Material Matters Team Members

Material Matters is staffed with a group of highly specialized and qualified individuals. When you establish a relationship with Material Matters, know that you will be working with experts in the field. Take some time to see what our team can do for you...


Trudy Johnston, Chief Executive Officer*
Heath Edelman, President
Dr. Robin Brandt, Vice President*
Aaron Stephens, Vice President*
Stefan Weaver, Sr. Project Scientist*
Lisa Challenger, Environmental Specialist
Nance Fertich, Administrative Director*
*Material Matters, Inc. partner

Trudy Johnston
Trudy Johnston

Trudy is CEO and partner with Material Matters, and has over 29 years in the municipal and industrial wastewater processing and solids treatment and management field, with 25 years as a consultant. Her primary interests include developing innovative uses and strategies for residuals, optimizing solids processing, conducting solids master studies, assessing compliance with biosolids regulatory standards, data/sample collection and validation, evaluating and resolving odors from residuals, and water quality nutrient trading. She participated in the WERF study with UMASS to assess biosolids stability standards and authored the protocol for the AVSR testing. Trudy has a BS degree in Earth Science from Penn State and is a certified wastewater treatment operator. [Resume]
Heath Edelman
Heath Edelman, PE, LO, CHMM

Heath currently serves as the President of Material Matters. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in several Mid-Atlantic States. He has more than 20 years' experience in the environmental field in a variety of roles including the natural resource field, industrial waste management, EH&S, environmental consulting, and most recently with a respected engineering firm as an authority and process engineer with municipal and industrial clients. At Material Matters, Heath will be focusing his client time on working with municipal and industrial water and wastewater clients to find solutions for industrial pretreatment, process optimization, operational support, and integrated soil & water management.
He is also an Adjunct Professor at Thaddeus Stevens College in Lancaster, PA where he teaches 2nd year students in the Water and Environmental Technology Program. Heath has a B.S. in Environmental Resource Management from Penn State University, University Park, PA. He also holds an M.S. in Environmental Engineering and an Occupational Health & Safety Certificate, both from The University of New Haven, West Haven, CT. In addition, he is certified in PA as a Wastewater and Water System Operator as well as a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager.
Dr. Robin C. Brandt
Dr. Robin C. Brandt, Ph.D., PE

Robin is a partner and Vice President of Material Matters. He has over 35 years’ experience in agricultural, municipal, industrial, and food processing residuals assignments. He directs the company’s efforts involving water reclamation and composting facility odor emission studies and biosolids-derived-product odor assessments (current-in-practice and research). Robin contributes to field-trial and plot studies, and participates in the conceptualization/ development of emerging beneficial use strategies such as Deep Row Hybrid Poplar biosolids recycling programs (and related research). He serves as technical project manager on selected assignments and functions as liaison for projects involving consultation with the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) and other selected technical service providers. Robin is a full-time faculty member with PSU (17 years), at the University Park, PA main campus, in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, where he serves as Senior Lecturer and Director of the PSU Odor Assessment Laboratory. [Resume]
Aaron Stephens
Aaron Stephens, MS, EIT

Aaron is Vice President and partner with Material Matters, responsible for data and information management projects. He began as a consultant for Material Matters in 2002 for the development of the Material Manager™ database for biosolids, and now serves as a project manager since 2006. He works with multiple industrial and food processing clients, and has project experience involving waste heat utilization, data visualization and mapping with GIS and KML, and large-scale feasibility analysis in conjunction with master planning. He is a problem solver, specializing in data analysis, software development, and numerical modeling. Aaron is an E.I.T. with an MS degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Penn State. [Resume]
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Stefan Weaver
Stefan Weaver, MS, CPSS

Stefan is a project manager and partner with Material Matters, with over 14 years of professional experience, mostly in biosolids and residuals management. He is an ARCPACS certified Professional Soil Scientist, responsible for conducting technical soil site investigations for beneficial use (agricultural and disturbed land) projects. His understanding of regulatory challenges allows him to be involved in a variety of projects focusing on innovative uses such as deep row hybrid poplar reclamation, mine reclamation, site qualification, site mapping, conservation planning, nutrient assessment, database validation, and interacting with regulatory agencies. Stefan has an MS degree in Soil Science from Penn State. [Resume]
Lisa Challenger
Lisa Challenger

Lisa is an Environmental Specialist with Material Matters. She is responsible for supporting clients with the management of water quality nutrient credits, developing comprehensive biosolids market evaluations, evaluating and reporting on permitting and regulatory compliance, and assisting with site and soils evaluation. She is also responsible for assisting clients with biosolids master plan decisions by providing information about the technologies, marketing techniques, and end uses utilized by other biosolids programs. Lisa has a BS degree in Environmental Resource Management from Penn State. [Resume]
Nance Fertich
Nance Fertich

Nance has more than 20 years of experience with writing, editing and producing public relations materials as Director of Community Relations for a mental health care system. In her current role as Administrative Director for Material Matters, she provides administrative assistance to the professional staff members including producing business development pieces, providing support for project managers, preparing a variety of internal reports, and overseeing invoice generation. [Resume]