Congratulations to mechanical engineering chair Bruce Gale, chemical engineering associate professor (lecturer) Tony Butterfield and mechanical engineering associate professor Andrew Merryweather, each of whom were honored with faculty awards by the University of Utah. They will be recognized during the U’s commencement, which will be streamed online Thursday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m.


Bruce Gale

Gale was given the U’s Distinguished Research Award, which honors faculty members for body of research throughout their career. Nominees are evaluated on the impact and significance of their career research and scholarly work to their field, as well as to the improvement and enrichment of the human condition.

Gale received a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Brigham Young University and a doctorate in bioengineering from the U. He was first an assistant professor of biomedical engineering from Louisiana Tech University before he arrived at the U as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering in 2001. He was named professor in 2013 and became chair of the department in 2018. He also was director of the Utah State Center of Excellence for Biomedical Microfluidics.

He has also started a number of companies and served as their head of engineering, including for Microsurgical Innovations, Espira, Nanonc and Cartera. His research is centered around biomedical applications of microfluidics. He also has expertise in developing biosensors, microarrays, micropumps, and microneedles.

“I am extraordinarily honored to receive this award,” he said. “There are so many excellent scientists on this campus that it is thrilling to be considered among them.”

Gale was one of three professors honored this year with the award, including chemistry professor Shelley Minteer and biological sciences professor David Bowling.


Tony Butterfield

Butterfield can now add the U’s Distinguished Teaching Award to his already full mantle of honors.

He 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 for seven years and currently serves as a board member of ASEE’s Chemical Engineering Division and AIChE’s Societal Impact Operating Counsel.

In 2017, Butterfield was the recipient of the 2017 National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals GLBT Educator Award. Recently, he was honored with the University of Utah Beacons of Excellence Award and an honor from the university’s Career Services Faculty Recognition Program for his teaching. He also received both the Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Engineering and Outstanding Instructor from the Department of Chemical Engineering in 2013.

“It has been an honor to merely have our many wonderful students at the U in my day-to-day life,” he said. “Each graduation, I’ve been privileged to see off into the world so many brilliant minds and genuinely good people, people who will go on to improve our society. To be recognized by my students and peers as being of help on that path is very touching and means a great deal to me.”


Andrew Merryweather

Merryweather received this year’s Bennion Center Distinguished Faculty Service Award, which is given to a U faculty member who “has demonstrated a commitment to the campus-community connection through a life of active, unpaid community service and the integration of service with research and teaching.”

He was chosen for his focus on biomechanics research and community-based projects to improve the health and mobility of people with disabilities. His Ergonomics & Safety Laboratory has co-developed assistive devices for people with physical disabilities including a paraglider, skiing system (pictured, left) and sailboat for paraplegics. The lab also analyzes the stress related to human movement and occupational tasks.

Merryweather received his bachelor’s degree from Utah State University and a master’s and doctorate from the University of Utah, all in mechanical engineering. He joined the U in 2008, first as a research assistant professor. His research interests are in occupational biomechanics, 3D-musculoskeletal modeling, injury prevention, rehabilitation ergonomics, design, motion capture, rehabilitation robotics, human factors and design.

Click here to read a list of all of this year’s award recipients.