In Memoriam: Edward A. Christman, 1943-2016

During his many years at Columbia, Professor Edward A. Christman was affiliated with the graduate Program in Medical Physics, which was established in the School of Public Health (SPH) in 1989 and transferred to the School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1993. Initially through the SPH, and later as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, from 1997 until he retired in 2012, Prof. Christman taught Health Physics, a lecture course, the Health Physics Practicum, and the Medical Health Physics Tutorial. The tutorial, which he designed in 2010, provides a professional overview of the field and includes lectures, seminars, tours, and hands-on experience.

Prof. Christman graduated from Rutgers University in Environmental Sciences (M.S. 1974, Ph.D. 1977).  Subsequently, as an Associate Graduate Faculty Member (1979-1999), he taught at Rutgers and for a time served as Director of their Radiation and Environmental Sciences Department. His research interests included radiological health physics, radiation safety, radiation dosimetry, microdosimetry, and occupational health and safety. His published research was performed at Rutgers, Princeton, Columbia, and Berkeley.

Board certified and licensed in the State of New York, Prof. Christman also served from 1991-1999 as Director of the Columbia Environmental Health and Safety Office at the Health Sciences campus where he was responsible for all environmental and occupational health and safety programs for the campus. 

From 1999-2012 Prof. Christman was an independent consultant in radiation and occupational and environmental health and safety, specializing in high technology research and development environments. He was a resource contact for the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) on matters related to health physics and radiation protection.

Prof. Christman was a member of the American Association of Physics in Medicine (AAPM), the Society for Risk Analysis, and the Health Physics Society. He was elected President of the New Jersey chapter of the Health Physics Society in 1987. 

At his retirement, Prof. Christman was honored by the Columbia medical physics faculty for his years of selfless service.  His colleagues, as well as his students, remember him as a kind and generous man and a talented and dedicated teacher.  We will miss him.  

He is survived by his sister Elizabeth, brothers Doug and Glenn, and his wife Florence Cua.


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