Department Chair, Professor of Physics and Engineering
Physics & Engineering, College of Arts and Sciences
Started at Bethel
- Elmhurst College - B.A., 1980
- University of Minnesota - M.S., 1984
- University of Minnesota - Ph.D., 1986
Dr. Beecken received his M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Minnesota and then spent 2 years on the engineering technical staff at Texas Instruments. One of his research interests is modeling the charging of dielectrics on spacecraft, and he has collaborated with both NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Air Force Research Lab in Boston and Albuquerque. Other research interests are optical detectors, including work on infrared detector limitations at Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee and photon counters, IR cameras, and a dual-band IR spectrometer at the Air Force Research Lab in New Mexico. At JPL, he created and verified statistical models for noise in focal plane arrays. His analysis has assisted in the development of a test facility at Eglin Air Force Base, and he has collaborated on computer models with NASA's Langley Research Center. He has published a dozen papers and given dozens of technical presentations throughout the country. Dr. Beecken has received the Bethel Excellence in Scholarship Award. His research has been externally supported by 5 NASA fellowships, 2 grants from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, 1 grant from Calspan Corp., 1 NASA grant, 4 AFOSR fellowships, 4 American Society for Engineering Education fellowships, and is currently supported by a 2-year grant from the Air Force Research Laboratory.