My name is Ryan Sugamoto. I was a student of Dr. Chai at UH. I
remember the first time I met Dr. Chai. At the time he was the department
chair. I was walking down the hail and he asked me what is your name?
And when I told him he laughed and said jokingly "I can look at your grades
now" at first I didn't think it was that funny, but the more I got to know him,
the more I appreciated his sense of humor.
Taking class from Dr. Cbai was a unique experience in itself. He would
always try to explain things in a practical and easy to understand manner.
He made sure by the end of class that everyone was comfortable with the
points he was frying to get across. That's how much he cared about the
students. He also made it a point to get involved with the students on a
personal level. What was really amazing was his ability to remember the
student's names. And when I say the students, I mean every student he's
ever taught. He even kept a binder full of the names and pictures of every
student that graduated from the department for the past - I don't know how
Some of the guys at our office went to visit him about a month ago. Sure
enough, he recognized everyone and even joked around with us.
Dr. Chai was an incredible role model for the students. He was always
straightforward and honest.., and when it came to technical knowledge, he
really knew his stuff. I took a class from him during my last semester called
"Nuclear Heat Transport" it still amazes me that Dr. Chai was 76 years old
and teaching us about Nuclear Energy. He would joke around that he was
getting old and forgetful, but his mind was always sharp.
He always had good advice to give us. Whether it was about school or our
plans after graduation, Dr. Chai would always listen to us and give his
Every once in a while he would tell us stories of his younger years when he
played ping pong, or when he was in the Japanese Military. He told us of
how he traveled all over the US and I remember thinking, man this guy
really lived life to the fullest. I could only hope to accomplish half of what
he's done and hope to touch as many lives as he has over the course of a
He will be missed, but he will continue live on in all of our hearts.
Thanks Dr. Chai.