Dr. Butterfield is an associate professor (Lecturer) in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Utah, where he has been faculty for ten years. His primary research areas involve engineering education. Particularly, he has focusses on contributing to the areas of project-based learning for first-year engineering students, and to the use of makerspaces within chemical engineering curriculum. Dr. Butterfield’s work also concentrates on K-12 outreach and citizen scientist efforts for engineers, focusing on distributed sensing networks for assessing community air quality. He is his department’s advisor for their AIChE Student Chapter, K-12 Outreach Team, Chem-E Car chapter, and oSTEM chapter.
For his outreach work and engineering education research Dr. Butterfield has received the 2017 Award for Innovation in Chemical Engineering Education from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers; the GLBT Educator of the Year Award; and the Beacon of Excellence, and Distinguished Lecturer award from the University of Utah.
Dr. Butterfield is the founding faculty advisor for the University of Utah’s oSTEM group. In this capacity, he has brought STEM-specific safe zone training to his university and conducted college outreach to Salt Lake’s LGBTQ’s community. He has also provided of forum by which LGBTQ+ students may open a dialogue with faculty and decision makers in his college.
Lastly, Dr. Butterfield recently celebrated both his 25th anniversary with his husband, and the graduation of their twin sons.
About the award
The Robert G. Quinn Award recognizes outstanding contributions in experimentation and laboratory instruction. It is named for the legendary professor of electrical and computer engineering who established Drexel University’s highly successful and innovative engineering curriculum. Quinn served on the National Advisory Panel for the Space Shuttle, as a consultant to NASA’s manned space missions, and as an adviser to government agencies, business, and industry. His research at Drexel focused on undergraduate curriculum development, including directing a major educational experiment funded by the National Science Foundation known as E4, or “An Enhanced Educational Experience for Engineering Students.” This highly successful program evolved into the Drexel engineering curriculum, and many of its key features were emulated internationally in dozens of universities.
The award consists of a $5,000 honorarium and an inscribed plaque.