Joseph Helble is a 1982 summa cum laude chemical engineering graduate of Lehigh University and a 1987 Chemical Engineering Ph.D. graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Helble ’82, currently provost of Dartmouth College, assumes the role of Lehigh University President on August 16, 2021. Helble was named president after a comprehensive and global search process that began last fall following the announcement that Lehigh’s current president, John D. Simon ’19P, would be stepping down on June 30. Helble is the second alumnus in Lehigh history to be appointed president; Henry Sturgis Drinker, Lehigh’s 5th president, graduated from the university in 1871 and served as president from 1905 to 1920.

Prior to becoming Dartmouth’s provost in 2018, Helble served for 13 years as dean of the Thayer School of Engineering. As dean, he oversaw a record increase in the school’s research funding, a near doubling of enrollment, an increase in its number of tenure-track faculty and the introduction of new majors and programs. The school also experienced during Helble’s leadership a sharp increase in the percentage of engineering graduates who are women. In 2016, Dartmouth was the first research university in the nation to have more women graduate with a bachelor’s degree in engineering than men. Helble and his colleagues in the Thayer School also created the PhD Innovation Program (PhD-I), the first program in the nation to prepare engineering doctoral candidates for entrepreneurial success.

After graduating with highest honors from Lehigh in 1982, Helble earned his PhD in chemical engineering, with a minor in Spanish, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987. From there he worked for several years in the private sector as a research scientist at Physical Sciences, Inc., during which time he also spent several months on leave as a science policy fellow with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Later, as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Revelle Fellow, he spent a year in Washington, D.C., working on environmental and technology policy. Prior to arriving at Dartmouth, Helble served as professor and chair of chemical engineering at the University of Connecticut.

Helble has authored more than 100 publications and holds three U.S. patents. In 2017, he was elected a Fellow of the AAAS. He is a co-recipient of the National Academy of Engineering's 2014 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education for the design and implementation of Dartmouth's Engineering Entrepreneurship Program, which includes the PhD Innovation Program. He received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 1998.

Joseph Helble
Paterson, NJ
B.S. Chemical Engineering
Notable Achievement: 
President, Lehigh University; Trustee, Lehigh University; Provost, Dartmouth University; Dean, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth University