David H. Navon, 79, of Shutesbury, professor emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering, died Sept. 8 at home after a brief illness.
He grew up in New York City, where he attended local schools.
He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
Following the war, he enrolled at City College of New York, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He completed his master’s degree in physics at New York University before going on to Purdue University, where he received a Ph.D. in physics.
After finishing his doctorate, he joined Transitron Electronic Corp. in Wakefield, where he was director of research and development from 1954-65. In the post, he was one of the early scientists working on the development of transistors.
He taught at Northeastern University for a year before joining the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965 as an associate professor. In 1968, he came to UMass Amherst as professor of Electrical Engineering and director of the Applied Technology Center.
In 1974-75, he was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Lectureship at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and in 1977-78 he was a faculty fellow at the U.S. General Accounting Office in Houston, Texas.
He was the author of the textbooks, “Electronic Materials and Devices” and “Microelectronic Devices and Materials” as well as many scientific articles and several patents. He lectured in Turkey, China, Russia, Ireland, Italy and Japan.
He was a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Eta Kappa Nu, Sigma Pi Sigma and Sigma Xi.
He retired from the faculty in 1987 but continued teaching.
He leaves his wife, Roberta (Amsel) Navon; a daughter, Beth Markow of New York City; a son, Marc of Marblehead; and four grandchildren.
Memorial gifts may be made to a scholarship established in Professor Navon’s name, to the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, College of Engineering, 140 Marston Hall.