Howard Milchberg received his undergraduate degree in Engineering Physics in 1979 from McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario. He held a National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada Fellowship at Princeton University, where he completed his Ph.D. in Astrophysical Sciences in 1985, in the plasma physics program. His dissertation was on one of the first two soft x-ray lasers experimentally demonstrated. Milchberg then joined AT&T Bell Laboratories as a postdoctoral researcher, where he performed one of the first experiments in high intensity femtosecond laser-plasma interactions, a study of hot plasma resistivity at solid densities.
In 1988 Milchberg joined the University of Maryland, where he was a recipient of a NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. He is a Professor in the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Department of Physics. He is interested in all aspects of the interaction of intense short laser pulses with matter. His group is currently doing experiments in laser-driven particle accelerators, coherent and incoherent laser-driven x-ray sources, and laser-atomic cluster interactions. Milchberg is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He was recently named a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at Maryland.