MSU presents lifetime achievement award to Susan Masten

Jan. 18, 2023

Masten honored for exceptional community-focused scholarship 

The exceptional efforts of long-time Michigan State University faculty member Susan Masten have earned her the 2023 MSU Community Engagement Scholarship Lifetime Achievement Award.

Susan Masten
Susan Masten's dedication to engineering and public health earn her a lifetime achievement award.

Masten is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE).

Peter Savolainen, interim chair of CEE, said the award is not given on an annual basis, but rather addresses distinguished research, teaching, and service at MSU.

“We are delighted to see recognition from the MSU administration for Susan’s exceptional efforts to enact meaningful change locally, nationally, and internationally. Her accomplishments are very unique in that she is been able to effectively facilitate improvements to engineering practice, public health, and quality of life across all of her areas of responsibility. She has served as a role model for both students and colleagues, demonstrating incredible passion that complements her technical acumen.”

As an MSU faculty member since 1989, she has taught civil and environmental engineering courses at introductory and advanced levels.

She is a well-known expert in water treatment. As a member of the Michigan Board of Drinking Water Examiners, she has worked to address the dangers of lead and arsenic in Michigan’s drinking water. That effort has a special and ongoing focus in Flint, where she led independent lead testing of public schools and other premises.

Masten in lab
Susan Masten's exceptional work has attracted extensive media attention through the years.

Masten was appointed to the State of Michigan Science Advisory Committee, which was established to assess per and poly-fluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) contamination in Michigan’s water. This committee helped redefine the safety benchmark for PFAS levels in Michigan and worked to address statewide and national issues regarding PFAS contamination and awareness.

Her extensive contributions within the university includes service as the faculty adviser for the Environmental Engineering Student Society and the MSU Chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

Her contributions have garnered other awards, including the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors/Wiley Interscience Outstanding Educator Award, the MSU Curricular Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Award, and the Lyman A. Ripperton Environmental Educator Award by the Air and Waste Management Association.

Masten will receive the 2023 MSU Community Engagement Scholarship Lifetime Achievement Award, along with a cash prize and commemorative glass sculpture, during the MSU Outreach and Engagement Awards Ceremony on March 2.

College of Engineering student writer Lia Bergin contributed to this article.