University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
Home > About > News > Alumni >


Gary H. Zeman (M.S., Physics, 1969)


My education was interrupted by the draft for the Vietnam War.

I joined the Navy and had a 20 year career as a U.S. Navy Radiation Health Offi cer. My wonderful wife Margaret was at my side through it all. The Navy sent me to complete a Sc.D. at the Johns Hopkins University in 1976. They gave me many challenging assignments and opportunities to use my physics education. After leaving the Navy in 1989, I spent a few years at Bell Labs in New Jersey, and at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, CA. I am now a Radiological Safety Offi cer at Argonne National Laboratory. I have spent the past couple years working on the radiation dose reconstruction and compensation program for the atomic veterans −− those 200,000+ military veterans who witnessed atomic tests between the years 1945 and 1962. It has been a satisfying experience to engage and, in some small measure help, improve the process to obtain the recognition and compensation the veterans deserve. I have many fond memories of the University of Minnesota in 1968-69. The war and the war protests on and off campus affected all of us in that age. A couple times the Administration Building (right next to the Tate Laboratory of Physics) was shut down due to sit-ins by protesters. Another memory was staying awake all night to start my car every hour when it was -25 degrees in the middle of January. But I did not mind that because I was up all night anyway working on Quantum Mechanics for Professor Stephen Gasiorowicz. He was beyond any doubt my favorite and toughest professor.