Susanna Sutherland | Principal
Susanna founded mission-driven Sutherland & Associates in 2013 to assist communities as they deal with climate change. She also pursued and finished her doctorate in Energy Science and Engineering while being a founding partner of the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and building trust with her growing client and partner bases. She continues to advance practical knowledge on how to address climate change through system and sector integration.
Susanna’s career started at a federal utility. She focused on watershed health, capturing $1,500,000 in restoration grants for the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Environmental Policy and Planning division. She later joined TVA’s River Operations and Environment division, scheduling river flows for the 7-state system.
In 2007, Susanna was recruited into local government by the City of Knoxville to oversee final design of their waterfront redevelopment plan. She purchased property, managed construction projects, and captured $1,497,701 in funding from state and federal sources for Brownfield reclamation projects.
In 2009, Susanna founded the city’s first Sustainability Office with federal funds, and in 2012 it became locally funded. Projects brought in $2,480,780 in unmatched grant funds, $650,800 in new infrastructure, and are averaging annual utility bill savings of $1,392,176. In addition to building a new city office with baseline data, a strategic plan, and measurable outcomes, she started the Southeast Sustainability Directors Network and contributed to field-building publications.
Education | The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
- PhD, Energy Science and Engineering, 2017 | Energy generation in urban water systems dissertation – Alumna Profile
- M.S., Biosystems Engineering Technology, 2004 | Agricultural streams water quality thesis
- B.A., Environmental Studies, 2002 | Forestry minor
Articles | Primary Author
- Actualizing water and energy systems integration: what is taking so long? Journal of Science Policy & Governance, February 2018
- Resilience Implications of Energy Storage in Urban Water Systems. Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water, and Environment Systems, June 2018.
Books | Contributing Author
- In Harm’s Way: How Communities are Addressing Key Challenges of Building Climate Resilience. Authored by John Cleveland and Peter Plastrik, 2021.
- Big Data for Regional Science. Edited by Laurie A. Schintler and Zhenhua Chen. Routledge, 2018.
- Acting as If Tomorrow Matters: Accelerating the Transition to Sustainability. Authored by John C. Dernbach. Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. 2012.
- Sustainability and the U.S. EPA. National Research Council. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC. 2011.