Richard K. Brow

Curators’ Professor of Ceramic Engineering and Chair, Department of
Materials Science & Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla


Institution and Location Degree Date
Field of Study
Alfred University, Alfred, NY B.S. 1980 Ceramic Engineering,
Alfred University, Alfred, NY M.S. 1982 Glass Science
  Thesis: Fluorine Treatments of Glass Surfaces (Advisor: William C. LaCourse)
Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA Ph.D. 1985 Ceramic Science
  Thesis: The formation and characterization of SiOxNy Films (Advisor: Carlo G. Pantano)

Research and Professional Experience
1998-present: Curators’ Professor of Ceramic Engineering (1/05) and Senior Investigator, Graduate Center for Materials Research, University of Missouri-Rolla; Department Chair, Ceramic Engineering (1/01-6/04); Department Chair, Materials Science & Engineering (7/04-present).


Research Activities
Present research programs include characterization of glass strength and fatigue, spectroscopic studies of the molecular-level structures of inorganic glasses, chemical dissolution processes including surface reactions of glasses, optical properties of rare-earth containing glasses, thermochemical interactions between glasses and metals, and development of sealing materials for solid oxide fuel cells. Present (12/04) research group includes six graduate students, five undergrads and two research associates. Present and recent research activities (>$2 M as PI, since 1998) have been sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, the NSF/Industry/University Center for Glass Research, the Petroleum Research Fund (American Chemical Society), Sandia National Labs, the Department of Energy Office of Industrial Technology and the DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory. Recent research accomplishments include:
• Identification of the unusual failure characteristics of glasses tested to high strains (>15%) under inert condition: N.P. Lower, R.K. Brow and C.R. Kurkjian, “Inert Failure Strains of Sodium Aluminosilicate Glass Fibers,” J. Non-Crystalline. Solids, 344 17-21 (2004); C.R. Kurkjian, P.K. Gupta, R.K. Brow, and N.P. Lower, “The intrinsic strength and fatigue of oxide glasses,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids, 316 114-124 (2003); supported by the NSF/Industry/University Center for Glass Research
• First reports on structures and properties of rare earth ultraphosphate glasses, showing that macroscopic glass properties are dependent on the coordination environments of rare earth modifying ions: “Neodymium and erbium coordination environments in phosphate glasses,” Physical Review B 65[10] 104206-1-7 (2002); “High energy X ray diffraction study of La coordination in lanthanum phosphate glasses,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids, 297 263-274 (2002); “An EXAFS investigation of rare-earth phosphate glasses,” submitted to J. Non-Cryst. Solids, July 2004; M. Ali, K. Marasinghe, R. Hart, C. Benmore, N. Wyckoff, and R. Brow, “Normalization and sample composition analysis of rare-earth oxide binary glasses by high-energy x-ray scattering data,” submitted to Physics & Chemistry of Glasses, Nov. 2004; supported by the Petroleum Research Fund and the National Science Foundation.
• A quantitative description of the effects of hydroxyl species on the fluorescence lifetime of Nd-doped phosphate laser glasses: P. R. Ehrmann, K. Carlson and J. H. Campbell, C. C. Click and R.K. Brow, “Neodymium fluorescence quenching by hydroxyl groups in phosphate laser glasses,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids, 349 105-114 (2004); supported by the Lawrence Livermore National Lab.
• The development of new glass-ceramic compositions for hermetic seals for solid oxide fuel cells: UM Patent Disclosure No. 04UMR023, July 2003; supported by the Department of Energy.
• Growth of hydroxyapatite on borate glass films, with possible biomedical applications: “In Vitro Behavior of Human Osteoblast-like Cells Cultured on Borate Glass,” submitted to Journal of Biomedical Materials Research; supported by the National Institutes of Health.
• XAFS study of Pt coordination environments in phosphate laser glasses that helps explain how processing conditions affect Pt dissolution and considers how these impurities might affect the glass optical properties: “An XAFS investigation of platinum local environment in phosphate laser glasses,” J. American Ceramic. Soc., 85[5] 1093-1099 (2002); supported by the Lawrence Livermore National Lab.

Highly cited papers on the properties, structures and applications of phosphate glasses; author of at least ten papers with 50 or more citations. The five articles that have received the most citations (through 12/04):

1. R. K. Brow, R. J. Kirkpatrick, and G. L. Turner, "The Short Range Structure of Sodium Phosphate Glasses. I. MAS NMR Studies," J. Non-Cryst. Solids, 116, 39-45 (1990); 130 citations.
2. R. K. Brow, "Review: The Structure of Simple Phosphate Glasses," J. Non-Cryst. Solids, 263/264 1-28 (2000); 84 citations.
3. R. K. Brow, D. R. Tallant, S. T. Myers, and C. C. Phifer, "The Short Range Structure of Zinc Phosphate Glass," J. Non-Cryst. Solids 191 45-55 (1995); 81 citations.
4. R. K. Brow, R. J. Kirkpatrick and G. L. Turner, "The Nature of Alumina in Phosphate Glass II. Structure of Sodium Aluminophosphate Glass," J. Amer. Ceram. Soc., 76[4] 919-28 (1993); 75 citations.
5. R. K. Brow, R. J. Kirkpatrick, and G. L. Turner, "Local Structure of xAl2O3•(1-x)NaPO3 Glasses: An NMR and XPS Study," J. Amer. Ceram. Soc., 73[8], 2293-2300 (1990); 71 citations.

Recent invitations to discuss phosphate glass research include international meetings in Slovakia (2004), Germany (2003), Scotland (2002), Hawaii (2001) and a number of national meetings sponsored by the American Ceramic Society; organized the 15th University Conference on Glass Science at UMR, June 20-23, 1999, attended by 85 researchers from nine different countries; edited the special volume of the Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids on Structure, Properties and Applications of Phosphate and Phosphate-Containing Glasses, Vol. 263&264 (2000).

Organized or participated in university proposals that resulted in upgrades to campus analytical capabilities, including the installation of a new x-ray photoelectron spectrometer (AFOSR, UM-RB), emission spectrofluorometer (LLNL), solid state nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer (NSF), high performance liquid chromatography system, and dynamic mechanical analyzer.

• Advisor for two PhD and seven Masters Theses (completed); three PhD’s, two MS’s (pending)
1. Laura E. Johnsen (MS), “Novel Sealing Glasses”, May 2000.
2. Carol A. Click (MS), “Properties and Structures of Cesium Phosphate Glasses,” May 2000.
3. Andrew K. Wittenauer (MS), “Preparation, Properties and Structure of Rare Earth Phosphate Glasses,” May 2002.
4. Jessica D. Lowry (MS), Dissolution Behavior of Alkali Borate Glasses,” May 2002.
5. Heather K Teitelbaum (MS), “Borate Glasses for Bioactive Coatings on Titanium,” May 2002.
6. Carol Click (PhD), “Platinum dissolution in phosphate glass”, December 2002.
7. Adam J. Lang (MS), “Failure characteristics and durability of phosphate glasses,” Dec. 2003.
8. Kristy Miller (MS), ‘Iron Phosphate Glasses for Black Enamels on Window Glass,’ Dec. 2003.
9. Nathan P. Lower (PhD), “Failure Strain Studies of Glass,” Dec. 2004
10. Brad C. Tischendorf (PhD), “Weathering Characteristics of Phosphate Glasses,” May 2005.

Teaching Activities
Responsible for two undergraduate courses: Introduction to Glass Science and Technology- CER103 (required, taught every year) and Glass Science & Engineering- CER369 (elective, taught every two years) and two graduate courses: Advanced Topics on the Vitreous State- CER450 (taught every two years) and Optical Properties of Materials- CER418 (taught every three years). The undergrad glass course (CER103) is supplemented with a six week lab segment (part of the required course Ceramic Materials Laboratory II- Glass and Ceramic Processing- CER122), that is taught simultaneously. Students are taught to prepare and characterize glasses and apply the principles of glass chemistry learned in CER103 in the evaluation of their samples. CER369 focuses on glass manufacturing practices and technological issues. Students use information gathered from glass manufacturing plant trips for a final report on engineering related issues. The graduate courses are a review of modern glass chemistry and physics, with particular emphases on glass structures and relaxation behavior (CER450) and a consideration of the preparation and properties (based on Maxwell’s Laws) of inorganic optical materials, including thin films, fibers, and bulk materials (CER418). In addition to these ‘full-time’ courses, annually contribute lectures for two new graduate courses on Biomaterials, and lectures for freshman-level and sophomore-level undergraduate introductory materials courses.

Have received student evaluation scores that have exceeded the University and Departmental averages for every course taught thus far (1998-2004). Named the 98/99 ‘Faculty Member of the Year’ by the students in the UMR Ceramic Engineering Department, received 2001/02 and 2003/04 Outstanding Teaching Awards from UMR and 2002/03 ‘Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award’ from the UMR School of Mines & Metallurgy.

Advisor to Keramos, the ‘ceramic engineering honor society’, 1998-2002. The UMR chapter has been named the nation’s outstanding chapter for seven of the past nine years. Organized Jackling Institute activities for high school students interested in materials science every summer since 1998 and coordinated student-led departmental recruiting activities. Undergraduate academic advisor, 1999-present; Freshman Engineering advisor, 1999/00, 2002/03, 2004/05.

Administrative Activities
As chairman, presently overseeing the creation of the new (2004) Materials Science & Engineering Department- the most productive research department at UMR (based on total research expenditures and research expenditures/faculty member). As chair of the UMR Ceramic Engineering Department (2001-2003), was responsible for three new hires (six new hires since 1998); led the curricular revision effort and the creation of two new Master’s level programs (Materials Engineering and Biomaterials); organized successful accreditation (ABET) review in 2002; 2002-2003 Chair of the University Committee of Department Chairs; member of the Provost’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on faculty workload policies, 2002-2003; Strategic Initiative Planning Steering Committee, 2004; campus Resource Allocation Model committee (2004-05); Chancellor Search committee (2004-05); presently organizing campus-wide materials research activities through the ‘materials cluster’ strategic initiative.

Completed the Leadership Development Program from the President’s Academic Leadership Institute of the University of Missouri, 2001-2002.


Professional Member of the Technical Staff in the Ceramics Development Division, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM. Responsible for research on the molecular-level structures, relaxation behavior, and properties of multicomponent glasses; performed highly cited studies on the structures of phosphate glasses; led a variety of technology transfer activities, including the commercialization of Sandia sealing technologies for Li-batteries and aluminum hermetics; awarded nine US patents and received numerous internal awards, including DOE Award of Excellence for contributions to the Nuclear Weapons Program (1996, 2001) and a Sandia Corporate Excellence Award (1995). In my spare time, I played center field for the Metallurgy Clergy and wide receiver for the Synergy.
1990-1996: Adjunct Professor, Chemical & Nuclear Engineering, University of New Mexico; taught graduate course on Glass Science, contributed lectures to several other materials science courses.
1994: Karl Schwartzwalder Professional Achievement in Ceramic Engineering Award from the American Ceramic Society, awarded annually to ‘the nation’s outstanding young ceramic engineer’.
1996: First American recipient of the Gottardi Prize from the International Commission on Glass, for 'outstanding contributions to the field of glass science'.
1996: R&D 100 Award from R&D Magazine for the development of hermetic sealing glasses for aluminum components, one of the ‘100 most technologically significant new products of the year’.
1997: Fellow of the American Ceramic Society
1999: UMR Faculty Excellence Award, for excellence in teaching, research, and service.
2002: UMR Outstanding Teaching Award.
2003: UMR/SOMM Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award
2004: George W. Morey Award for ‘new and original work in the field of glass science and technology’; from the Glass & Optical Materials Division of the American Ceramic Society.
2004: UMR Outstanding Teaching Award.
2004: Named ‘Curators’ Professor of Ceramic Engineering; this is the highest professorial rank in the University of Missouri system.

Professional Service

1996-2004: Executive committee of the Glass & Optical Materials Division (GOMD) of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS); division chair in 2002/03.
2004: American Ceramic Society Strategic Plan Focus Group
1997-2002: Associate Editor, Journal of the American Ceramic Society
2000-present: Editorial board of the GlassResearcher (Center for Glass Research)
1999: Organized the 15th University Conference on Glass Science at UMR June 20-23, 1999, attended by 85 researchers from nine different countries; edited the special volume of the Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids on Structure, Properties and Applications of Phosphate and Phosphate-Containing Glasses, Vol. 263&264 (2000).
1998: Program Committee for the 18th International Congress on Glass, San Francisco, CA.
1998-2000: Program Chair for the 1998 Fall GOMD meeting in Wheeling, WV; 2000 annual ACerS meeting, St. Louis.
1988-1997: Officer (including Chair and Counselor) in the New Mexico Section of the American Ceramic Society. Organized the first three ‘Rio Grande Conferences on Materials’ for the NM Section- attended by 100+ researchers from around the Southwest.
1990-1997: Science Advisor, Alamosa Elementary School, Albuquerque, NM. Spent up to a day a week working with teachers to develop science curricula, advised an after-school ‘science club’, organized science-related activities, etc.
1992: Guest lecturer, American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
Ongoing: Technical reviewer for numerous journals, including Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, Chemistry of Materials, Surface and Interface Analysis, Physics and Chemistry of Glass, Physics and Chemistry of Solids, Journal of Applied Physics, Science, etc. Technical reviewer for a variety of funding agencies, including Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, Petroleum Research Fund, and the University of Missouri Research Board.
Community Service
  • Phelps County Community Partnership- charter member
• Girl’s recreational softball coach
• ‘Science club’ organizer- St. Pat’s School

Publications (as of 12/04)


• Lead or co-author of >85 published refereed journal articles, 36 published peer-reviewed proceedings articles, 3 book chapters. At least 21 of the refereed articles have been cited over 25 times (through December 2004), according to the ISI Web of Science database (Institute for Scientific Information, Philadelphia, PA).

• Named as inventor on nine United States Patents.

• Delivered over twenty invited lectures for local, national and international meetings; UMR students have delivered over 50 lectures and posters for national and international research meetings. Students who have received recognition for their research activities include:

  Brad Tischendorf (PhD expected, May 2005) received the 2004 Norbert J. Kreidl award from the ACerS GOMD for outstanding graduate research.
Nathan Lower (PhD, December 2004) won the student poster competition at the CGR semi-annual meeting five times in three years.
Laxmikanth Peddi (1st place, 2004 GOMD student poster competition), Justin Wieduwilt (1st place, 2004 ACerS undergraduate student poster competition), Nathan Lower and Brad Tischendorf (2nd and 3rd places, respectively, 2003 GOMD student poster competition), Adam Lang and Brad Tischendorf (2nd and 3rd places, respectively, 2002 GOMD student poster competition), Laura Johnsen, (1st place, 1999 GOMD student poster competition).

Examples of Current/Recent Research Programs (PI Total since 1/98: $2.5M)

  DOE/Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance Core Technology Program, “Thermochemically stable sealing materials for solid oxide fuel cells,” $278,527, 10/1/04-3/31/06 (PI; PhD pending)
National Science Foundation, “Collaborative Research: Structure-Property Relationships of Novel Rare Earth-Ultraphosphate Glasses,” $265,987, 7/03-6/06 (PI; PhD pending)
National Institutes of Health, “Bioactive Borate Glass for Implants,” $150,000, 7/03-6/05 (co-PI w/ R. Brown; MS; pending),
Lawrence Livermore National Lab, “The Effects of Composition and Structure on the Incorporation of Platinum in Phosphate Laser Glasses,” and “The Effects of Composition and Structure on the Weathering Characteristics of Phosphate Laser Glasses,” $392,006, 9/99-3/05 (PI; one MS granted, one PhD granted, second PhD pending)
NSF/Industry/University Center for Glass Research, “Strength and Durability of Alkaline Earth Aluminoborosilicate Glass Fibers,” $113,300, 1/01-6/04 (PI; one PhD degree)
Petroleum Research Fund/American Chemical Society, “Coordination Effects in Trivalent Oxide Ultraphosphate Glasses,” $60,000, 1/00-8/02 (PI; one MS degree)
National Science Foundation, “Acquisition of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer for Materials Research and Education,” $235,000, 7/03-7/04 (co-PI, 30%, w/ F.D. Blum)
AFOSR/DURIP, “Acquisition of Surface/Interface/Thin Film Analysis Systems for Advanced Materials Research,” $183,000, 4/00-3/01 (co-PI w/ Waddill, O’Keefe, Stoffer)