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Robert M. Briber

Rob is Chairman of the Materials Science and Engineering Department in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. The School has approximately 2900 undergraduates, 1500 graduate students and 200 faculty. The annual research expenditures are about $80 million per year.

Rob grew up in Niskayuna, New York. Rob went to Cornell to study engineering, starting out in chemical engineering and switching to materials science in his sophomore year. After graduating from Cornell, he went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Massachusetts. Upon graduating from UMass in 1984, he moved to the Washington, DC area and started a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS). Two years later, the fellowship was converted to a permanent job as a staff scientist at NBS which was renamed shortly thereafter the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Rob stayed at NIST until 1992 when he became an assistant professor at the University of Maryland.

Rob received tenure at Maryland in 1997 and in 2003 became a full Professor and Chair of the Materials Science and Engineering Department. In addition to his work at the University, he currently serves as an editor for the Journal of Polymer Science and President of the Neutron Scattering Society of America. As a university professor he splits his time between teaching and working on research with graduate students. Currently he is working on research projects on the structure of dielectric materials that may be used in future computer chips, understanding flammability polymer nanocomposites and following size and shape changes of self-splicing RNA molecules. Rob has published over 50 technical peer reviewed journal articles and served on numerous review committees for scientific facilities. He is currently helping to organize the 2nd American Conference on Neutron Scattering to be held in College Park, MD June 6-10, 2004.

Rob lives with his wife Veronica Irrera and son Colin (age 9) in Bethesda, MD.