Matthew M. Beaky joins the Juniata faculty in 2011 as an assistant professor of physics from his previous job as an associate professor of physics at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo.
Beaky worked at Truman State since 2000 and has been director of the university's Office of Student Research since 2009. In addition to teaching physics classes, Beaky also managed the Truman Observatory and taught courses on Observational Astronomy and Astrophysics. As manager of the observatory, he hosted observatory nights for the local community and developed a thriving astronomy research program.
He earned a bachelor's degree in physics in 1989 from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass. He went on to earn a master's degree in 1992 and a doctorate in 1996, both from Ohio State University.
After earning his doctorate, Beaky traveled to Germany to work as an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellow at the University of Cologne. From 1998 to 2000 he worked as a National Research Council Research Fellow at Duke University and the Army Research Office in Durham, N.C.
He has published his research in a variety of professional journals, including the Information Bulletin on Variable Stars, Minor Planet Bulletin, Journal of the American Association of Variable Star Observers and the Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy.
He has received numerous awards during his career, including the Allen Fellowship for Faculty Excellence in 2011, Sigma Xi (Kirksville Chapter) Researcher of the Year in 2008, induction into Sigma Xi in 2005 and the Robert H. Goddard Award for Outstanding Senior Physics Major from Wocester Polytechnic Institute in 1989.
At Truman State, he started several popular outreach programs, including Observatory Open House in 2002. He also founded the Truman State University Center for Astrobiology in 2009. For those who need a sundial, Beaky designed and built one for the university's solar clock garden.
Beaky has received nearly $50,000 in external funding to support his astronomy research program.