Steven Keating

Steven's Life

Born in Calgary, Canada in 1988, Steven from a young age developed an innate sense of curiosity for the world around him. He spent much of his childhood in his ‘basement workshop’, taking things apart and building all sorts of contraptions. From homemade smoke bombs to potato cannons, to chemistry and photography experiments, everything fascinated Steven and his friends. He played competitive badminton at the Calgary Winter Club and varsity volleyball at Sir Winston Churchill High School, where he graduated in 2006 as the valedictorian of his class.

Steven pursued undergraduate dual degrees in Mechanical and Materials Engineering, as well as Film and Media. He graduated with both in 2010 at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. He loved living in the Kingston ‘student ghetto’ with his wonderful roommates and friends. He was known for his April Fools pranks and gained notoriety for his dance moves!

Steven’s lifelong dream was to go to MIT, ever since the sixth grade when he declared it to the family. His determination paid off when he was accepted as a student under Dr. David Wallace and Dr. Neri Oxman. His research projects ranged from a construction-scale 80-foot 3D printer, to combination 1/2 photon nanoprinters, 3D printed multimaterial biomedical data, rapid fabrication of custom microfluidics, glass additive fabrication, and inkjet deposition of synthetically designed organisms. In 2016 he completed his PhD titled ‘From Bacteria to Buildings: Additive Manufacturing Outside of the Box’.

Following his PhD graduation in 2016, Steven moved to Sunnyvale, California and began working for Apple as a design engineer. He loved working with his Apple research team, where he got to live his dream of being an inventor! He bought his first car, a convertible Mini Cooper S. He used the car to transport items from antique markets and natural history bonanzas to his apartment where he assembled his own personal museum to display his treasures. He cherished building his own furniture including a stand-up desk and dining room table out of a 5-foot diameter stump of a previously felled redwood tree.

Steven’s zest for life included travelling the world for personal and work purposes, as well as advocacy for open patient data. He had many wonderful adventures with family and friends, including a bucket list trip to Honduras in September 2018 where he was joined by many of his closest friends at a moments notice. This trip included a journey to the bottom of the deep ocean (>2000’) in a homemade submersible and a memorable treasure hunt on an uninhabited island known to house pirates! Steven’s advocacy work for open patient data included serving on the board for the Open Human Foundation and speaking around the world about his experiences (e.g. his TedX Calgary talk).

Steven did everything he could to fight his brain cancer and help advance the science of finding a cure. He was so grateful to all of his doctors and nurses who helped him on his journey and who continue to search for a cure to this terrible disease.