Sandra Lupien is the Director of MassTimber@MSU, a program at Michigan State University that harnesses outreach, communications, research, education, policy, and partnerships to advance mass timber construction and manufacture in Michigan and the surrounding region. As of July 1, 2023, Sandra also serves as Interim Director of MSU’s Forest Carbon and Climate Program.
Sandra has two decades of diverse policy, communications, external affairs, and leadership experience in the non-profit, public, and private sectors, most of it working at the intersection of climate change, natural resource policy, and equitable and sustainable community development.
While pursuing a mid-career Master of Public Policy at University of California Berkeley, Sandra caught the mass timber bug in 2016, which led her to do at least three things: 1) research what it would take to pivot her small beetle-kill pine furniture company to mass timber manufacturer; 2) to write her Master’s thesis “Removing Barriers to Cross-Laminated Timber Manufacture and Adoption in California: A gamechanger for forests, wildfire, and climate;” and 3) to seize the opportunity to harness her knowledge and passion to help advance mass timber construction and manufacture in Michigan – her home state – in this new position at MSU.
Immediately before joining MSU in July of 2021, Sandra served as Deputy Director for External Affairs and Communications in the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and the California Strategic Growth Council.
Relevant Projects (Selected)
- Michigan Mass Timber Supply Chain Analysis and Great Lakes Region Demand Survey; Project Lead. Funder: Michigan Department of Natural Resources
- Catalyzing Michigan Mass Timber Manufacture and Demand by Piloting Michigan-Sourced-and-Made Nail-Laminated Timber; Co-PI. Funder: USDA Forest Service Wood Innovations Program
- Preparing the Mass Timber Workforce of the Future: Enhancing Design and Construction Technology Education Through Context of Mass Timber; Senior Personnel. Funder: National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education
- Michigan Mass Timber Resource Guide; Project Lead. Funder: Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
- Strategic Outreach, Engagement, and Technical Assistance: Expanding and Diversifying the Michigan Mass Timber Ecosystem to Increase Demand and Support Production; PI. Funder: USDA Forest Service Wood Innovations Program
- Removing Barriers to Cross-Laminated Timber Manufacture and Adoption in California: A gamechanger for forests, wildfire, and climate
- Identifying Market Interests and Opportunities for Sierra Nevada Sustainable Forestry Materials
Conferences & Leadership (Selected)
International Mass Timber Conference, Portland, OR
- Member, Conference Steering Committee (2023, 2024)
- Panel Moderator (2023)
- Led Michigan Delegations (2022, 2023)
Advancing Mass Timber Conference, USA
- Panel Moderator (2022); Panelist (2023)
MI Healthy Climate Conference, Detroit, MI (2023)
- Mass Timber Lightning Presentation
Crain’s Detroit Notable Leaders in Sustainability (2022)
Community Service (Current)
Lansing Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, Member (effective March 2023)
City of Lansing Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Sustainability, Member (effective July 2022)
In the News
MSU researchers explore emerging market for mass timber in Michigan
Published on December 6, 2023
National Science Foundation Awards MSU $650K to Develop Mass Timber Curriculum
Published on May 27, 2022
Director of MassTimber@MSU, Sandra Lupien, named a Notable Leader in Sustainability by Crain’s Detroit Business
Published on March 23, 2022
Published on February 1, 2022
New Faces in the Department of Forestry in 2021
Published on February 1, 2022
MSU Mass Timber STEM facility wins Forest Stewardship Council Leadership Award
Published on October 25, 2021