David O. Ham
Submitted by James L. Kinsey
David Ham, 75, physical chemist, environmental research scientist, and science educator, a resident of Williamsburg, Massachusetts, died suddenly October 15, 2014 in Houston, TX. He was attending a workshop to set up an International Baccalaureate Program at Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School (PVCICS), where he taught physics, chemistry and mathematics.
In 1961 Ham graduated with a B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and in 1968 was awarded a Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
From 1970 to 1980 he worked at the University of Rochester, initially as an assistant professor in the Chemistry Department and then as a Senior Research Associate, Laboratory for Laser Energetics and Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Sciences in the College of Engineering. After 10 years in Rochester, Ham spent one year at the National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico.
In 1980 he resettled in the Boston area, working as a research scientist and as Vice President of Energy and Environmental Sciences for Physical Sciences, Inc. (PSI) in Andover, MA. Subsequently, he founded his own company, Envirochem, Inc., conducting contract research for environmental projects.
Ham wrote a monthly column about global warming for The Nucleus. Throughout his career as a research scientist, he maintained his commitment to bringing science to underprivileged youth and his enthusiasm for instilling his love of science in all students.
He is survived by his wife, MaryAnna, of 52 years, his daughters Audrey and Lesley, and a grandson, Wei David.