A&WMA presents the 2013 Lyman A. Ripperton Environmental Educator Award to Susan J. Masten, Ph.D.
professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the College of Engineering,
Michigan State University (MSU).
Dr. Masten's teaching has engaged students across the entire spectrum of engineering undergraduates,
from the freshman she mentored in the introduction to engineering course to the upperclassmen
enrolled in her water/wastewater, air pollution, and capstone design classes. At the same time,
her central role in curriculum development in the College of Engineering and her promotion and
support of undergraduate education have impacted countless students, who remember her wise counsel
and superlative teaching. In developing the bachelor of science degree program in environmental
engineering, Dr. Masten developed and teaches an introductory course in air pollution, the first of
its kind at MSU in more than 30 years.
Dr. Masten's research involves the use of chemical oxidants for the remediation of soils, water,
and leachates contaminated with hazardous organic chemicals. Dr. Masten has been working
extensively to develop water treatment technologies that are more effective and suitable for use in
decentralized water treatment systems. Over the past year, she has also begun to evaluate water
treatment technologies for developing countries, and is looking at improving the ceramic water purifiers
for pathogen removal. Dr. Masten, along with several other faculty members, holds a patent on a hybrid
ceramic membrane filtration system. She has conducted extensive research on the use of this technology
for the control of disinfection byproducts, nanoparticles, bromate, and pharmaceuticals in drinking
In addition to her classroom efforts, Dr. Masten guides numerous student research projects.
She has graduated more than 50 master's students and 12 doctoral students. Dr. Masten is also co-author of
the textbook, Principles of Environmental Engineering and Science, which is publiched by McGraw-Hill
and is in its 3rd edition.
Dr. Masten is the advisor to the Environmental Engineering Student Society, a student chapter of
A&WMA and the founding advisor of the MSU Chapter of Engineers without Borders. Under her guidance, the
group visited a Native American community in Pine Ridge, SD; built water filters in San Carlos, Honduras;
and plan to construct 30 composting latrines in El Balsamar, El Salvador. In addition, she finds time
to mentor boy and girl scouts so that they can earn merit badges related to engineering, public health,
and environmental science, and volunteers at several MSU engineering summer camps. Dr. Masten has also
advised numerous award winning undergraduate teams in both the Waste Management and Education Research
(WERC) Consortium and A&WMA Student Design Competitions.