MOREHEAD, Ky. (WTVQ) – Dr. Benjamin K. Malphrus, executive director of the Space Science Center and professor of space science at Morehead State University, will be inducted into the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame.
According to Morehead State, Malphrus was instrumental in developing the space systems engineering and astrophysics programs at the university and the construction of MSU’s Space Science Center. Malphrus also served on the National Radio Astronomy Observatory scientific staff, as a visiting scientist at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and on the faculty of universities including the University of South Carolina and West Virginia University.
Morehead State officials also said Malphrus developed a theory of galaxy formation in the late 1990’s that led to the discovery of a previously unknown galaxy, identified as NGC 5291-B, the first known galaxy proved to result from galaxy-galaxy interactions. He contributes to the body of research in interacting galaxies, radio astronomy instrumentation, and space systems design and operation.
Malphrus is part of the 25th Enshrinement class into the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame. Also inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame is MSU alumna Dr. Wilma “Willi” Walker. Last year, Walker and her family established the Walker Family Scholarship Endowment, a scholarship fund to benefit MSU students.
Malphrus and Walker will be recognized at an official hall of fame induction ceremony to be held later this year.
The Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame has recognized honorees since 1996 for their contributions and achievements in aviation and aerospace. Those honored represent a wide range of military and civilian pilots, scientists, administrators and corporate leaders.