Department of Engineering / News / PhD student Kirsten Van Fossen wins rowing award

Department of Engineering

PhD student Kirsten Van Fossen wins rowing award

PhD student Kirsten Van Fossen wins rowing award

Doctoral researcher in the Department of Engineering’s Centre for Sustainable Development Kirsten Van Fossen has won World Rowing’s 2015 Parmigiani Spirit Award. 

Demonstrated the core values of the sport of rowing – commitment, dedication, determination, endurance, fairness, focus, inclusiveness, life balance, respect for nature, self-discipline and teamwork.

Award citation

Hailing from the United States, Kirsten studied engineering at Harvard University, earning a fellowship to pursue water engineering research at the University of São Paulo, Brazil where she completed a master’s thesis on ‘Point of Use Drinking Water Purification.’ While there she worked at the International Reference Centre on Water Reuse, contributing to a project to find solutions to water quality and scarcity issues.

Kirsten's current research interests within the Department are in sustainability with relation to food and health as well as the environmental dimensions of sustainability.

The Parmigiani Spirit Award award is for university rowers who have ‘demonstrated the core values of the sport of rowing – commitment, dedication, determination, endurance, fairness, focus, inclusiveness, life balance, respect for nature, self-discipline and teamwork – and through these values have been able to inspire exceptional success in their own as well as other people’s lives’.

Upon receiving the award, Kirsten said: ‘Learning that I had been selected as the winner was an incredible surprise. I am honoured to receive an award that celebrates such admirable values’.

“Ms Van Fossen is a force for good in our research community and contributes to many people and projects through gifting her time and energy,” said Professor Steve Evans, Director of the Centre for Industrial Sustainability at University of Cambridge.

“There is no doubt that Kirsten is an inspiration to her peers,” said FISA President Jean-Christophe Rolland. “She excels both on the water and academically as well as demonstrating a social consciousness in her study choices. Kirsten demonstrates the values of the sport of rowing as exemplified by the Parmigiani Spirit Award.”

The Parmigiani Spirit Award is in its third year and is bestowed annually. It is open through a nomination process to university rowers worldwide who demonstrate the core values of rowing in his/her social, academic and sporting life. The winner receives a hand-crafted Parmigiani Fleurier watch and the club receives a custom-built, top-of-the range Filippi eight racing shell.

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