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Stanford Report, January 5, 2000

Holmes retires as Radiation Safety Officer, McElroy takes over

John Holmes, associate director of the Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) department and the university's radiation safety officer, is retiring this month after 36 years on campus. He will be succeeded by Norman McElroy, previously the senior health physicist in EH&S.

An open house/reception in Holmes' honor will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13, at the Faculty Club.

Holmes joined Stanford in 1963 as a health physicist and for the past 10 years has served as the university's radiation safety officer. Before coming to Stanford, Holmes spent five years as a researcher in nuclear physiology at the University of California-Los Angeles and as a process engineer in private industry.

Lawrence Gibbs, associate vice provost for environmental health and safety, said Stanford has benefited from Holmes' diligence, organization and commitment to teaching and promoting proper safety practices.

"John has done a tremendous job overseeing both basic science and clinical research activities that use radioactive materials or radiation-generating machines," Gibbs said. "He combines the highest level of professionalism and expertise with a very friendly, supportive manner that has always produced a positive outcome."

In addition to his administrative duties, Holmes also participated in research activities, including a project at the South Pole. When the Nuclear Engineering Department shut down the nuclear reactor at the Ryan Lab in 1972, Holmes ensured that it was done safely and that the area was left in a state suitable for the people who now live or work in that part of the campus.

McElroy, who joined Stanford in 1996, previously served as the radiation safety officer at San Jose State University and at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Washington, D.C. He also served as deputy radiation safety officer at the George Washington University Medical Center and as a senior project manager for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, where he developed policy, regulations and procedures for the licensing and inspection of the medical use of radioactive materials.

"In appointing Norman McElroy to the position of radiation safety officer, I believe we've succeeded in maintaining not only the technical excellence of the program but also the service orientation of the program for the Stanford community," Gibbs said.

Holmes, McElroy's predecessor, agrees. "Norman brings extensive technical and regulatory experience and a good sense of balance to this important position."

McElroy holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in education from George Washington University, and has served as an adjunct faculty member in radiological health education at San Jose State and George Washington universities. SR