore Vietnam’s oceans, mountains, caves, and isolated villages.

If he didn’t do this . . .

Trinh says he’d probably be working in his family’s business in Ho Chi Minh City.

Favorite spot on campus?

Ayres Hall. A favorite UT memory is being part of crowd of more than 5,000 people who gathered on the Ayres Hall lawn to watch the solar eclipse in August 2017.