Sau-yi Fong is a PhD candidate in Chinese History at Columbia University. Her dissertation project, "Agents of Violence: Naval Technology and Late Qing China, 1875–1911," investigates China's engagement with an emerging global regime of arms production and arms trading by tracing the transnational processes underlying the construction of the Beiyang Navy. Her broader research interests include the history of science and empire, technological transfer and industrialization, as well as the conception of military secrecy and maritime sovereignty.
Sau-yi obtained her MPhil from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, where she completed a master's thesis on the politics of youth martial activism in 1930s China. She worked as a translator for more than five years before joining Columbia in 2014.