Helen Muga

Associate Professor of Engineering
Ph.D., Michigan Technological University

Helen Muga

Helen MugaAssociate Professor of Engineering

Ph.D., Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University
M.S., Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University
M.S., Chemical Engineering, Curtin University of Technology, Australia
B.S., Chemistry with minor in Mathematics, University of Papua New Guinea


(440) 826-2492

Originally from Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific, Dr. Helen Muga moved to the U.S. almost 14 years ago to pursue a doctorate in environmental engineering. She is one of the first Papua New Guinean women to hold a doctorate in an engineering field.

Her areas of expertise are in water and wastewater treatment and design, renewable energy, international development work, education, sustainable development and entrepreneurship. In addition to English, Muga also speaks Pidgin, Kuanua and Spanish, and has extensive experience living and working in different countries.

Muga was one of two founders of the University of Mount Union Department of Engineering and the civil and mechanical engineering programs along with co-founder and chair Dr. Donna Mihalek. The engineering department and the engineering programs were established in fall 2010. She is one of a few ethnic minorities to start an engineering program.

During her seven years at Mount Union, Muga was also instrumental in developing and leading the global engineering experience required for all mechanical and civil engineering students. As lead professor for the global engineering experience from 2010-17, she took more than 100 engineering students abroad over the course of 10-plus trips. Of all the courses she has taught, the global engineering experience is her favorite.

Muga was also a postdoctoral researcher in the University of South Florida Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 2008-10. While there, she brought in a grant of just over $783,000, one of the largest grants at the time, that provided support for master's and doctorate students.

Select Publications

Dietz, G., Hessedence, J., Long, T. Muga, H.E. 2017 Empowering an Engaging Women in STEM: A case study in embedding STEM activities in K-5. 2016. Book Chapter in Strategies for Increasing Diversity in Engineering Majors and Careers book. Book published in February, 2017. (First three authors were Muga's then junior civil and mechanical engineering students at the University of Mount Union. This was their research for her global engineering course in 2016).

Trotz, M. A.; Howard, J.; Muga, H.; Thomas, K.; Francis, S.; Badenock, J. (2014) Sustainability Challenges and the Opportunities for Global Engagement: Linking Caribbean secondary school classrooms and Engineering Departments at US Universities. 2014. American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference Proceedings, Indianapolis, IN, June 14th-18th, 2014.

Ken D. Thomas, Helen E. Muga. Book: Cases on Pedagogical Innovations for Sustainable Development. Submitted to IGI, Fall 2012. Book published in Spring 2014. Helen E. Muga, Ken D. Thomas. 2013. Book. Cases on the Diffusion and Adoption of Sustainable Development Practices. Edited Book, IGI Global, USA, 2012. Released January 2013.

Ken D. Thomas, Helen E. Muga. 2012. Book Chapter: Sustainability Science and Engineering: The New 21st Century General Education Requirement for Engineers in Developments in Engineering Education Standards: Advanced Curriculum Innovations. Editor: M. Rascul. Publisher: IGI Global. Muga, H., Thomas, Ken, 2011. Book Chapter – Chapter 9 "Diffusion and adoption of innovations for sustainability" in book "Technological, Managerial and Organizational Core Competencies: Dynamic Innovation and Sustainable Advantage", IGI Global, USA, 2011.