John Easton, Ph.D.

John Easton, Ph.D.

Associate Chair, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Senior Lecturer

Office Location: Embrey 203E


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  • Ph.D. in Environmental Health Engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • M.S. in Civil Engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • B.A. in Biology, University of Kansas


Dr. Easton has been on the faculty in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering since 2000. Currently, he serves as associate chair, chief undergraduate advisor, and program director of the Master of Science in Environmental Engineering. In addition, he is a senior lecturer, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in Environmental Engineering. He serves the university as secretary of the Council of General Education and SMU Lyle as director of accreditation. Dr. Easton has over twenty-five years technical expertise in water quality modeling and monitoring, risk assessment, health hazard identification, NPDES permitting, stormwater management, environmental management, hydrology, epidemiology, air quality monitoring, pollution prevention, and solid and hazardous waste management.

Honors and Awards

  • Tom Tunks Distinguished University Citizen Award, 2003
  • Provost’s Recognition Award for Teaching, 2022
  • Senior Fellow, SMU Caruth Institute for Engineering Education, 2019-present
  • Engineering Executive Board Faculty Excellence Award in Environmental and Civil Engineering, 2003
  • J. Lindsay Embrey Trustee Professorship – Southern Methodist University. 2001-2002
  • Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Fellowship - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1999-2000



  • Environmental Health Engineering

  • Engineering Education

  • Water Quality

  • Smart and Resilient Infrastructure

Courses taught

  • Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering
  • Aquatic Chemistry
  • Solid and Hazardous Waste Management
  • Biological Processes and Wastewater Treatment
  • Urban Hydraulics and Hydrology
  • Laboratory and Field Methods in Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Epidemiology

Professional projects

  • Served as technical advisor and created business plan for start-up company planning to develop technology for conversion of carbon dioxide, in power plant emissions, to biofuel.

  • Consulted and provided technical expertise to client who wished to create a new, multi-million dollar business by installing a commercial underground injection well for disposal of wastewaters generated during hydraulic fracture operations at gas wells in the Barnett Shale. Included conducting a feasibility study on recycling and disposal alternatives for production waters from gas drilling operations.

  • Provided expert service for legal proceedings against a developer who had been sued over discharges of sediments during construction of a large—200 unit—residential housing development.

  • Consulted with U.S. EPA Region 6 Staff to develop an MS4 NPDES permit for Albuquerque, NM.

  • Conducted modeling/research study to evaluate pathogen impacts to water quality from CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) discharges across EPA Region 6. Results were used by EPA Staff to improve the current NPDES general permit for CAFOs.

  • Evaluated stormwater contamination problems at the DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) Oak Cliff Bus Service Facility and proposed engineering solutions to bring the facility into compliance with its NPDES permit.

  • Conducted NPDES construction inspections of two DART light rail projects: Line Section NC-5 and Pleasant Grove Transit Center, and generated reports of findings.

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