Joel G. Burken, Ph.D.
Professor and Associate Chair of Civil,
Architectural and Environmental Engineering
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Dr. Joel G. Burken joined the Missouri S&T faculty in 1997 and since that time, he has served on more than 20 university and department committees, as president of the Association of Environmental Engineering Science Professors, as a founder and vice president of the International Phytotechnologies Society and as chair of the campus promotion and tenure committee.
“I remember Joel’s service on the department’s curriculum committee at a time when numerous changes were debated and needed to be implemented,” wrote one nominator. “His leadership and hard work resulted in the creation of not only a more streamlined curriculum for our students, but one that was also responsive to alumni and employer feedback and needs.”
Burken’s service to Missouri S&T has left its mark. He established the bachelor of science in environmental engineering program as well as a minor in sustainability and a minor in global studies. In 2009, he initiated the Green Campus Committee and led its initial course of action including campus-wide energy audits, a total restructuring of the campus environmental management system and a restructuring of campus solid waste programs.
In addition, Burken worked to fund and establish the Baker Greenhouse, a unique research and education facility that is enhanced by research instrumentation acquired through a NSF grant. He also led efforts to establish a green roof research facility that provides unique opportunities for research and education in the study of urban stormwater quality and urban heat islands. In 2013, Burken was named director of the Environmental Research Center at Missouri S&T. The center integrates biological and physical systems involving emerging contaminants in natural and engineered systems.
Burken has been honored numerous times for his teaching and academic pursuits. He received the Rudolph Hering Medal by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1998 and 2007. In 2000, Burken received a faculty early career development award from the NSF.