Dr. James T. O'Brein

Dr. James T. O’Brien

Dr. James T. O’Brien -1942-2010

James (Jim) O’Brien was a native of the “tri-cities” area (Albany-Schenectady-Troy) in upstate New York. He lived there throughout the completion of his BS degree in physics at Siena College. He moved to northeast DC while completing his MS and PhD in nuclear physics at Catholic University, and then chose to remain in the DC metropolitan area.

Jim came to Montgomery College, Rockville campus, in 1971 as principal developer for Technical Physics courses in support of the then-new engineering technology programs. In subsequent years he taught a wide selection of physics and engineering courses and was involved in some major curriculum development projects. He served as Department Chair for Physics, Engineering, and Geosciences from 1980-1986. He had extensive advising experience in transfer engineering programs. He twice served as president of the College’s American Association of University Professors (AAUP) chapter and was active in the group since its inception. Jim was the designer and developer of the first Montgomery College website and he chaired the Web Maintenance Team (WMT).

Outside of the College, his professional associations included a Research Professorship in physics at Catholic University. He was active in nuclear structure research at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab) in Newport News, Virginia, where he served as archivist of the CLAS collaboration for many years.

Jim O’Brien loved teaching, and Montgomery College was always near and dear to his heart. He had a strong commitment to its students and to education. After Jim’s death, his wife and his siblings agreed that establishing a scholarship in his name was the appropriate way to honor his life’s work there.