Additional Convocation Medal Award Winners

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Dr. Steven Blaber receives Dean’s Convocation Medal

As one of SFU's most outstanding graduate students from the Faculty of Science, Dr. Steven Blaber is recognized with the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal. On behalf of SFU, we congratulate Dr. Blaber on his outstanding achievements.

June 04, 2024

For his PhD, Dr. Steven Blaber researched the thermodynamics of micro- and nano-scale machines; tiny engines and motors that transport cargo and store energy within living cells, which resulted in his thesis, Energetically efficient control of stochastic thermodynamic systems.

Blaber’s research in theoretical physics moves the field towards a more complete understanding of the ideal operation of these nanoscopic machines.

With a firm grasp of many advanced topics in statistical mechanics, stochastic processes, statistics, and extensive experience with scientific programming numerical calculations, Blaber is also a clear and concise communicator. Having presented at various meetings and conferences in the field, he was an invited speaker for the Quantitative Biology in Canada series. He took a publishing course on science communication, which he quickly learned to apply in his own field, creating a YouTube Channel and becoming a resource for his research group members, to illustrate concepts and data using engaging animation for communicating complex data.

Supported by the Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship, a Graduate Followship, and Travel & Research award, Blaber is now a leading expert in optimal control and the theory of free-energy estimation.

After completing his undergraduate degree (BSc) in Honours Physics here at SFU, Blaber went to the University of Waterloo to complete his MSc, before coming back to SFU to undertake more research under his supervisor, Dr. David Sivak for his PhD.

Of Blaber’s time at SFU, Sivak says, “Steven is a whip-smart, independent, and impressively productive researcher. His academic strength, curiosity, and polished communication led him to excel in his PhD research and complete an exceptional dissertation.”

Says Blaber, “I am grateful to be recognized for this award and would like to thank all the members of the physics department for their support throughout my degrees at SFU. The biophysics community at SFU is truly something special and is a main reason for my success as a researcher.”

Steven now applies the tools and techniques learned at SFU as a postdoctoral scholar at UBC studying amorphous mirror coatings for future generations of gravitational wave detectors.