Stanford University: Stanford affiliated scholar wins 2022 Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Kevin Fan Hsu, a Stanford alumnus and lecturer at the university’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, has won a 2022 Gates Cambridge Scholarship for graduate study at the University of Cambridge, where he will pursue a PhD in politics and international studies.

Hsu, BS/BA ’09, MA ’11, is among the 23 Americans who were recently awarded scholarships by the Gates Cambridge Trust during its U.S. selection round. The full Class of 2022 will be announced in May when the organization announces its cohort of international scholars.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation established the scholarship program in 2000 to enable outstanding students from outside the United Kingdom to pursue full-time graduate studies in any subject at the University of Cambridge. The program aims to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others. The 2022 class of scholars will begin their studies at Cambridge in October.

At Stanford, Hsu earned dual bachelor’s degrees in Earth systems and international relations in 2009, and a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering in 2011. He earned a master’s degree in cultural heritage management at Johns Hopkins University in 2021.

At the University of Cambridge, Hsu plans to research strategies for building consensus and accelerating climate change-related infrastructure, with the hope that public works projects can be implemented in a more just and equitable way.

“My Stanford mentors, including Jane Woodward, Larry Diamond and the late Karl Knapp, inspired me in this journey,” he said. “Stanford’s embrace of interdisciplinary thinking empowered me to connect issues of sustainability and democracy.”

From 2018 to 2021, Hsu was the senior assistant director at the Centre for Liveable Cities in Singapore, where he led the resilience/sustainability research cluster. Concurrently, he served as a research fellow at Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, where he developed digital planning tools related to sustainability.

Hsu recently returned to the United States to co-author a renewable energy textbook with Gilbert Masters, PhD ’66, professor (teaching) of civil and environmental engineering, emeritus.

Since 2014, Hsu has been a lecturer at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (Stanford d.school).

During spring quarter, he will join d.school colleagues to teach Civic Design, a course focused on participatory design strategies – methods of understanding a community’s needs, hopes and aspirations, and involving members of the public in meaningful ways during the design process – to tackle urban challenges and support resilient cities and communities.

Hsu also taught courses in Stanford’s International Policy Studies and Urban Studies programs.

As a graduate student at Stanford, Hsu served as a course coordinator and translator for China Energy Systems, a quarter-long course that concluded with a field trip to China over spring break, including visits to wind farms, a solar photovoltaic panel factory, a coal power plant and the Three Gorges Dam. He periodically returned in this role after graduating.

“While I aim to work in climate change and energy policy, I would like to remain connected to the classroom, where I have enjoyed crafting experiences for others,” he said.

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