Robert Behary


Major: Physics
Minor: Computer Science & Mathematics
Celebrity he would most like to hang out with: Adam Savage, to see what he works on throughout the day.
Desert Island
• Book: 1984 by George Orwell
• Film: Space Balls
• Album: Awaken, My Love by Childish Gambino

Robert Behary smiling with Pittsburgh in the background

"I'm going to become a nuclear physicist" is a sentence that most people will probably never say in their lifetimes.

That is, unless you are Robert Behary, a physics major here at Duquesne. Originally intending to complete the 3+2 Binary Engineering program, which would involve completing a BA in physics from Duquesne and a BS in engineering at either Pitt or Case Western, Robert decided last year that he would finish his undergraduate studies at Duquesne.

The choice to stay with the Physics department was driven largely by an appreciation for the faculty. Robert feels the department has shaped him as a scientist: "I've learned how to think scientifically. Everything that I've accomplished I attribute to them."

One of his recent accomplishments was landing an internship in Genoa, Italy at the Instituto Nazionale Fisica Nucleare sezione di Genova (National Institute for Nuclear Physics in Genova). He spent the summer of 2019 calibrating and studying the Forward Tagger Calorimeter (FT-Cal) designed for the MesonEx experiment. The detector itself detects electrons with low momentum ranges. The experience had a profound impact on Robert, both as a scientist and as a person: "It was surreal to be in a place that I never thought I'd get to go."

According to Robert, a huge benefit of studying at the Bayer School is developing versatility. His goal as a scientist is to become a "jack-of-all-trades," and he feels that studying physics is an effective method of achieving that goal. After graduating, he'll be attending graduate school for experimental nuclear physics.

Robert maintains that one of the best parts of science is being able to apply what he learns in school to his everyday life. He utilizes knowledge of electronics and circuits to fix musical equipment for his brother.

"It's incredibly useful to have a process where you can question information and think critically about the world."

We're very glad that we have people like Robert to trust with the study of nuclear physics.