CINCINNATI—University of Cincinnati biomedical engineering professor David Butler, PhD, has been named the recipient of the 2012 H.R. Lissner Medal, given by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), for his contributions to the field of biomedical engineering.
The award recognizes Butler’s achievements in bioengineering spanning his research contributions, development of new methods of measurement, innovative equipment design and instrumentation, as well as his educational impact in the training of bioengineers and service to the bioengineering community and ASME.
Butler’s research interests include functional tissue engineering and orthopaedic biomechanics. At UC, he conducts research in two primary areas: expanding the use of functional tissue engineering principles using developmental biology to improve tendon and ligament repair and measuring three-dimensional kinematics and kinetics in the knee to determine forces on ligament and cartilage structures during daily activities.
He also directs UC’s National Science Foundation Integrated Graduate Education, Research and Training (IGERT) program in Bioapplications of Membrane Science and Engineering.
Butler became interested in biomedical engineering as a graduate student at Michigan State University, where he received his PhD in engineering mechanics. He began his career at UC in 1976 as an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery.
After moving to the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 1983, Butler and his colleagues began working to establish biomedical engineering as a recognized discipline on campus.
"We developed a seed grant program that brought faculty and students together between the Colleges of Engineering and Medicine, and that resulted in a five times return on investment in new external grants. Many faculty members who received these seed grants continue to collaborate today,” says Butler.
In 2000, the team received a Special Opportunity Award from the Whitaker Foundation to create a graduate program in biomedical engineering at UC and agreed to start a new cross-disciplinary department of biomedical engineering between the two colleges.
Butler has been involved with ASME since 1976. He has held several committee positions, and served as the chair of the organization’s bioengineering division in the 1980s. He has been previously named an ASME Fellow and a recipient of the Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award.
"It is definitely an honor to receive the Lissner Medal,” says Butler, "but, most of all, I think it reflects well on the level of talent and quality of the students and faculty with whom we have been able to collaborate. Biomedical engineering is a multidisciplinary field and we have been very lucky to have worked with some very strong collaborators.
"I view the Lissner as an honor for our laboratory, our collaborators and for UC. Personally, I plan to keep working with our graduate and undergraduate BME students and to continue to work toward solving important problems related to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal soft and hard tissue problems.”
Butler will receive the award at ASME’s Summer Bioengineering Conference in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, this June, during which he will give the Lissner Plenary Lecture. As the recipient, Butler receives a Bronze Medal and $1,000.
The Bioengineering Division of ASME established the H.R. Lissner Award as a divisional award in 1977. It was upgraded to a society award in 1987, made possible by a donation from Wayne State University, and is named in honor of Professor H.R. Lissner of Wayne State University for his pioneering work in biomechanics that began in 1939.