At Florida Institute of Technology’s annual Honors Convocation held recently, Bryant Benson, who earned a Florida Tech bachelor’s degree in astrophysics in 2008 and a master’s degree in space sciences in May 2011, received the John E. Miller Award. The award is for excellence in graduate student teaching and outstanding academic excellence.
A graduate student assistant since 2008, Benson taught physics and the senior physics laboratory. He also conducted laboratory research, 2010-2011, doing work related to particle physics. He was a co-author on a paper published in the IEEE 2010 Proceedings regarding the detection of nuclear materials with muon tomography. Muons are naturally produced by cosmic rays, which arrive from deep space and constantly bombard the Earth’s atmosphere. High-energy elementary particles, they are much heavier versions of electrons and are difficult to block by concrete or lead.
Benson is a 2004 graduate of King City High School and was a resident of King City, Calif. This fall he will begin studies for a doctoral degree in physics at the University of California, Davis. He will also be a teaching assistant there.
The Miller Award was established in 1995 in memory of the university’s longtime vice president for academic affairs. Dr. Miller also briefly was university president between the terms of Jerome Keuper, founding president, and Dr. Lynn Edward Weaver.