Faculty Directory

Briber, Robert M.

Briber, Robert M.

Interim Dean, A. James Clark School of Engineering
Fellow, APS
Fellow, Neutron Scattering Society of America
Materials Science and Engineering
Maryland Energy Innovation Institute
3110B Kim Eng. Bldg. / 1109 Chemical and Nuclear Eng. Bldg.


Ph.D., Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Massachusetts

B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University




  • American Physical Society, Fellow (elected 1995)
  • Department of Commerce Bronze Medal, December 1990
  • Electron Microscope Society of America Presidential Student Scholarship, 1982
  • Editor, Journal of Polymer Science—Polymer Physics Edition (01/1999-01/2007)


Professional Elected Offices
  • Neutron Scattering Society of America, President 2002-2005
  • Neutron Scattering Society of America, vice president 1999-2002
  • Member-at-Large to the Executive Committee of the Division of Polymer Physics, American Physical Society, 1999-2002
Professional Memberships
  • Electec to the ASEE Engineering Research Council Board of Directors 2017-2021
  • American Physical Society (Fellow)
  • Neutron Scattering Society of America (Fellow)
  • Materials Research Society
  • American Chemical Society
  • Biophysical Society
Professional Committee Memberships
  • Member of the ASEE Engineering Research Council Board of Directors 2017-2021
  • NIST Center for Neutron Research Program Advisory Committee, member 1999 to 2004
  • University of Chicago Review Committee for the Intense Pulsed Neutron Source at Argonne National Laboratory 1997, 1999, 2001
  • Large Length Scales Working Group, Spallation Neutron Source, Oak Ridge National Lab, Dept. of Energy, November 1998
  • Basic Energy Science Advisory Committee Review of the High Flux Isotope Reactor at Oak Ridge National Lab, October 1998
  • Scheduling Committee, American Physical Society, Division of High Polymer Physics March Meeting, 1994-1998
  • Los Alamos—Argonne National Laboratory Pulsed Neutron Source Program Advisory Committee 1993-1997 (Chair 1996-97)
  • Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Research Award Committee, 1994-1997
  • American Physical Society Division of High Polymer Physics Nominations Committee
  • NASA Microgravity Research Review Panel for Polymers, 1995, 1997

X-ray and neutron scattering, thermodynamics, structure of polymers.

Synthesis and Characterization of Structured Hydrogels

Charged polymers (polyelectrolytes) and surfactant systems can have strong associations due to coulombic interactions and have been shown to form complex structures. We are extending these systems to hydrogels, where the polymer is crosslinked in the presence of an ordered surfactant system to form a structured hydrogel.

Data Analysis and Modeling of Off Specular Neutron Reflectivity

Specular neutron reflectivity is a powerful characterization tool for studying the structure of thin films in the film normal direction. Off specular reflectivity has the potential to extend the analysis to structure in the x-y plane of the film, but has been hampered by lack of suitable data analysis and modeling tools. We are working the NIST Center for Neutron Research to develop such tools and establish principles for analyzing such data using model systems.

Synthesis and Characterization of Nanocomposites with Improved Flammability

Polymer nanocomposites formed from layered silicates have been shown to have improved mechanical properties silicate is distributed in an exfoliated or intercalated morphology. We are working with collaborators in both the Fire Protection Engineering Department at the University of Maryland and the Fire Research Division at NIST to synthesis and characterize polymer nanocomposites with improved flammability.

Structure of Nanoporous Low K Dielectric Materials

We are working with IBM on the characterization of nanoporous films of spin on glass materials where the nanoporosity is formed by mixing the spin-on glass with a polymer prior to cure. During the high temperature cure of the spin-on glass the polymer degrades resulting in a nanoporous morphology to the thin film.

Folding of RNA

RNAs perform many biological functions by folding into specific three-dimensional structures. Understanding how RNAs fold is crucial for understanding the assembly of RNA-protein complexes such as the ribosome, the regulation of gene expression by RNA, and the engineering of RNA sensors and "riboswitches". In the presence of counterions, RNAs collapse into compact intermediates, which subsequently fold into the native tertiary structure. We are addressing these questions using X-ray and neutron scattering to address the structure, kinetics and dynamics of the RNA folding process.

Professor Briber teaches a range of classes at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
At the undergraduate level he has taught:

  • ENES 100: Introduction to Engineering Design
  • ENMA 150: Materials of Civilization
    This is a University of Maryland Marquee Science and Technology Course designed for non-science majors. See www.marqueecourses.umd.edu for more information.
  • ENMA 300: Introduction to Materials and Their Applications
  • ENMA 423: Manufacturing with Polymers

At the graduate level, Dr. Briber has taught:

  • ENMA 620: Polymer Physics (MSE Graduate Program core course)
  • ENMA 661: Kinetics of Reactions in Materials (MSE Graduate Program core course)

Legacy through Impact: Dr. Darryll J. Pines

UMD President-Designate Darryll Pines inspires a culture of excellence at the Clark School, where everyone plays a part.

Hafezi, Hu Named Blavatnik Finalists for Second Straight Year

For the second year in a row, two Clark School faculty members have been named Finalists of the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists.

Wood-based Technology Creates Electricity from Heat

Briber, Das and Hu make novel heat-conversion membrane

MSE Research Team Wins Seed Grant Funding for Novel Sensor Technology

Drs. Oded Rabin, Robert Briber and Xin Zhang will utilize funding to develop fiber-optic sensor.

Hu, Leite Named Outstanding Engineer and Scientist of the Year (VIDEO)

Materials Science professors receive awards from the Md. Academy of Sciences and Md. Science Center.

Nanopaper Featured in Nature Photonics News & Views

Article highlights Hu Group’s recent paper in Nano Letters.

Air Force Supports Study on Nanopaper for Electronics, Aircraft

Hu wins prestigious Air Force Young Investigator Award.

Cornett, Karki Selected for Sustainable Energy Workshop in Ethiopia

Grad students to attend Joint U.S.-Africa Materials Initiative Materials Research School.

Metting and Hsieh Take 2nd, 3rd in ACNS Poster Competition

Graduate students' work recognized at 2010 American Conference on Neutron Scattering.

  • APS

  • Neutron Scattering Society of America