Helble comes to Lehigh from Dartmouth College, where he served as provost from 2018-2021. As provost, Helble was the university’s chief academic and budget officer. He oversaw all of Dartmouth’s professional and graduate schools—Geisel School of Medicine, Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, Thayer School of Engineering, and Tuck School of Business—as well as major academic support units and a variety of other offices, academic centers and institutes. He set the budget for Arts & Sciences and was also responsible for setting the university’s budget priorities and overseeing its annual budget process, developing financial plans, and coordinating support for Dartmouth’s research infrastructure. Helble also served as a professor of engineering in the Thayer School of Engineering, and he played a critical role in guiding the campus community through the COVID-19 pandemic and providing regular updates about the university’s operations and decisions.
Before becoming provost, Helble served for 13 years as dean of Dartmouth’s 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. 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.
Prior to arriving at Dartmouth, Helble served as professor and chair of chemical engineering at the University of Connecticut.
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. 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.