Sharon Ku headshot

Tsai-Hsuan Tsai-Hsuan Ku

Assistant Professor of Engineering and Society, General Faculty
Unit: School of Engineering and Applied Science
Department: Department of Engineering and Society
Office location and address
Thorton Hall, Room A220
No. 30, Lane 252, Sanfu Street
Changhua City, Changhua County 500
B.S. Physics, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan 1995
M.S. Physics, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan 1999
M.A. History, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan 2003
Ph.D. History & Philosophy of Science. Cambridge University, United Kingdom 2010

Sharon Ku joined the University of Virginia in 2017, after her faculty position at Drexel University and research fellowship from National Institutes of Health. She has a dual academic training in physics and STS, specializing in sociology and geopolitics of innovation and standardization. Her research focuses on multi-sited ethnographic investigation of international standardization and knowledge translation in both US and Asia. In addition, she developed intense collaborations with global academic, industrial and government scientists/policymakers through her involvement in standardization. She served as a nominated expert for the ANSI/ISO-TC229 Nanotechnologies Committee since 2012, and a member of ASTM E56 Nanotechnology Committee since 2010. She is actively involved in IEEE Global Initiative on Ethically Aligned Design of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems.

She teaches engineering history, ethics and responsibility in global context, including developing global classrooms with Chinese Universities to address the ongoing political, economic and technological interactions between US and China.

Standard-Aligned Design for Smart Sustainable Cities
Source: National Institute of Standards & Technology
September 01, 2018 – August 31, 2020
STS 2500: Science and Technology in Social and Global Context
Credits: 3
This course invites students to explore the implications of STS core concepts within a specific topical or disciplinary area, drawing out the implications of STS 1500 in depth. The course explores the social and global context of engineering, science and technology. Although writing and speaking skills are emphasized, more attention is given to course content and the students' analytical abilities. Prerequisites: STS 1500 or an equivalent STS course.
STS 4500: STS and Engineering Practice
Credits: 3
This course engages students with the idea that success in posing and solving engineering problems requires attention to the social dimensions of professional endeavors and practice. STS theories and methods are applied to student thesis projects. Students produce a prospectus for the senior thesis project. Students must be in residence to take this course. Students are not permitted to take STS 4500 and STS 4600 simultaneously. Prerequisites: STS 2000 or STS 3000 level course.
STS 4600: The Engineer, Ethics, and Professional Responsibility
Credits: 3
This course focuses on ethical issues in engineering. The key theme is that ethics is central to engineering practice. The professional responsibilities of engineers are examined. Students produce an STS Research paper linked to their technical thesis project and complete all of the requirements for the senior thesis. Students must be in residence to take this course. Students are not permitted to take STS 4500 and STS 4600 simultaneously. Prerequisites: STS 4500.