Longtime Lab Managers Rick Pam and George Yan Retire

Lab managers Rick Pam and George Yan, who have a combined 60+ years of service to the Physics Department, retired in 2023. 

For 30 years, Rick served as lecturer and teaching lab manager in the advanced teaching labs, Academic Director of the Physics Undergraduate Summer Research Program, advisor to the Society of Physics Students, pre-major advisor, and mentor to undergraduates and graduate teaching assistants.

Prior to his time at Stanford, Rick’s work in the fields of chemical kinetics, air pollutant formation and control, and solar thermal power generation led to the development and commercialization of low polluting combustion systems, as well as advanced energy systems, for which he holds two patents. He also taught courses at San Francisco State University, the Illinois Institute of Technology and Hartnell Community College.

Rick received a B.S. in Physics and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford.

George served as lab manager for over 30 years, taking care of lecture demos. His courses were taken by  an average of 800 students every quarter.

He was a lecturer/associate professor in China for five years prior to getting his Ph.D. at Stanford under the Nobel Laureate, Professor Arthur Schawlow.

According to former DFO Rosenna Yau: "His teaching and research experience is invaluable in supporting the undergraduate teaching at Stanford.  He is one of those unassuming, behind the scene workers.  Because of his effectiveness, everything goes smoothly in classes.  That’s why it is easy for people to forget the person who made it possible for the lectures to go on and for the students to learn."