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Infrastructure Technology Institute

Profile: ITI Research Engineer Brian Quezada

MBWG Summer

You have a PhD in materials science. What does that bring
to the REG?

Understanding the relationship between a material’s structure, processing, and performance is the goal of a materials scientist. I think that my materials science background adds an additional level of knowledge to assist the REG in interpreting data from monitored infrastructure.  In addition, my grad school experience taught me to identify problems and find novel ways to answer those problems – something that fits well with the experience of the REG.

What is the most interesting thing youve worked on since
coming to ITI?

For me, the most interesting work so far has been the monitoring of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge retrofit which was highlighted in the Spring 2011 ITI newsletter. It was only my second day working at ITI when I found myself travelling to Louisville, Kentucky, to go in the field for the sensor installation on the retrofit.  Working on a bridge pier cap was a much different setting for doing analytical work than the laboratory, which was exciting for me.  Application of the novel external clamping strain gage mechanisms for threaded rods – designed by the REG prior to my arrival - showed me some of the capabilities of the group I had just joined.  This was, and still is, my favorite engineering project that I have been involved with thus far.

What are you working on right now, and what sorts of skills do you hope to gain in the future at ITI?

Right now, I am working on completing the laboratory calibration tests for the sensors that I mentioned for the JFK Memorial Bridge retrofit.  The calibrations are necessary since these sensors are novel and will enable us to properly analyze the data that is obtained from the bridge and allow the necessary parties to make data driven-decisions based on the performance of the sensors.

Obtaining the data from the remote sites and displaying the information in a useful manner for the end user are difficult tasks that the REG has consistently been able to complete.  I have already learned a great deal at ITI but one of the main skills I hope to cultivate is on the computer programming side of the operation.