Chih H. Wang was Professor of Chemistry, Director of the Radiation Center, and Head of the Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering at Oregon State University. He was responsible for the growth of nuclear science research on the Oregon State University campus and the creation of the OSU Radiation Center.
Wang was born in 1917 in Shanghai, China. He attended the National University of Shandong where he earned his B.S. in chemistry. Wang's studies and employment were disrupted by the Second Sino-Japanese War and later World War II but, beginning in 1938, Wang found work as a chemistry instructor at West China Union University. In 1945, Wang immigrated to the United States where he enrolled at Oregon State College. There, he earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry. In 1950, Wang joined the OSU Chemistry Department as an instructor, where he focused on research in biochemistry, plant physiology, microbiology, and radiation biology. As a result of his aggressive research agenda, Wang earned his full professorship. Wang's use of radioisotopes in research resulted in a push for improved radiation research facilities on the OSU campus. In 1958, Wang drafted the first of three proposals requesting funds to build a radiation center at OSU. Funding was granted in 1960 and construction of the facility began in 1962. The TRIGA reactor (OSTR) was installed and activated in the OSU Radiation Center in 1967. Wang was named Director of the Radiation Center and Head of the Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering--a position he filled until his retirement in 1984.
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