Professor Suttner, who received his B.S. from the University of Notre Dame (1961) and M.S. (1963) and Ph.D. (1966) degrees from the University of Wisconsin, has achieved recognition for his combined contributions to teaching, research, and service to both Indiana University and the national geoscience community. In 1988, he received the Neil Minor Award from the National Association of Geosciences Teachers, the most prestigious national teaching award in the geosciences. He also received the Indiana University President's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1989 and was selected by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (Eastern Section) for its 1994 Distinguished Educator Award.
Suttner is internationally known for his studies on the factors that influence the origin of sand and sandstone in mountain settings. His two-part publication on the climatic controls on sandstone composition, co-authored with his student, Prodip Dutta, received the 1986 Best Paper Award in the Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, the most widely acclaimed international journal in his field of study. He had also received a best paper award for an article he co-authored in the Mountain Geologist.
Professor Suttner has served as Chairperson of the Department of Geological Sciences and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He has convened a number of research conferences, led field trips, and taught short courses for industry and the national academic community, as well as held major offices in several professional societies. He is currently Chairman of the Geological Society of America Foundation Board of Trustees.