Susan K. De Long, PhD.

Assistant Professor

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Fields of Expertise

Environmental Engineering, Water Quality and Treatment

Areas of Interest

Anaerobic digestion, Bioenergy generation, Bioremediation, Graywater treatment, Molecular biology tools


Dr. Susan De Long is joining the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering this Fall Semester as Assistant Professor. Her area of expertise is environmental biotechnology. She was born and raised in the city of Los Angeles, California where she observed the negative impacts of human activities on the environment from a young age and decided to pursue a career working to address environmental issues. Dr. De Long obtained a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley in Environmental Science. While at UC Berkeley, she discovered a fascination with molecular biology because she loved learning about the molecular-scale processes that allow living organisms to function. Hence, she decided to pursue a second bachelors' degree in molecular and cell biology. Dr. De Long ultimately wanted to apply this newfound knowledge to solve environmental problems, and thus decided to pursue graduate studies in environmental engineering. She obtained an M.S.E. and a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin working in the field of environmental engineering. Her master's and doctoral research focused on the development of biological treatment processes (i.e. , processes that utilize bacteria to degrade contaminants). During her doctoral research, she continued to develop molecular biology tools for the study of biological treatment processes, and focused on the widespread water contaminant perchlorate. Perchlorate has been identified in drinking water sources in at least 26 states, and therefore, represents a significant public health risk. Fortunately, bacteria that can degrade perchlorate have been identified, and these bacteria can be used in biological drinking water treatment processes to remove perchlorate. Dr. De Long developed new molecular biology tools to study and quantify the genes involved in perchlorate treatment to help design, optimize, and monitor biological perchlorate treatment processes. She hopes that soon bacteria will routinely be used to remove perchlorate from contaminated drinking water sources. Dr. De Long is very excited to join the faculty at CSU and to have the opportunity to work with the excellent students and faculty here. She is currently teaching the freshman level Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering course, and is very excited to share her excitement and love of engineering with the students. Her research interests include treatment of drinking water, wastewater and contaminated sites using biological processes. She also plans to conduct research in the areas of bioenergy and biofuel generation to help meet the growing need for local and green energy sources.