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Alan Steeves

$37,660.00 (raised so far)

About Alan Steeves

Alan Owen Steeves provided 35 years of dedicated IT support to the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UBC. However, he was not only an exceptional IT staff member, he was also a wonderful artist, a conservationist, and a master chef. In 2009, Alan received the President’s Service Award for Excellence in recognition of his outstanding contributions to UBC campus life and for his personal achievements and, in 2011, he also received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Service.

Alan’s significant contributions to Mechanical Engineering at UBC range from the department’s first PDP11, to facilitating the significant 2003 Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE) donation of computer software and hardware, with a commercial value of approximately $240 million. The in-kind contribution, which consisted of computer-aided design, manufacturing, and engineering software, hardware and training, was the largest in UBC’s history. Since then, Alan attracted several more high value PACE donations and in 2008 he received the Distinguished PACE Integrator Award for promoting global collaboration among PACE institutions.

Alan was a recognized contemporary native artist. He was a member of the Kwagiutl First Nation, and began painting because of a desire to keep the stories of his grandfather alive. Alan donated his works to a number of charitable causes, exhibited them nationally and internationally, and regularly participated in the art and environmental communities. He also designed a special artwork for the Department of Mechanical Engineering, which is installed on the wall and greets you as you walk into the department’s main office. Alan was also a founding member of Trout Unlimited British Columbia and was part of the group that helped to resolve the impasse regarding the Pacific Salmon Treaty Commission in 1999.

A true, kind, soft spoken gentleman, Alan always provided UBC Mechanical Engineering with the best in IT services with a friendly and helpful manner. He was a humble man, a kind man, and a man of principles. Alan will live on in our thoughts and through the enormous impact he has had in Mechanical Engineering and the broader community.

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The impact of your support

Alan’s Steeves’ impact on UBC was felt far beyond his contributions as an IT staff member at the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Your donation will support a new award in Alan’s name. It will be awarded to a mechanical engineering student who exhibits creativity and involvement in the arts or student teams, with preference given to students who self-identify as Aboriginal.

Messages of Remembrance

All Messages
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  • I met Alan in April 1982 when I was in Vancouver to automate Alcan's extrusion die making process in Richmond plant. I visited UBC mechanical engineering after work hours. I saw a man working on computer controlled Ex-Cell-O and Sajo NC machines left from 60s. I knocked the door, and Alan opened with a smile on his face (like his picture on this page!). He showed me around like we knew each other since childhood. I came back to UBC in 1986 as a young professor, and Alan remained as one of my best friends in MECH since then. I miss him, and will continue to miss his friendship, high integrity and modest personality.

    Yusuf Altintas, Professor, Friend and colleague
  • 1981: There was a text based computer game on the DEC PDP11. I believe it was Zork 1. At a point in the game, you inevitably are killed by a cyclops again and again. Hence, you are stuck. Thankfully, Steve was there to give me the word to scare away the cyclops. "Ulysses". Turns out, sometime earlier, Steve has gone through the game's computer code, saw the word "Ulysses" and deduced this was the way to scare away the cyclops. Thanks Steve.

    Ronald Magnolo, Mech 82
  • Alan was clever, brilliant, easy to talk to and always willing to help in anyway he could. He was a tremendous problem solver in technical and business/commercial areas and incredibly humble about his accomplishments. The depth and breadth of his abilities were true renaissance.

    John C. Lee, Mech 83 and met many times since
  • Infectious smile, always around (!), a real gentle person. You couldn't miss him walking down the hallway in CEME with that characteristic gait, his shirt sleeves rolled up to between his wrist and elbow, ready to help. Alan assisted me regularly in the computer room with my data tapes in the late eighties and nineties. During my few subsequent visits to UBC, I would seek him out and it always felt like I was meeting an old friend. He will be greatly missed.

    Aurobindo Das, Grad student (Ph.D. 1993)
  • Alan and I first met in the early 70's when I started at UBC, we lived on the same floor in Cariboo house (student residence at UBC). My parents lived in Chilliwack, and Alan had family in Hope ... each weekend, Alan would give me a ride to see my parents and pick me up again returning to UBC ... he had this fantastic car: a 68 camero with huge slicks on the back and skinny tires on the front with the incredible hopped up engine to go with it ... Alan used to race it in Mission speedway. His qualities described by others here but moreover his ever smiling face will remain in my memories. I'll miss you Alan

    Ed Bosman, Lived in the same dormitory at UBC
  • Alan was both a friend and a trusted mentor to me while I was undertaking my doctoral work at the Mechanical Engineering Department, UBC. He was always ready to help me out with any UNIX computer related questions/issues (no matter how mundane) and of course with his trade mark cheerfulness and smiles. There was a time I traveled to Nigeria and stay for about six months. When I returned to UBC for my post doctoral work, Alan gladly helped me restored all my files and this made my transition into my post doctoral work quite seamless. Alan, you were a BLESSING to the Human Race!! I pray that God Almighty grant you eternal rest in Heaven. In Jesus Name Amen Professor Lucky Anetor

    Professor Lucky Anetor - Mech Engineering, 1994, Friend and Mentor
List of Donors
All Donors
  • Jay Zhao & Dr. Jen Yu

  • James Olson, Gayle Birkeland

  • Elizabeth and Lawrence Croft

  • Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

  • Dean’s Office, Faculty of Applied Science

  • Farrokh Sassani

  • Boris Stoeber

  • Steve Rogak & Barbara Dominik

  • Hongshen Ma & Katherine Ryan

  • Clarence W. de Silva

  • Mike Van der Loos

  • Gerry Rohling

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