College of Engineering (CoE) dean and Southern Company chair Gary S. May has announced the appointment of Professor Robert Butera as the College’s new associate dean for research and innovation, effective May 1.
“In this role, Rob will help stimulate cutting-edge, transformative research and facilitate its translation into practice,” said May. “He will also be working closely with faculty leaders to support interdisciplinary research initiatives and help position our researchers at the forefront of interaction with funding agencies.”
A 1991 BEE graduate of Georgia Tech, Butera attended graduate school at Rice University in Houston, Texas, receiving the MSEE in 1994 and PhD in 1996. Following graduate school, he conducted postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. While at the NIH, he worked jointly in the Mathematical Research Branch and the Laboratory for Neural Control. Butera is a professor in Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering.
"I enjoy the challenge of helping to enable our faculty and students to engage in the cutting edge research Georgia Tech is known for,” Butera said. In his role as associate dean for research & innovation, Butera will focus on enabling engineering faculty members to develop and sustain excellence in scholarship and research, as well as creating an environment in which innovation, entrepreneurship, and public service are fundamental characteristics of CoE graduates.
Prior to joining the Dean’s Office, Butera directed the Neural Engineering Center (2014-2016). He previously served as founding Faculty Director of the Grand Challenges Living Learning Community (2012-2015) and Director of the Interdisciplinary Bioengineering Graduate Program (2005-2008).
Butera’s research is focused on developing novel methods for peripheral and autonomic nerve modulation using electrical signaling, combining engineering and neuroscience to tackle clinically motivated problems. Professionally, Butera has served as Vice-President for Finance (2011-2014) and was elected to serve as Vice-President for Publications (2017-2020) for the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Organization for Computational Neuroscience (2013-2015). Butera is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.