Nomination of Dr. Hieu C. TRUONG to the Order of Canada

posted May 8, 2018, 5:12 AM by Le Phan   [ updated May 8, 2018, 5:49 AM ]
A valuable and lasting contribution of Dr. Hieu C. Truong to Canada at the service of all Canadians

It is our honour and our privilege to nominate Dr. Hieu C. Truong as a candidate for consideration by the Governor General of Canada for an Order of Canada award.

REASONS FOR THE NOMINATION

Dr. Hieu C. Truong has made Canada known globally as the leader in the Minting industry because of his innovations, his dedication for excellence in his work, his aspiration, his desire and his zeal to make Canada the recognized leading country in minting technology excellence in the world. Dr. Truong was a Royal Canadian Mint inventor and innovator for more than 36 years, with a reputation at the Mint and in minting technology circles around the globe that has become legendary. His life career at the Royal Canadian Mint had served Canada and all Canadians in our daily life.

In fact, Dr. Truong worked at the Royal Canadian Mint in the last thirty-six years of his long distinguished career spanning over more than forty five years in Canada. He retired two years ago. All the coins that Canadians and other people in a great number of countries have been using and will be using, collecting or investing are the results of his work and his many inventions. To summarize his view and the motivation behind his

WORK AT THE ROYAL CANADIAN MINT: A PASSION FOR THE MINT TO BE THE BEST IN ITS CLASS WITH MANY INNOVATIONS AS “FIRSTS” IN THE WORLD. THIS DEDICATION HAS BEEN BRINGING PRESTIGE TO CANADA AND MAKES THE ROYAL CANADIAN MINT THE RENOWN WORLD LEADER IN MINTING TECHNOLOGY AND THE ENVY OF THE WORLD.

Today, the Royal Canadian Mint is recognized for its mastering knowledge of minting engineering, for the quality of its coins, for the continuous introduction of new concepts. The Royal Canadian Mint is also commended for putting science into  minting, with sharp edge technologies which modernize a secretive, conservative industry which used to be very traditional to a competitive industry open to changes and an industry in which Canada regularly shared its knowledge with the other mints by presenting informative papers at international minting conferences on subjects such as machinery design, new coining materials  for circulation coins, by presenting beautiful and captivating  numismatic coins and revealing how they are made, by promoting changes and knowledge sharing and by setting high quality standards for the coin industry worldwide.

Among the patented innovations, we can mention the brilliant idea of the multi-ply plating technology used to produce the new second generation of plated steel coinage materials. Using this technology invented by Dr. Truong, Canada changed from expensive pure nickel coins and cupro nickel coins to very competitive nickel plated steel coins. Many other countries followed suit by using this Canadian technology and converted their coins and coin blanks to Canadian made nickel plated steel.

Among the “firsts” claimed by Canada and the Royal Canadian Mint, we can mention the four nines and the five nines in gold refining (the world leading Gold Maple Leaf bullion coin), the multi-ply plating technology cited earlier for plated coins (this technology is being used for all circulating coins in Canada, in New Zealand, in Singapore, in Barbados, in Fiji …. ), the circulation coins in color, unique in the world (e.g. the red poppy coin), the DNA-Digital Nondestructive Activation - technology for gold coin authentication as a protective measure against gold coin counterfeiting, the diamond embedded gold coin issued by the Mint to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen Jubilee Year, the PVD die coating technology to replace the use of carcinogenic chromium in die surface hardening and brightening, the coin blank burnishing machine used in all mints in the world today and which was developed by the Royal Canadian Mint in cooperation with a German machinery manufacturer,…

BRIEF SUMMARY ON DR. HIEU C. TRUONG’S PERSONAL INFORMATION

Hieu C. Truong was born on September 23, 1941 in Saigon (Vietnam). He attended Lycée Jean-Jacques Rousseau in Saigon and finished his high school in the top 1 percent of his graduating class in the whole country in 1959. He went to the US for his university education and was the top student in Chemistry of his graduating class in Chemical Engineering at New York University in 1963. He received a Master of Chemical Engineering (1964) and a Ph.D. in Engineering (1971) from New York University.

Hieu C. Truong immigrated to Canada from the US in 1971.

His ideology, his aspiration has always been to see that Canada is recognized to be among the top countries on the world stage. Dr.Truong often quoted President John F. Kennedy who said in his inaugural Presidential speech : “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. This quote has marked Dr. Truong for life and this was his compassion as a Canadian.

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES/OCCUPATIONS

First, Dr. Hieu C. Truong worked for Victoriaville Furniture Group, Victoriaville, QC, one of the largest furniture conglomerate in Quebec which owned four furniture plants in Victoriaville, as a development engineer, then as Director of Engineering, from 1971 to 1975. His responsibilities included the development of processes and products in furniture manufacturing to make the Quebec furniture companies of this conglomeration more competitive in the Canadian and US markets, more efficient, more innovative with a solid reputation for quality, good pricing, and industry leading innovations such as the incorporation and the popularization of solid polyurethane foam moldings as decorative and structural elements. One of the important facets of his work was to introduce scientific foundations, rational engineering principles in furniture making in an industry where knowledge and know-how were passed traditionally from one generation to the next within a family ownership. For example, there was little scientific knowledge within the industry why certain types of glue performed and behaved the way they did. There was no rationale in choosing fasteners (screw and nail types and sizes, clips, types of glues, …) except by experience and common sense. New fasteners designs, new and better glues, and a combination thereof, new structural elements were engineered, developed, explained by Dr. Truong to technologists and engineers who were trained to test, record, review, learn, apply and innovate from what was learned.

Dr. Truong developed and expanded Polyurethane foam and cast polyester technologies. New finishing chemistry were introduced to enrich the look and the style of furniture which became available to the Canadian consumers. The techniques and products developed at Victoriaville Furniture Group filtered and cascaded down to the other furniture companies in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick.

Then, Dr. Hieu C. Truong worked at Flakeboard, in St. Stevens, New Brunswick in 1975-1976, as Manager of Engineering and Operations, responsible for the installation of a high speed manufacturing line of decorative particle boards used in residential and institutional wall finishings. There, he installed and started the first automated manufacturing line in Canada of polyester filled, UV cured thin wall flakeboards. These boards were then paper laminated or wood grain printed on the same high speed production line. In the late seventies and early eighties, it was a popular material used in the finishing of family recreation rooms in the basement of Canadian homes.

Dr. Hieu C. Truong joined Les Industries Ville Marie Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bombardier in the Snowmobile Division, as Director of Production, from 1976 to 1978. He concentrated on snowmobile safety. He worked on the incorporation of engineered padded foam components to absorb shock in the seating and in the directional steering bar in snowmobiles to improve seating comfort in the outdoors very cold environment and to minimize the impact of injuries in the use of those vehicles in sport, in outdoors winter transport activities. He also contributed to the safety of people in mass public transportation: Self extinguishing foam, in case of fire, was introduced as seating material in subway trains manufactured by Bombardier for the City of Montreal.

Then, Dr. Hieu C. Truong joined the Royal Canadian Mint in 1978 until he retired in 2014. This is where he contributed the most as a talented engineer, a prolific inventor, a pioneer in precious metals refining and processing, a resourceful, productive innovator in the field of minting. He has left quite a legacy to Canada because Canada and more than forty countries are enjoying now, and for many years to come, the fruits of his work and his many inventions.

He started at the Mint in 1978, first as Superintendent of Technical Services in charge of machine repairs, die and tooling production, then he became Manager of Engineering for the Ottawa and Hull Mints and the Gold Refinery in Ottawa in 1979, then Director of Engineering at the Royal Canadian Mint which includes all the plants in Ottawa and Winnipeg in 1984, then Director of Corporate Engineering which included the long term technical and engineering development strategy for the Mint. Then, finally, as Executive Director, Advanced Engineering in Research and Development, in 2001, he was responsible for new products and innovations, during which time, Canada introduced many “firsts in the world” in the global minting industry. This made Canada the recognized leader with many innovations which changed the technology of manufacturing coins.

When Dr. Truong joined the Royal Canadian Mint he realized that there will have a lot of work to be done because the Mint was a reclusive government institution which had not looked much outside to compare itself with the other industries for engineering improvements as the world was on its way to an incredibly fast industrial platform powered by modern electronics which were the precursors of today’s computers and laptops. Back then, computers were not used yet in the industry for machinery control. In 1978, most of the machinery and production equipment at the Royal Canadian Mint was purchased in the late nineteen forties and early nineteen fifties just after the War! Breakdown in production machinery was a daily occurrence and knowledge of the staff in minting metallurgy was limited.

Everything looked like a “black box” where employees just followed the work rules and procedures established by the foremen without the fundamental understanding of the reasons why the process procedures were written the way they were and if there was a tooling failure no one knew why and the problems were repeated. 

Work safety and the environment work conditions were potential work hazards which also needed much attention.

Dr. Truong spent years of dedicated work and long hours on the floor with the Production employees to correct the process and the machinery shortcomings, to explain to the technical staff the reasons for the failure of the process or the machine. He worked out the metallurgical solutions to the problems and the unanswered questions in the “black box”. He introduced engineering and science principles to the art of making coins. This art of making coins was very secretive because there were no systematic attempts to introduce modern science to the Mint operations. This was true not only for the Mint in Canada but also for the other Mints in the world. In addition, each national Mint was on its own and the Mints did not seem to open up to other Mints because of perceived national secrecies and national pride.

As the Royal Canadian Mint modernised itself with new equipment, as minting processes were systematically analysed and understood through underlying scientific and engineering principles by Dr. Truong, he trained the staff on the sciences of minting which are, in fact, made up of a combination of metallurgical, chemical, mechanical, material sciences engineering disciplines. Electrical and electronics engineering  knowledge were added to troubleshoot electrical controls in machinery and automation was introduced to take away the boredom of some necessary manufacturing tasks. Robots and robotic controls were introduced in coin manufacturing to improve safety, to increase productivity, to avoid back injuries caused by repetitive and heavy load lifting.

Ten years after he joined the Mint, persistent recurring production problems were under control and the staff was more confident and more capable in resolving machinery and process failure problems. Today, minting is no longer a black box for the staff, failures are no longer repeated and potential process and machinery shut-downs are foreseen and prevented by pre-emptive corrective actions.

 

MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS WITH A FAR REACHING LEGACY

THE FIRST LASTING ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR THE ROYAL CANADIAN MINT: 

THE GOLD MAPLE LEAF COIN, the original development of Dr. Hieu C. Truong

The turnaround from a work culture of “black box” to a modern engineering and technical team confident in solving daily manufacturing challenges in the Mint allows Dr. Truong to spend more time and give more attention to the Gold Refinery operations, namely, refining processes, analytical instrumentation and procedures, work safety, working environment improvements, environmental study and pro-active environment protection.

The Refinery was first established, in 1911, to refine gold from the mines in Canada. Gold ores were processed in the mines, up to a purity of about .800 (80 percent), then shipped to the Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa for final refining. In the early days, .995 and.999 (three nines) gold were considered as top grades for trading in the precious metals commodity markets.

In the late ninety sixties, South Africa was the giant in the global gold industry and the Krugerrand gold coins produced by the South Africa Mint was the standard and preferred gold coin for gold investment in the world. The Krugerrand coin was made of an alloy of gold and copper with a purity of 91.67 percent gold and 8.33 percent copper. It was not made of pure gold, it was only 22 Karat gold, but it was the undisputed gold coin of the world for investment purposes.

Since Canada was one of the major gold producing country in the world, the Royal Canadian Mint wanted to have a share of the world gold coin market. The Royal Canadian Mint produced, at that time, gold coins in .9995 (three nines five range) purity which was still considered impure in gold quality. Although richer in gold contents, this Canadian gold coin could not compete against the dominant Krugerrand gold coin. To change the situation, Dr. Truong thought of the .9999 (four nines) purity coin which is considered as pure gold (24 Karat) and proposed the idea to the Royal Canadian Mint. Dr Truong set to develop the technology to produce, efficiently and effectively, at low production cost, gold at a purity of .9999 (four nines) in large volume and this gave the Mint of Canada the ability to produce and to introduce .9999 gold coins to the world. The first .9999 Gold Maple Leaf of the Royal Canadian Mint was struck in 1982. Within a short time of two to three years following its introduction to the world market, the Gold Maple Leaf coin became the Number One gold coin seller. Effectively, Canada changed the world gold standard for gold coins to four nines gold.

With time, other countries such as Austria, Australia, UK, USA had to change their gold coins to the four nines gold standard in order to compete against Canada. The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf is sold worldwide today as the preferred coin against the American Gold Eagle coin, the Austrian Gold Philharmonic coin and the Australian Gold Kangaroo coin. The Krugerrand gold coin, which still remains a mainly copper gold alloy coin, is no longer the giant in the world gold investment coin market. Canada’s Gold Maple Leaf coin is the leading coin today.

FIVE NINES GOLD COIN

Many countries became capable of producing four nines purity (.9999, i.e. 100 parts of impurities per million) gold coins and were competing against Canada. It was a challenge to differentiate and to keep Canada ahead of the competition in the investment gold coin leadership positioning. Then, it was believed that if Canada had five nines purity gold coins this would certainly keep Canada ahead of the other countries. (.99999 means 10 parts of metallic inclusions per million parts of gold. At this level, the other 10 parts of  metals remaining in the gold are more precious and more expensive than gold itself).

Facing this highly technical endeavours and this big challenge with a targeted timetable date the Royal Canadian Mint concurrently worked on the challenge and independently consulted with outside gold specialists, with expertise in gold extractive metallurgy, while Dr. Truong and his team developed the Mint’s own technology to purify gold to five nines. At the end, the Mint’s own technology was chosen as the technology to be used by the Mint to reach its set objective because of its simplicity and its lower production costs. In 1998, the Royal Canadian Mint issued its first five nines gold coin. To this date, the Royal Canadian Mint remains the sole Mint in the world capable of producing five nines purity gold in large quantities and the Mint is selling five nines purity gold, on the world market as numismatic coins, investment coins and for special uses.

In 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint produced and sold the world’s first 100 kg, one million dollar face value, pure, five-nines (.99999) gold coin according to the Guiness Book of World Records.

 

CONTROL OF AIR QUALITY AND WORK ENVIRONMENT

Back in 1983, the Mint was already working on environment assessment, clean air, controls for a clean environment for a manufacturing facility and waste water treatment with remedial actions, at a time when clean air, environmental impacts were barely mentioned by any government agencies or pro-active civic groups. Dr. Truong developed and replaced traditional outdated gold refining techniques used in the Mint for more than seventy years from the time the Mint Refinery opened back in 1911 with new gold refining techniques and modern equipment. He changed the work environment from a blinding smoke filled environment with high heat and a thundering noise of 90+ decibel level caused by high air velocity expansion oil furnaces to a clean air, quiet environment, low heat and efficient energy processing operations for the health benefits of hard working gold refiners by introducing induction current furnaces and by changing the refining procedures.

The quality of the air emitted from the Gold Refinery was a big irritant for people living around the Mint Gold Refinery within a radius of five kilometers. The stench of industrial gases used in the gold refining process and released in the air was intolerable and there were complaints coming from different neighbourhoods depending on the wind directiọn. Dr. Truong realized that changes must be made soon.

Dr. Truong led his team of engineers to challenge the old traditional practice of gold refining which was zealously protected by the gold refiners who were taught these techniques since the opening of the Refinery in 1911. His team developed successfully new technologies which were implemented with the benefit of reducing refining costs, protecting the staff’s health and well being by eliminating noxious gases, excessive heat, thundering noise and unpleasant smell. With many changes implemented by Dr. Truong and his team to meet or exceed governmental guidelines, with environmental controls constantly under review and monitoring, the Gold Refinery was transformed to a modern efficient refining facility meeting the requirements of the toughest pollution laws and the expectations of the Environmental authorities in Canada for a Crown Corporation.

INTRODUCTION OF THE DOLLAR COIN

When the Government of Canada decided to replace the one-dollar bill with a coin, as Director of Engineering at the Mint, it was the responsibility of Dr. Truong to ensure that the introduction of the coin was made seamlessly. Mint Management decided that the color of the dollar coin shall be yellow to help the public distinguish it from the existing white coins, and the rest was up to Mint Engineering to propose to Mint Management the correct coin configuration so that the major coin processors and the vending industry are happy with this major historical coinage change. It was also of critical importance that the new coin configuration will not upset the public who would prefer to continue to use banknotes.

Dr. Truong conducted consultations with the Canadian Blind Association, the Vending Machine Associations, the heavy coin users such as the transit authorities, the road toll authorities at the time,…in order to incorporate their needs into the configuration of the new dollar coin which must include security features to distinguish it from the American dollar coin and other coins in the world of almost the same size and color.

The dollar coin, as we know today, was an integration of all the wishes of all the interested parties with many security features on the coin surface and in the metal contents itself. The coin was engineered by Dr. Truong to be made with a secure metal, to be eleven-sided with rounded corners and slightly rounded sides; it was designed to be of a convenient size not to be confused with the 25 cent coin and to be accepted by the commercial coin acceptors. The dollar coin configuration was designed for the public, for the sight impaired people to recognize the coin by the touch and not by seeing the coin, for the Canadian vending machine industry which includes the telephone companies, the toll machines and the municipal parking meters across the country, and for other requirements in the retail business, for all Canadians. Unlike the Americans, Canadians accepted and came to love their dollar coin, and with a stroke of luck for the Canadian team at the Winter Olympics Games the coin is fondly known as the Lucky Loonie today.

THE TWO-DOLLAR COIN

 

This coin was championed by Dr. Truong since he designed and worked on the concept of a bi-color coin extensively and thoroughly with his engineering team before it was launched by the Chretien government. The idea of a bicolor coin was very new at the time when it was released and the secure locking mechanism of the two-component coin was instrumental for its acceptance by the public and for its longevity, its endurance and its survival. The simple but solid and secure locking mechanism formed upon striking the two components of the coin together was invented and patented in the name of Dr. Truong.

This important contribution to the manufacturing engineering of the two-dollar coin was noted in the book, Royal Canadian Mint 100 Years of History, published in 2008. The decision by the Government to launch the two-dollar coin was in such a short time that the first coins produced at the time of the launching of the coin was struck on machines redesigned, revamped and refurbished at the Winnipeg plant of the Royal Canadian Mint by Dr. Truong and his team. Because of the high value of the coin, the most recent version of the two-dollar coin has many security features which incorporate many novel and difficult to copy features protected by the patents of Dr. Truong.


THE MULTI-PLY PLATING TECHNOLOGY: The World Leading Technology in Plating Coinage Material

As living standards improved across the world and global industrial growth continued at an unprecedented pace in the history of mankind, base metals of limited supply such as copper, nickel and aluminum became more expensive and coinage materials made of these elements became too expensive for many coin denominations across the world. There was a need for a new coinage material which was more affordable, but as performing as the base metal alloys for the growing demand of coins in the world economy, particularly, for countries outside of North America and Europe.

The idea of steel plated coins was born because steel was and still is the lowest priced metal in the market today. But the first generation plated steel coinage material had many disadvantages and critical deficiencies; there was unsightly rust formation (e.g. the German Pfennig coin in the seventies); there was no security (steel slugs could be made by anybody, anywhere but the vending machines could not distinguish the first generation steel plated coins from  steel slugs); it was very hard and very difficult to produce the steel plated coins  because steel was and still is harder than copper alloys and coin die life was poor… Those first generation nickel plated steel coins were relatively expensive, of low quality and were inconvenient to produce.

First generation copper plated steel or copper plated zinc coins technologies used cyanides plating chemicals which presented a very high risk of poisoning and a real risk of environment contamination hazards which could be fatal to fish, birds, and human life if there were spills which could not be controlled. Against this background, Canada started to develop its own version of plating technology.

All these negative points were overcome with the second generation of nickel plated and copper plated steel coinage material using the multi-ply plated steel technology of the Royal Canadian Mint invented and patented by Dr. Truong. This novel technology is being used on all the circulation coins of Canada today. In fact, the Royal Canadian Mint changed coinage materials from nickel and cupronickel to nickel plated steel since the year 2000. The Royal Canadian Mint has also been supplying coins using this Canadian technology to about forty countries. Among those, seven countries have totally switched their circulation coins to multi-ply steel plated technology: Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Barbados, Fiji, …

Today, the multi-ply plating technology of the Royal Canadian Mint is considered the world’s leading plating technology. This technology helps produce the world’s low cost, high quality coinage material in term of security, being safest for plant employees’ safety and health, durability, mintability, and best steel coinage material in term of  manufacturability compared to all other plated materials and alloys used in coining .

CANADA WITH THE FIRST CIRCULATION COIN IN COLOR IN THE WORLD

Many numismatic coins produced for collectors have colorful prints which enhance the beauty of the coins and which entice collectors to own the coins. Collectors do not handle and touch numismatic coins; collectors only look at their coins because a damaged coin surface makes the numismatic coin lose its numismatic value.

Banknotes were and have been very colorful but circulation coins were only silvery or bronze in color. Why is it so? It is because there is no viable technology to print color on circulation coins. If circulation coins were printed in colour with the same technology as used in printing numismatic coins, the colors of the circulation coins wore off fast due to intensive abrasive wear and tear during usage!

Dr. Hieu C. Truong took up the challenge, developed and patented for Canada the world’s so far unique technology to print colors on circulation coins which resist abrasive wear. Using fiber optics for light speed transmission of data information during the printing process, digital cameras for coin feature recognition and robot for precise coin positioning in printing, digital inkjet printers, chemistry, metallurgy, material sciences and minting experience the Royal Canadian Mint was the first mint in the world to manufacture circulation coins in color. To this date, the Royal Canadian Mint remains the only mint in the world capable of producing successfully circulation coins with color print enhancements. It is a prestigious achievement for Canada because other mints have tried but were not successful. The Government of Canada used color circulation coins to draw the attention of the public to celebrate an important event, a cause, a historical date which reflect Canadian values dear to the heart of all Canadians. We had, as circulation coins, the red poppy coin for Remembrance Day, the pink ribbon coin representing the hope to beat breast cancer, the Canadian Maple Leaf flag coin, the Commemoration of the 1812 War coin,...

  
CANADIAN FLAG COIN

  

ANOTHER “FIRST IN THE WORLD” FOR THE ROYAL CANADIAN MINT: THE DNA TECHNOLOGY TO AUTHENTICATE GOLD COINS.

Gold coins are obvious targets for counterfeiting and there are reports of such happening for almost all the major gold coin brands sold in the world. For gold investors it would be reassuring if there is a fast, easy, non-destructive and accurate method to authenticate gold and other precious metals coins before the coins are purchased.

Dr. Truong saw the need for an accurate, fast, almost instantaneous means, requiring no scientific instrument but totally reliable authentication method to protect the consumers against precious metals counterfeiting by inventing the DNA (Digital Non-Destructive Activation) Authentication Technology.

By generating a random pattern which cannot be duplicated, using high energy lamp lasering, Dr. Hieu C. Truong created an identification area in the form of a patterned design on the coin surface. This lasered area encompasses and incorporates the morphology of gold. A covert portion of the lasered design is then precisely defined and coded with proprietary computer algorithms developed with the cooperation of Signoptics and this lasered design which is digitally encoded and encrypted as a  signature or a digital fingerprint is recorded in a data base at the Mint.

At any moment, at any time of the day, anywhere in the world, for authentication purposes, a picture of the lasered design is taken with a smartphone and sent to a website of the Royal Canadian Mint. Upon receipt of the information in the form of a picture of the lasered design transmitted by the smartphone or by a PC over the Internet the picture is decoded by encryption, analysed by the computers at the Mint and the coin morphology signature is matched against the signatures in the database. If there is a match with a signature in the database a reply is sent back to confirm that the gold coin was made and registered at the Mint and if there is no match the gold coin is not an authentic coin issued by the Royal Canadian Mint. The authentication operation is completed within a very short time, from the time the picture is received at the Mint. In fact, the gold authentication can be done within a few seconds of a telephone call to the Mint.

The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin is the only gold coin in the world incorporating an electronic authentication signature; this is the first. and only quick authentication of gold for the consumer and it is done with a smartphone! For the Royal Canadian Mint and for Canada, it was an achievement at the fine edge of technology which leaves the international competition, years behind. The global precious metals investment institutions, with business revenues in the billions of dollars, welcome this innovation and are amazed by this Canadian fine edge advanced technology.

OTHER ADVANCED ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE MINTING INDUSTRY.

Over the span of his career at the Mint, Dr. Truong has technically transformed and changed progressively and totally the  practices of minting at the Royal Canadian Mint. This has contributed to improve not only the Mint in Canada and placed the Royal Canadian Mint at the top in the world for the quality of its products and its innovations, but also the coining industry worldwide benefited from those improvements as well because the Royal Canadian Mint cooperated with all the minting equipment manufacturers in the world to build better minting equipment and to integrate advanced state-of-the-art technologies used in the other industries to the minting industry.

Among those advanced technologies, Dr. Truong is credited to introduce Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) coating to harden die surfaces for longer die life, Laser technology to produce frosting on proof coin dies, the burnishing and water stain free drying of blanks, Direct Reduction Digital Engraving, Computerized Precious Metals rolling mills with precision strip thickness control with laser measuring instrumentation and using feedforward and feedbackward feedback to adjust precisely the roll positioning instantaneously and continuously (it was the first computerized precious metal rolling mill in the world for platinum, gold and silver rolling), the unique and only technique in the world for bulk platinum casting with zirconium lined silicon carbide crucible and  argon reducing atmosphere, the advanced continuous dynamic waste water treatment system to meet stringent environmental controls, the pioneering  cyanide-free bronze and brass plating technology, the development of the holographic imaging technology in minting, the Atomic Layer Deposition of a clear, very thin, protective coating enveloping the whole coin to prevent tarnishing…

 

OFFICIAL AWARDS, HONOURS AND THE CREATION OF THE DR. HIEU C. TRUONG CENTER OF EXCELLENCE AT THE ROYAL CANADIAN MINT IN WINNIPEG.

Dr. Truong was granted seven patents and had two more patents under application in Canada, and was granted about two dozens patents worldwide.

The Royal Canadian Mint built a 30 million dollar plating plant in Winnipeg in the year 2000 using the multi-ply plating technology developed by Dr. Truong.

Dr. Truong was awarded the President’s (of the Mint) Award in 2004 and received many citations over the course of his career at the Mint.

Over the years, the Royal Canadian Mint received many citations and won many “Best Coin” in the World awards in international competitions organized by the Krauss Publications of the Numismatic Coins Journal in the US for coins incorporating new developments made by Dr. Truong such as the Gold Cameo coin. The Mint was also awarded prizes and accolades by peer mints at International Meetings for coins incorporating technologies developed by Dr. Truong, for example, for “Best Technology“ coin for the circulation coin in color at the Mint Directors’ Conference in Paris.

Dr. Truong was recognized for his pioneering work and contribution in the introduction of the two-dollar coin in Canada, in the book, Royal Canadian Mint 100 Years History, published by the Royal Canadian Mint, in 2008.

Dr. Truong of the Royal Canadian Mint, was named in the book, 40 Years of the World Money Fair, by Dr. Albert M. Beck in his book published in 2011, as one of the well known international personalities in the world of coins.

In order to continue the pioneering work of Dr. Truong, in order to lead the world and to expand its successful path to create new technologies to serve the global minting industry, the Royal Canadian Mint had decided to establish a world class Research Centre where the latest development in engineering, science and computerized automation, the latest applications in cloud computing, in software development, in cash management, in phone and media communications and consumer changing habits,… are going to be developed in order serve future generations of consumers. The Royal Canadian Mint built this Research and Development Centre of Excellence in Winnipeg in 2013 and named it in honour of Dr. Hieu C. Truong in recognition of his distinguished service to the advancement of innovation and technology at the Royal Canadian Mint. At the same time, at the same location, the Royal Canadian built a second plating plant at a cost of 60 million dollars where several technologies invented by Dr. Truong are put into application.

The Royal Canadian Mint struck a medallion in Dr.Truong’s honor to mark the opening of the Centre of Excellence named after him, in 2013.



Dr. Truong was invited as a Guest Speaker at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Headquarters in Ottawa, during the Week celebrating DIVERSITY and INCLUSION in January 2016, as an example of Canadians contributing to the success and the building of Canada through diversity and inclusion. 

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Dr. Truong was a Member of the Ordre des Ingénieurs du Quebec from 1974 to 1980.

Dr. Truong has been a Member of Professional Engineers of Ontario.

COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS

Dr. Truong as a member of the Ottawa Vietnamese Canadian Community Association was active in assisting the Indochinese Refugees to settle in the Ottawa area between 1978 to 1991.

Dr. Truong was elected President of the Vietnamese Canadian Buddhist Association for two 2-year terms in 1990 and in 1992. During his terms in office he raised funds needed to build the first Buddhist temple with an Oriental architecture in Ottawa.

Dr. Truong was invited to be on the Board of Directors of Van Lang Centre for two years, and was elected Chairman in 1995, then Secretary General of the Board (Chief Operating Officer) in 1996. Van Lang Centre is a 80 unit housing complex, for low income families, in Ottawa, built with funds of the Province of Ontario. It is run as a non-profit Housing Corporation fully funded by the Province of Ontario and is managed by a Volunteer Board of Directors.

Dr. Truong was part of a group of Volunteers who built a Monument at the corner of Somerset St. and Prestone Ave. in Ottawa, in 1995, on land donated by the City of Ottawa, in honour of the Boat People who braved the high seas to flee the Communist Regime who invaded and took over Vietnam in 1975.

As a Canadian, Dr. Hieu C. Truong has contributed to make Canada a better place to live and to work. His sense of citizenship responsibility, his service to the community and to the country, his lifetime devotion to innovate and to change for the better while in the service of his employers, his pride in Canada, his personal motivation, his patriotic duty and his passion to make Canada the best among other world powers in the world of minting, the paramount achievements he has accomplished for the Royal Canadian Mint and the legacy in minting and gold refining he has left for Canada deserve to make Dr. Hieu C. Truong an excellent nominee for the Order of Canada.


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