School of Engineering professor Helen Buettner has been named chair of the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Buettner, whose three-year term begins July 1, 2018, replaces Marianthi Ierapetritou.
Since joining Rutgers Engineering in 1990, Buettner has contributed as an educator, researcher, and program leader, advancing initiatives supporting new teaching methods and diversity in engineering. Her research and scholarship efforts include nerve regeneration, growth cone guidance, acupuncture mechanisms, and modeling of biological processes.
She has most recently served as a member of Rutgers University president Robert Barchi’s Instructional Technology Committee and worked with the Rutgers Learning Centers, supporting the Learning Assistant Program and developing developing new teaching methods for engineering education. In 2017, she was a senior faculty fellow for Rutgers-New Brunswick Undergraduate Academic Affairs, fostering collaboration across schools and departments.
Buettner will continue to lead the Reilly-Douglass Engineering Living-Learning Community, an innovative residential and experiential opportunity for first-year women in engineering centered on professional development and academic enhancement. Now in its seventh year, Buettner has been actively associated with the Reilly-Douglass LLC since its inception and was instrumental in the planning and implementation prior to the launch of the program.
In recognizing her commitment to the school, diversity, and academic excellence, Rutgers School of Engineering dean Thomas N. Farris expressed his respect and regard for Buettner whose leadership and energy, he believes, will deepen the department’s research efforts, promote interactions with industry, and enhance the education and training of Rutgers chemical and biochemical engineering students.
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome Helen Buettner to her new position as chair of the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering,” says Farris. “I have worked closely with Helen in my time at Rutgers and admire her student-focused dedication and research contributions. Through her leadership, vision, and persistence the chemical and biochemical engineering department will continue to advance innovative research, expand pivotal industry partnerships, and ensure students are prepared to make meaningful, professional contributions.”
Buettner holds bachelor’s degrees in metallurgical engineering and chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree and doctoral degree in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. She also received a master’s degree in social work from Rutgers University.