Affiliated Department or Office
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Community Climate Adaptation
BS University of Massachusetts at Amherst
MS Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PhD Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Professor Mathisen is the Director of Sustainability at WPI and is also a faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.  As Director of Sustainability, Professor Mathisen works to promote sustainability and engage the community in WPI’s academic programs, research, operations and facilities, with consideration to areas such as water, energy, transportation, and waste management. His research emphasizes the analysis and modeling of environmental systems, with an emphasis on areas such as water resources protection, resilience and climate change adaptation, infrastructure, and the food-water-energy nexus.  Recent research areas include adaptation to climate change, water quality protection for groundwater and surface water, water resources management, and transportation systems.

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 2: Zero Hunger

SDG 2: Zero Hunger - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

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SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

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SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

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SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

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SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

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SDG 13: Climate Action

SDG 13: Climate Action - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

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SDG 14: Life Below Water

SDG 14: Life Below Water - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

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Scholarly Work

Considerations Regarding Geochemical Transformations Downstream of Subsurface Wastewater Effluent Disposal Facilities 2010

Mathisen, P., D. Pellegrino, and H. Wen. “Considerations Regarding Nutrient Pathways and Loads into Surface-Water Resulting From Subsurface Discharges of Wastewater Effluent,” Proceedings of the 2007 World Environmental and Water Resources Conference, May 15-19, 2007, Tampa, Florida.

Kirshen, P., Caputo, L., Vogel, R., Mathisen, P., Rosner, A., and Renaud, T. Adapting Urban Infrastructure to Climate Change: A Drainage Case Study. J. Water Resour. Plann. Management., 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000443, 04014064, 2014 2014


American City & County
The right resources can help agencies reach key sustainability targets

How can municipal governments meet their sustainability goals? Funding is only one part of the equation. Paul Mathisen, Director of Sustainability, and professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, & Architectural Engineering, offers suggestions in this article by American City & County. 

Worcester Magazine
Facing the future: Worcester’s green plan to prepare for climate change

Paul Mathisen, director of sustainability, spoke with Worcester Magazine about the Green Worcester Plan. The goal of the plan is to make the city more energy sustainable and climate resilient. “A sustainable society really needs to be resilient, in that it can make an efficient recovery from the impact of various weather events,” Mathisen told the magazine.