Steven Burian

Civil and Environmental Engineering

University of Utah

Steven J. Burian received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters in Environmental Engineering and a Doctorate in Civil Engineering from The University of Alabama. Steve’s professional career spans more than a decade during which he has worked in design engineering, as a Scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, as a Professor at the University of Arkansas and the University of Utah, and as a Director of an engineering and sustainability consulting firm he co-founded. He is a registered professional engineer in Utah.


Steve has accumulated expertise related to the planning and engineering of sustainable and resilient urban water resources systems, including water supply, stormwater management, flood control, and wastewater collection. Specialty areas of research, teaching, and consulting include integrated urban water management, low-impact development, green infrastructure design, stormwater management, flood risk modeling, energy recovery in urban water infrastructure, vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies for urban water systems, and the water-energy nexus. Steve’s research projects have been funded by National Laboratories, EPA, NSF, DOD, DOE, State Departments of Transportation, and Private Industry. Steve has authored or co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, more than 60 conference papers and project reports, and delivered several software packages and databases used throughout the world. Steve currently is an Associate Director of the Global Change and Sustainability Center at the University of Utah where he seeks to develop interdisciplinary research collaborations in the areas of sustainability.


Steve is passionate about teaching and learning. In his current position as Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Utah, Steve teaches courses in the areas of Hydrology, Hydraulics, Stormwater Management, Sustainability, Professional Practice and Design, Watershed and Flood Modeling, and Water Resources Planning and Management. In his teaching, Steve seeks to inspire students with engaging classroom activities and discussions and through opportunities for project-based and service learning. Steve is also currently serving as the Co-Director of Sustainability Curriculum Development at the University of Utah with the goal of developing new interdisciplinary sustainability degree certificates, minors, and majors. His work is leading to the introduction of the first interdisciplinary Undergraduate Sustainability Certificate at the University of Utah.


Steve’s service has spanned technical, educational, and volunteer pursuits. He is actively involved with several professional societies including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Water Resources Association (AWRA), American Water Works Association (AWWA), Water Environment Federation (WEF), American Geophysical Union (AGU), and ASEE. He is currently chairing the ASCE EWRI Rainwater Harvesting technical committee, serving on steering committees for the Utah Section of AWRA and at the University of Utah Global Change and Ecosystems Center and Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program. And since 2006 he has served as an Assistant Mentor and Mentor for the annual ASCE ExCEEd Teaching Workshop helping new civil engineering professors from around the country improve their teaching.

Workshop Leader, Website Contributor

Website Content Contributions

Course Modules (4)

Unit 5. Net Zero Water Buildings part of Water Sustainability in Cities
Unit 5 addresses the concept of Net Zero Water of buildings. Net Zero Water can be defined in different ways. For this module it means a building's water needs are supplied 100% from harvested rainwater or ...

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Activity (1)

Analyzing Water Neutrality of U. of Utah Campus part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Water Neutrality Case Study Activity

Courses (2)

Hydrotopia: Water Resources Management in the West part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Engineering, Sustainability, and the Geosciences:Courses
This is an interdisciplinary water management course. It is co-taught by an engineering instructor and an instructor from humanities. Students experience class sessions involving traditional lectures, guest speakers, position paper debates, and design charettes. Students are required to complete numerous in-class exercises, homework, three position papers, and a team project.

Interdisciplinary Sustainability Practicum part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Courses
This is an interdisciplinary project-based course where students are divided into multi-disciplinary teams and select projects to complete working for real clients.

Essays (2)

Techniques to Teach Sustainability in Multi-Disciplinary Classrooms Comprised of Engineers, Geoscientists, and other Disciplines part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Engineering, Sustainability, and the Geosciences:Essays
Steve Burian, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Utah I believe teaching sustainability to engineering and geoscience students in integrated courses requires new approaches to course ...

Value of Co-Teaching, Project-Based Learning, and Common Communication for Teaching Sustainability to an Interdisciplinary Class part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Essays
Steve Burian, Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Utah Teaching sustainability to students from different disciplines requires new approaches to course planning, lesson planning, pedagogy, student ...