Professor in the Practice of Bioengineering Education
Associate Dean, Engineering Education
Director, Bioengineering Undergraduate Studies
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1995)
B.A., summa cum laude, Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry, Rice University (1990)
Since joining Rice in 1999, Ann Saterbak has worked with faculty members from the department to broaden bioengineering education and build nationally recognized, state-of-the-art undergraduate laboratories in experimentation and laboratory instruction. As a result of her efforts, she won the Robert G. Quinn Award (2007) and the Theo Pilkington Outstanding Educator Award (2013) by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), the George R. Brown Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2011), the Department of Bioengineering Teaching Award (2012), the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching (2013) by the Association of Rice Alumni, and the Nicolas Salgo Distinguished Teacher Award (2015), which is Rice's oldest teaching award. It is given annually by the Salgo-Noren Foundation.
In building the department’s undergraduate laboratory, Saterbak applied four years of industry experience working at the Shell Development Company. She has implemented new pedagogical methods and teaching standards to broaden students’ problem solving skills, scientific and technological literacy through real-world problems, inquiry-based learning, and hands-on experiences. Saterbak has developed laboratory courses in tissue culture, tissue engineering, bioprocessing, systems physiology, and mechanical testing. She has also developed laboratory objectives and assessment tools for laboratory courses in the George R. Brown School of Engineering and Wiess School of Natural Sciences.
In 2008, Saterbak implemented a new course through the school of engineering in which freshman students from multiple disciplines work in teams to solve contemporary, open-ended problems that orient around the skills of engineering evaluation, engineering modeling, and engineering design.
Through the support of a National Science Foundation Division of Undergraduate Education grant, Saterbak collaborated with colleagues to write the book, Bioengineering Fundamentals. Published by Prentice Hall, the textbook provides a new and unifying approach to the introductory, interdisciplinary fundamentals in biomedical engineering.
Saterbak has led several undergraduate educational initiatives at local and national levels. At Rice, she currently serves as Associate Chair for Undergraduate Affairs, and she is an active member on the Laboratory Coordinators Working Group.
On the national level, she is an elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2015), of the American Society for Engineering Education (2014), and of the Biomedical Engineering Society (2012). She is also an active member of the Biomedical Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE/BED), and the Partnership for Educational Biomedical Engineering Laboratories (PEBEL). She was elected to ASEE's board of directors in 2009.
Saterbak has been a frequent presenter of educational materials at annual ASEE and BMES conferences, and was invited by the Whitaker Foundation to be one of three educators to contribute to a white paper, which was highlighted as Best Practices for Laboratory Learning in Bioengineering. The paper "Educational Methods and Best Practices in BME Laboratories" was developed for a Whitaker Foundation Education conference and was published in Annals of Biomedical Engineering.