In Memoriam: Paul R. Byerly

Photo Credit: Paul R. Byerly
by Amanda Lager Wed, 06/22/2016 - 09:01

Dr. Paul Robertson Byerly, Jr., emeritus associate professor of physics, died on June 18 in Lincoln. He was 93.

Dr. Byerly served as associate professor in the Department from 1963 until his retirement in 1985. His research interests centered on the Mossbauer Effect. During his career, he had two Ph.D. students: Donald E. Shult and Louis J. Caplan. Dr. Byerly is remembered for being the Department’s computer expert in the early days of punch cards, with interests in computer assisted instruction and animated movies.

Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to Dr. Paul R., Sr. and Helen (Henwood) Byerly, he attended McCaskey High School in Lancaster. Dr. Byerly received an A.B. degree from Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania in 1943 and a Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1951.

Prior to joining UNL, he served as a scientist on the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the H-bomb project in Livermore, California as a Senior Physicist, University of California Radiation Laboratories. In 1958, he joined the State Department Agency for International Development, with appointments in the Philippines and in Taiwan.

The Department expresses its condolences to Dr. Byerly’s surviving children and grandchildren.

No services are planned. A full obituary from the Lincoln Journal Star is here. A guestbook is available to sign online at