Joseph J. Helble

Adjunct Professor of Engineering

President, Lehigh University

Professor Helble test rides a project prototype by students in "Introduction to Engineering." (Photo by Douglas Fraser)


Joseph J. Helble was named the 15th president of Lehigh University in 2021. Prior to becoming Dartmouth's provost in 2018, he served for 13 years as Thayer's dean. Helble earned his BS in chemical engineering from Lehigh and his PhD in chemical engineering from MIT. From 1987–1995, he worked as a research scientist at Physical Sciences, Inc., and in 1993 also served as a fellow with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He then joined the faculty at the University of Connecticut as professor of both chemical and environmental engineering and served first as Graduate Program Chair and then as Chemical Engineering Department Head. Before joining Thayer, Helble was named the 2004–2005 Roger Revelle Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), allowing him to spend that academic year addressing technology and environmental policy initiatives in the US Senate. Helble has served on numerous EPA Science Advisory Board panels and on the editorial boards of Environmental Engineering Science and Fuel Processing Technology. He is presently chair of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Engineering Deans’ Public Policy Committee. Helble is a recipient of a young faculty Career Award from NSF, an outstanding young faculty award from the University of Connecticut School of Engineering, and the Barnard Award from AAAS. He is the author of over 100 publications in the areas of air pollution, aerosols, nanoscale ceramics, and air quality, and holds three US patents related to nanoscalepowder production. In 2014, Helble, along with three Thayer colleagues, was a recipient of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education for the design and implementation of Dartmouth’s Engineering Entrepreneurship Program.

Research Interests

Environmental impacts of fossil energy utilization with emphasis on mercury; particulate matter; air pollution control; CO2 capture; combustion-derived pollution


  • BS, Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University 1982
  • PhD, Chemical Engineering, MIT 1987


  • Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education, 2014
  • Environmental Leadership Faculty Award, University of Connecticut, 2005
  • Roger Revelle Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2004 - 2005)
  • Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China, honorary Advisor Professor, 2004
  • Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, elected 2004
  • CAREER Award, National Science Foundation, 1998
  • Barnard Award, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 1994

Professional Activities

  • American Chemical Society, Division of Fuel Chemistry National Meetings Program Chair, 2007
  • Editorial Board, Environmental Engineering Science, 2004 -
  • Editorial Board, Fuel Processing Technology (Elsevier Science Publishers) 2002 -
  • University of Vermont, College of Engineering and Mathematics Board of Advisors, member 2005 -
  • Brown University, College of Engineering, Chemical Engineering Advisory Board, member 2005 -
  • EPA Science Advisory Board, reviews of "Air Toxics Research Strategy" and "EPA Draft Report on the Environment 2003," 2003-2005
  • Conference Organizer and Program Chair, Engineering Foundation Conference on Nanoparticles and Nanostructures by Vapor Phase Synthesis, Barga Italy, 2002

Selected Publications

  • Zeng, T., Helble, J.J., Bool, L.E., and Sarofim, A.F., Iron Transformations During Combustion of Pittsburgh #8 Coal, Fuel 88, 566-572 (2009).
  • Smith, C.A., Krishnakumar, B., and Helble, J.J., Homogeneous and heterogeneous mercury oxidation in a bench-scale flame-based flow reactor, Proc. AWMA Annual Meeting (2009).
  • Garabedian, R., and Helble, J.J., Modeling Coalescence in Multiple Particle Systems, J. Aerosol Science 39, 71-81 (2008).
  • Krishnakumar, B., and Helble, J.J., Understanding Mercury Transformations in Coal-Fired Power Plants: Evaluation of Homogeneous Hg Oxidation Mechanisms, Env. Sci. Tech. 41(22), 7870-7875 (2007).
  • Mamani-Paco, R., and Helble, J.J., Size, and Time of the Day Influences on the Morphology Distributions of Atmospheric Fine Particles at the Baltimore Supersite, Atmos. Environment 41, 8021-8029 (2007).
  • Schladt, M., Filburn, T., and Helble, J.J., Supported Amine Sorbents Under Temperature Swing Absorption for CO2 and Moisture Capture, Indus. Eng. Chem. Res. 46 (5), 1590 -1597 (2007).


  • Apparatus for producing nanoscale ceramic powders | 5,599,511
  • Apparatus for producing nanoscale ceramic powders | 5,447,708
  • Process for producing nanoscale ceramic powders | 5,358,695


Dean Helble on Dartmouth's PhD Innovation Program

TEDxDartmouth 2011- Joseph Helble: The World's "Sputnik Moment"


In the News

The Dartmouth
Town hall draws over 150 attendees
Nov 01, 2018
Valley News
Dartmouth Dean Named College Provost
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The New York Times
The Disappearing American Grad Student
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Business NH Magazine
NH's Engineering Boom
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Scientific American
Breaking the Gender Barrier in Engineering
Dec 22, 2016
The Dartmouth
Plan invests in west campus
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Tech Tidbits From Across NH
Jul 21, 2015
The Dartmouth
Students, faculty support Thayer expansion
Mar 27, 2014
The Dartmouth
Graduate programs celebrate investitures
Jun 08, 2013
ASEE Prism
The New Ph.D.
Jan 18, 2013
BusinessNH Magazine
Stretch Students' Limits
Aug 09, 2012
The Washington Post
South Korea outpaces the U.S. in engineering degrees
Jul 23, 2012
Campus Technology
Virtual Tour de Force
Oct 04, 2011
USA Today Letters
Not all jobs shipped overseas
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The Chronicle of Higher Education
New Network Seeks to Form a 'Meta-University' to Link Engineering Schools
Jul 26, 2011
ABC News (Online)
Pentagon Turns to Hollywood for National Security
Mar 07, 2011
The Times of India
New world, new goals
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Financial Times
Rise of the business-savvy engineer
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VOX of Dartmouth
Deep freeze - Thayer student to study ice cores
Mar 07, 2011
VOX of Dartmouth
New leadership for Thayer
Mar 07, 2011
Dartmouth Life
Helble Appointed Dean of Thayer
Mar 07, 2011
Dartmouth Medicine
Celebrating an innovative collaboration
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The Dartmouth
Engineering sees increased interest
Mar 07, 2011
The Dartmouth
Grad schools cut discretionary funds
Mar 07, 2011
The Dartmouth
Business leaders discuss sustainability
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Business NH Magazine
Geeks to the Rescue
Mar 07, 2011
VOX of Dartmouth
Schweitzer Fellow Leads Robot Team to Victory
Mar 07, 2011
Engineering News-Record (ENR)
Borderless Learning
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The Christian Science Monitor
Engineering suddenly hot at universities
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