Susan Murcott is an environmental engineer and lecturer in D-Lab where, for the past 12 years, she has been teaching “D-Lab-Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Environmental Innovations for the Common Good” (EC.715/11.474J) and in 2016, is newly teaching “D-Lab: Water and Climate Change” (EC.S08/EC.S12). She has worked in and led MIT student teams to over 25 countries spanning five continents. In 2014-2015, she led the water filter evaluation of the Comprehensive Initiative for Technology Evaluation (CITE), a 5-year USAID-funded project, to evaluate technologies for the poor. From 2005 to the present, she founded and helped establish the non-profit organization, Pure Home Water, with Ghanaian partners, which has built a ceramic pot filter factory to provide safe drinking water in northern Ghana. From 2002 to the present, she has been the principal investigator of a team, in partnership with the Environment and Public Health Organization in Kathmandu, Nepal, that invented and has widely disseminated the KanchanTM Arsenic Filter, as well as being involved in MIT-funded emergency relief following the 2015 Nepal earthquake. Murcott is the author of over 50 professional papers as well as the book Arsenic in the World: an International Sourcebook (IWA, 2012) http://www.iwapublishing.com/books/9781780400389/arsenic-contamination-world. Her current focus is water and climate change.
Susan Murcott was draw to Buddhism as a peace activist in Boston in the late 1960’s. She traveled to Japan, Australia, and Hawaii to study Zen and Buddhist philosophy, and spent more than 10 years researching and translating this text. She was a co-founder and editor of Kahawai: Journal of Women and Zen for many years, and taught meditation at Wellesley College while completing her graduate studies in environmental engineering at M.I.T. Today, Susan Murcott is a world expert in safe drinking water technologies for developing countries.