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National honors for engineering professor Tony Butterfield

This piece was originally published on the website of the College of Engineering.

Congratulations to University of Utah chemical engineering associate professor (lecturer) Tony Butterfield who was recently honored with both the Award for Service in Chemical Engineering Education from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the Robert G. Quinn Award from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

These are just the newest awards for the distinguished educator, who has already amassed a long list of honors for his teaching, including the 2017 Award for Innovation in Chemical Engineering Education from AIChE and the GLBT Educator of the Year Award from the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals. The University of Utah has recognized him with the Beacon of Excellence Award, the Distinguished Teaching Award, the Career Services Faculty Recognition Award, and the Online Excellence Award. He has also received the Outstanding Faculty Award and Outstanding Instructor Award from the U’s Department of Chemical Engineering.

“Teaching has often been a challenge for me of conveying complicated technical skills, while also keeping a focus on the people in our classrooms,” Butterfield said. “It means a great deal, personally, to be recognized as both an effective educator and as a person who works to make engineering professions more welcoming to all.”

Butterfield received his bachelor’s from the University of Utah and a master’s from the University of California, San Diego, both in chemical engineering. He then returned to the U where he earned a doctorate in chemical engineering. He has been a faculty member at the University of Utah since 2009 and currently serves as a board member and vice chair of ASEE’s Chemical Engineering Division and AIChE’s Societal Impact Operating Counsel.

In addition to his work as an educator and research in personal air quality sensors, Butterfield devotes his time to helping engage LGBTQ students in engineering fields. More than five years ago, he helped launch the U’s chapter of oSTEM, the science, technology, engineering and mathematics club for LGBTQ students. He also has conducted student outreach efforts with youth from the Salt Lake City LGBTQ community to introduce them to engineering.

As a lecturer, he teaches the Undergraduate Projects Laboratory & Capstone Project Series, Introduction to Chemical Engineering, and Chemical Engineering Design & Innovation. He also designed and oversaw the construction of the chemical engineering department’s new Meldrum Innovation Laboratory, a maker and instructional space designed specifically to enhance the department’s undergraduate curriculum.

The ASEE Robert G. Quinn Award recognizes outstanding contributions in experimentation and laboratory instruction. It is named for the professor of electrical and computer engineering who established Drexel University’s highly successful engineering curriculum.

The AIChE Award for Service in Chemical Engineering Education recognizes an educator “who has shown dedication and broad service to chemical engineering teaching and learning, especially in chemical engineering professional societies.”