Dr. Elizabeth Fassman-Beck

Dr. Elizabeth Fassman-Beck is Head of the Engineering Department. Her primary responsibility is to implement SCWWRP’s Stormwater BMPs (best management practices) research theme. Her research in urban stormwater management quantifies the hydrologic and water quality performance of BMPs, with an emphasis on green infrastructure (GI)/Low Impact Development (LID) technologies such as living (green) roofs, bioretention systems (rain gardens and planters), permeable pavements, swales, and floating treatment wetlands. Research outcomes have led to numerous publications in highly respected journals, a co-authored technical book, Living Roofs in Integrated Urban Water Systems, and design specifications for regulatory agencies in New Zealand and North Carolina.

Prior to joining SCWWRP, her 15-year research career included academic positions at the Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, NJ) and the University of Auckland (New Zealand). At Stevens, she constructed a “Living Laboratory” across the campus, including 47 field experimental GI systems, and was named the 2018 Educator of the Year from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)-NJ Section. In Auckland, she worked closely with the local regulatory agency to support stormwater design and policy with scientific evidence.

She received her Ph.D. and M.S. in civil engineering from the University of Virginia and her B.S.E. in civil and environmental engineering from Duke University. She joined SCCWRP in 2019.


Ph.D., civil engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. 2002

MSc., civil engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. 1998

BSE, civil and environmental engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC. 1996

Professional Experience

Stevens Institute of Technology (New Jersey), Associate Professor, 2014-2019

University of Auckland (New Zealand), Senior Lecturer (USA equivalent of Assoc. Professor), 2007-2013

University of Auckland (New Zealand), Lecturer (USA equivalent of Assist. Professor), 2004-2007

University of Colorado at Denver, Honorary Instructor, 2003

2002-2004, Consultant: Wright Water Engineers, Denver, Colorado, USA, 2002-2004

Honors and Awards

TEDx SHORTS Podcast: The potential of green infrastructure, 2021

Opening Keynote Lecture: Sustainable Stormwater Symposium, Portland, OR, 2019

The College of New Jersey Earth Day Keynote Address, Ewing, NJ, 2019

ASCE New Jersey Chapter Educator of the Year, 2018

TEDx at Stevens: Looking up the Downspout: Green Infrastructure for Roof Runoff , 2018

2ND Place USEPA Campus RainWorks Challenge (national design competition), Faculty advisor. 2017 Top 8 finisher, 2015

ASCE Wesley W. Horner Award from ASCE/EWRI for the publication Fassman and Simcock (2012), 2014

Outstanding Reviewer Award, ASCE Journal of Environmental Engineering, 2012

Professional Appointments

US EPA Board of Scientific Counsellors, Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Subcommittee, 2017-present

International Advisory Board: University of Sheffield-University of Newcastle (UK), Urban Green DaMS project, 2018-present

Director of a Regional Center of Living Architecture Excellence, designated by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, 2018-2019

Advisor, Green Roof Diagnostics, Culpeper, VA, 2018-2019

Associate Editor: ASCE Journal of Environmental Engineering, 2014-2018; ASCE Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment, 2014-present; Editorial Board Member: Urban Water Journal, 2015-present

Professional Societies and Certifications

Elected Member of the EWRI/ASCE Urban Water Resources Research Council Core Group (2012-2018); Chair BMP Database Teaching Tools Task Committee (2018-ongoing); Member Permeable Pavement Task Committee 2012-2015.

Elected Member of the Joint Committee on Urban Drainage (JCUD), a limited-membership coordinating committee (1 person per country) between the IWA and International Association of Hydroenvironmental Research 2011-2017.

Member: International Water Association (IWA); Member, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI)



Journal Articles

Cheng, Y., D.A. Vaccari, B.G. Johannesson, E. Fassman-Beck. 2022. Multiyear Study on Phosphorus Discharge from Extensive Sedum Green Roofs with Substrate Amendments. Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment 8:04022014.

Cheng, Y., D.A. Vaccari, E. Fassman-Beck. 2022. Phosphorus Leaching Behavior from Extensive Green Roof Substrates. Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment 8:06022003.

Abdalla, E.M.H., V. Pons, V. Stovin, S. De-Ville, E. Fassman-Beck, K. Alfredsen, T.M. Muthanna. 2021. Evaluating different machine learning methods to simulate runoff from extensive green roofs. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 25:5917–5935.

Fassman-Beck, E., F. Saleh. 2021. Sources and Impacts of Uncertainty in Uncalibrated Bioretention Models Using SWMM 5.1.012. Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment 7:04021006.

Nissen, K.A., M. Borst, E. Fassman-Beck. 2020. Bioretention planter performance measured by lag and capture. Hydrological Processes DOI:10.1002/hyp.13927.

Hunt, W.F., Fassman-Beck, E., et al. 2020. Designing Dry Swales for Stormwater Quality Improvement Using the Aberdeen Equation. Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment 2020, 6(1): 05019004.

Liu, R., Fassman-Beck, E. Pore. 2018.  Structure and Unsaturated Hydraulic Conductivity of Engineered Media for Living Roofs and Bioretention based on Water Retention Data. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering10.1061/(ASCE)HE.1943-5584.0001621.

Liu, R., Fassman-Beck, E. 2016. Hydrologic response of engineered media in living roofs and bioretention to large rainfalls: experiments and modeling. Hydrological Processes 31(3): 556-572. 10.1002/hyp.11044.

Liu, R., Fassman-Beck, E. 2016. Effect of composition on basic properties of engineered media for living roofs and bioretention. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering 21(6): 06016002. 10.1061/(ASCE)HE.1943-5584.0001373.

Fassman-Beck, E., Hunt, W., Berghage, R., Carpenter, D., Kurtz, T., Stovin, V., Wadzuk, B. Curve. 2016. Number and Formula Coefficients for Extensive Living Roofs. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering 10.1061/(ASCE)HE.1943-5584.0001318, 04015073.

Roehr, D., Fassman-Beck, E. 2016. Regenwasserrueckhaltung – warum Dachbegruenung weiterhin ein Thema der Zukunft ist. Neue Landschaft 11:41-48.

Fassman-Beck, E., Wang, S., Simcock, R., Liu, R. 2015. Assessing the Effects Assessing the Effects of Bioretention’s Engineered Media Composition and Compaction on Hydraulic Conductivity and Water Holding Capacity. Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment 04015003-1. 10.1061/JSWBAY.0000799.

Borne, K., Fassman-Beck, E., Winston, R., Hunt, W., Tanner, C. 2015. Implementation and Maintenance of Floating Treatment Wetlands for Urban Stormwater Management. Journal of Environmental Engineering 04015030. 10.1061/(ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0000959.

Azizi, N.S.M., Wilkinson, S., Fassman, E. 2015. An analysis of occupants response to thermal discomfort in green and conventional buildings in New Zealand. Energy and Buildings 104 (2015-10-01):191-198. 10.1016/j.enbuild.2015.07.012.

Azizi, N.S.M., Wilkinson, S., Fassman, E. 2015. Strategies for improving energy saving behaviour in commercial buildings in Malaysia. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management 22(1):73-90. 10.1108/ECAM-04-2014-0054s.

Young, R., Zanders, J., Lieberknecht, K., Fassman-Beck, E. 2014. A comprehensive typology for mainstreaming urban green infrastructure. Journal of Hydrology Part C 519 (2014): 2571-2583. 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.05.048.

Borne, K., Fassman-Beck, E., Tanner, C. 2014. Floating Treatment Wetland Influences Fate of Metals in Road Stormwater Retention Ponds. Water Research 48(1):430-442.

Mokhtar Azizi, N.S., Wilkinson, S., Fassman, E. 2014. Management Practice to Achieve Energy Efficiency Performance of Green Buildings in New Zealand. Architectural Engineering and Design Management 10(1-2):25-39.

Borne, K., Fassman, E., Tanner, C. 2013. Stormwater Nitrogen Removal Performance of a Floating Treatment Wetland. Water Science and Technology 68(7):1657-1664.

Olorunkiya, J., Wilkinson, S., Fassman, E., Stuart, D. 2013. Eliciting Stakeholders’ Preferences for Low Impact Design Incentive: A Conjoint Analysis Approach. Journal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction 5(4):180-190. 10.1061/(ASCE)LA.1943-4170.0000120.

Fassman-Beck, E.A., Simcock, R., Voyde, E.A., Hong, Y.S. 2013. 4 Living Roofs in 3 Locations: Does Configuration Affect Runoff Mitigation? Journal of Hydrology 490(2013):11-20.

Borne, K., Fassman, E.A., Tanner, C.C. 2013. Floating Treatment Wetland Retrofit to Improve Stormwater Pond Performance for Sediment, Copper and Zinc. Ecological Engineering 54(2013):173-182. 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2013.01.031.

Fassman, E.A., Simcock, R. 2012. Moisture Measurements as Performance Criteria for Extensive Living Roof Substrates. Journal of Environmental Engineering 138(8):841-851.

Fassman, E.A. 2012. Stormwater BMP Treatment Performance Variability for Sediment and Heavy Metals. Separation and Purification Technology 84(2012):95-103.

Olorunkiya, J. Fassman, E., Wilkinson, S. 2012. Risk: A Fundamental Barrier to the Implementation of Low Impact Design Infrastructure for Urban Stormwater Control. Journal of Sustainable Development (Canada) 5(9):27-41.

Mokhtar-Azizi, N.S., Wilkinson, S., Fassman, E., Che Ani, A.I. 2012. Management Practice to Achieve Energy Efficiency Performance: Green versus Conventional Office Building in Malaysia. Journal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction 10.1061/(ASCE)LA.1943-4170.0000115.

Fassman, E.A., Blackbourn, S. 2011. Runoff Water Quality Mitigation by Permeable Pavement. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage 137(11):720-729.

Voyde, E.A., Fassman, E.A., Simcock, R. 2010. Hydrology of an Extensive Living Roof under Sub-Tropical Climate Conditions in Auckland, New Zealand. Journal of Hydrology 394(2010):384-395.

Fassman, E.A., Blackbourn, S. 2010. Urban Runoff Mitigation by a Permeable Pavement System Over Impermeable Soils. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering 15(6):475-485.

Voyde, E.A., Fassman, E.A., Simcock, R., Wells, J. 2010. Quantifying Evapotranspiration Rates for New Zealand Green Roofs. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering 15(6):395-403.

Fassman, E.A., Blackbourn, S. 2007. Source Control for Watershed Protection: Permeable Pavement Technology. Journal of Environmental Engineering and Management 17(1):81-88.

Fassman, E.A. 2006. Improving Effectiveness and Evaluation Techniques of Stormwater Best. Management Practices. J. Environ. Sci. Health, Part A (Special Issue).  A41(7):1247-1256.

Jones, J.E., Earles, T.A., Fassman, E.A., Herricks, E.E., Urbonas, B., Clary, C. 2005. Urban Storm-Water Regulations—Are Impervious Area Limits a Good Idea? Journal of Environmental Engineering 131(2):176-179.

Borst, M.A., Riscassi, A., Estime, L., Fassman, E. 2002. Free-Water Depth as a Management Tool for Constructed Wetlands.  Journal of Aquatic Plant Management 40, 43-45.

Yu, S.L., Kuo, J.T., Fassman, E.A., Pan, H. 2001. Field Test of Grassed Swale Performance in Removing Runoff Pollution.  Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 127(3):168-171.

Technical Reports

Fassman-Beck, E., K.C. Schiff, R. Butler. 2023. Development of the SMC Regional BMP Monitoring Network 2020-2023. Technical Report 1352. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

Winston, R.J., E. Fassman-Beck. 2022. Permeable Pavement Maintenance: A Review of Literature to Assess Clogging, Predict Maintenance Frequency, and Compare Maintenance Techniques. Technical Report 1280. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

Fassman-Beck, E., K.C. Schiff. 2022. SMC Regional BMP Monitoring Network Work Plan 2022-2023 - Version 1.0. Technical Report 1270. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

Schiff, K.C., E. Darin, E. Fassman-Beck, G. Shusterman, L. Flores, T. Hale, C. Beegan . 2022. Monitoring Guidance To Support Adaptive Watershed Management. Technical Report 1257. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

Ramus, J., E. Garvey, S. Brown, E. Fassman-Beck, E.D. Stein. 2022. Assessing the State of Knowledge and Research Needs for Stormwater Harvesting. Technical Report 1305. The Water Research Foundation. Alexandria, VA .

Schiff, K.C., M. Beck, E. Fassman-Beck. 2021. North Orange County Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Monitoring Evaluation. Technical Report 1221. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

Fassman-Beck, E., K.C. Schiff, D. Apt. 2020. Evaluating Potential Methods to Quantify Stormwater Capture. Technical Report 1116. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.