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Photo of Nguyen, Dao

Dao Nguyen

Outstanding Achievement Award

Civil, Materials, and Environmental Engineering


Dao Nguyen earned his BS degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois Chicago in 2011. Upon graduating, Dao used his engineering knowledge to open his first restaurant, Lotus Banh Mi, in 2012 — Lotus was his late mother’s favorite flower. Lotus Banh Mi has expanded to five locations focused primarily around Downtown Chicago with the fifth in downtown Northbrook. In addition to continuing the expansion into suburban towns, Dao’s company, DK Lotus Inc., is preparing to introduce meal kits at local grocery stores to capture the cook-from-home market. Dao also uses much of his engineering knowledge to navigate his rapidly growing real estate portfolio, which includes renovation, re-modeling, and operating multiple rental properties.