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Office of the Provost, Division of Academic Affairs, University of Maryland


Briber Named Interim Dean of A. James Clark School of Engineering

RBriber Headshot

Dear Colleagues,

I write to let you know that I am appointing Professor Robert Briber, as Interim Dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering, effective April 1, 2020.  Dean Darryll J. Pines, will step down from his role as Dean of the college on March 31, 2020 to prepare for his new role as the 34th President of the University of Maryland, College Park 
which he will begin on July 1, 2020.

Dr. Pines leaves his leadership role in the Clark School after more than eleven years of exemplary service as dean.  During that time, as you know, the school advanced in virtually every area of research, education and outreach, climbing substantially in prestige and impact.  Dean Pines has created a legacy of growth and achievement at the Clark School for which we are deeply grateful.

Dr. Briber brings exceptional administrative experience to his new role as Interim Dean of the Clark School. For the past five years, Rob has served as Associate Dean for Research. Under his leadership the research expenditures for the college reached their highest level in history. He expanded strategic partnerships with industry and government as well as the number of early career awards for junior faculty from NSF, DARPA, NASA and other federal agencies.  He has also overseen all major renovation and capital projects in the college, including planning construction of the IDEA Factory and the new Interdisciplinary Engineering Building.

Prior to his current position, Rob served for 12 years as chair of the Materials Science and Engineering Department. During his time as chair, the undergraduate enrollment of the department increased by more than 250%, research expenditures more than doubled, and the department reached the top 25 in the U.S. News and World Graduate Program rankings for the first time. Dr. Briber also oversaw a growth and increase in the quality of faculty, services, and laboratory facilities.  In addition, as chair, Dr. Briber maintained one of the most active research programs in the Clark School, and was recognized by the University for his outstanding research and teaching with a Distinguished Scholar Teacher Award.

Dr. Briber earned a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. He has been the director of the UMD/NIST High Resolution Neutron Scattering Research Program for the past 20 years and is an internationally recognized researcher in materials science, specializing in polymer physics and the characterization of soft materials. He is a past President of the Neutron Scattering Society of America, a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Neutron Scattering Society of America, a recipient of the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal, and a past editor of the Journal of Polymer Science.  Learn more about Dr. Briber here:

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Briber on his new position, thanking him for his willingness to take on this new role, and offering him your support and assistance as he generously assumes these new administrative responsibilities.

Warm Regards,

Mary Ann Rankin

Senior Vice President and Provost