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Robert Giles

Robert Giles, Professor, Chair, Distinguished University Professor at UMass Lowell headshot photo.

Robert H. Giles, Physics & Applied Physics, Submillimeter Wave Technology Lab, Director - Haiti Development Studies Center

Professor, Chair, Distinguished University Professor, Director
Olney Hall 136C


Experimental laser physics, optics

Educational Background

Ph.D., UMass Lowell


Having received his Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 1986, techniques from Giles' doctoral work "Design of a Submillimeter Ellipsometer and Application to the Measurement of Complex Indices of Refraction of Materials" were used to pioneer the submillimeter-wave polarimetric radar modeling effort at UMass Lowell.

As a University of Massachusetts Lowell researcher since 1982, Giles, Ph.D. has used computational techniques to provide theoretical foundation for the behavior of materials and the design of optical devices at submillimeter wavelengths. He has developed, implemented and published a number of advances in submillimeter radar modeling technology. Among these advances are the design of polarimetric measurement systems, the generation of polarization calibration techniques, the development of material characterization methods, the creation of scaled dielectric materials, and the fabrication of novel far-infrared absorbing materials.

As a faculty member in UMass Lowell’s Physics Department, Giles has taught introductory courses in physics and astronomy, as well as developing upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in automation laboratory research and the physics of materials and devices.

He serves as Chairman of the Physics Department, as well as Principal Investigator and Director of the university's Submillimeter-Wave Technology Laboratory (STL). Recently receiving a five-year, $27 million renewal grant from the U.S Army’s National Ground Intelligence Center, STL is a leader in terahertz transmitter and receiver technologies, pioneering the design and fabrication of broadband solid-state multiplier sources, ultrastable optically pumped lasers and laser/microwave hybrid systems. Under the direction of Giles is a 20-member research team, with several dozen graduate and undergraduate students, who build and maintain a variety of high-performance solid-state and laser-based measurement systems to generate the terahertz frequency radiation. With these systems they have developed a wide range of material characterization techniques and high resolution imaging systems for industry and the Department of Defense. Medical applications using the terahertz imaging systems are now also under investigation.

In January 2003, Professor Giles traveled to the Caribbean and began volunteering for charitable work among the impoverished citizens in the Southern Department of Haiti. Since then, Bob Giles has been working toward fluency in Creole while studying the culture and community dynamics. He continues to visit Haiti and is coordinating a Haiti development studies research team. Currently financing a dozen children in local area schools along with a Haitian community member to track the daily educational progress and welfare of these children, Giles, Ph.D. has been encouraging the eldest of these Haitian children to explore their academic abilities and opportunities in higher education through the use of introductory college level science curricula. Giles has been submitting proposals to foundational funding agencies in an effort to establish this project team as a research center at the University.