Briber Marquee Lecture: "Materials of Civilization"

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Professor Robert M. Briber demonstrating the molecular structure and relative size of a polymer molecule using his "polymer in a can" demonstration.

The Clark School's Professor Robert M. Briber (chair, Department of Materials Science and Engineering) took center stage to explain the societal impact of the materials used to build our civilizations when he delivered a Marquee Lecture in Science and Technology at the University of Maryland's Ulrich Recital Hall on March 15.

The free Marquee Lectures in Science and Technology, funded by the university's Office of the Provost, invite faculty, staff, students and the public to explore science and technology's roles in historical and contemporary issues, including energy, the environment, economics, ethics, and medicine.

Briber presented "The Materials of Civilization: The Role of Materials In Our World," based on themes from the Marquee Course in Science and Technology of the same name that he teaches to undergraduates. The primarily 100-level Marquee Courses are designed for non-science majors and strive to prepare future leaders in business, government and academia to make informed decisions about the application and implementation of science and technology.

Briber covered the role of materials throughout history to the modern day, providing the audience with an understanding of the basic science that controls material properties, as well as insight into the future of technology-based breakthroughs in the materials that are driving the fields of nanotechnology, nano-medicine, microelectronics and biomaterials.

Published March 18, 2011