Chief Technology Officer
Steven Li, Ph.D., M.A.Sc.

Dr. Steven Li is a co-founder and the CTO of StarSpec Technologies. Steve received his Ph.D. in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Department of Physics at Princeton University. His research revolved around advanced optimization techniques for optics and mechanical design. At Princeton, he collaborated extensively with Prof. N. Jeremy Kasdin and Prof. William C. Jones, further augmenting his expertise with certificates in statistics, machine learning, and scientific computing. Steve also had the privilege of studying under neural network luminary Prof. Sebastian Seung, acquiring hands-on proficiency with CNNs, LSTMs, GANs, and Transformers. He's been invited to address the American Roentgen Ray Society and has attended various international forums, including the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) and the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

Before his time at Princeton, Steve earned his Master's of Applied Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Toronto, guided by Prof. Chris Damaren, the current director of the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS). During his academic pursuits, Steve partnered with astrophysicist Prof. C. Barth Netterfield. Their collaboration was instrumental in leading the structural and mechanical design as well as optics integration for the Super-pressure Balloon-borne Imaging Telescope (SuperBIT). Furthermore, Steve played a crucial role in the topology optimized structures on the SPIDER balloon-borne telescope.

Supplementing his technical expertise, Steve has business training from both Princeton and the University of Toronto's entrepreneurship programs. He has also enriched his business acumen by studying under Prof. Gustavo Schwed at the NYU Stern School of Business.