Office of Materials and Infrastructure (OMI)

Nick Burmas
Email Nick Burmas
(916) 227-6194

Our office focuses on transportation research areas such as construction, environmental, geotechnical-structures, and pavement. We develop and recommend research budget levels and projects to be included in the Department's Annual State Planning and Research Work Plan. We focus on roadway or pavement related research such as construction, maintenance, and design. We are involved in contract research coordination, project monitoring, and dissemination of final research results. We work with Caltrans and University staff to assure completion of roadway and or pavement research studies.

What We Do

  • Develop tools and techniques to improve transportation project development costs;
  • Develop tools and techniques to improve life-cycle cost of infrastructures;
  • Research new techniques for forecasting and mitigating transportation systems' negative environmental impacts;
  • Constantly strive to meet Caltrans' lawful obligations;
  • Work to promote sustainability;
  • Focus research on safer, more cost effective bridges and highway facilities;
  • Emphasize earthquake, landslide, and other geologic hazards mitigation;
  • Work on improving policies and operations;
  • Preserve and enhance California's pavement resources and investments; and
  • Steadily work towards meeting Caltrans' goals for improvement.

OMI Branches


Michael Samadian, Chief
Email Michael Samadian
(916) 227-6207

Our team seeks ways to improve pavement quality across California. Our focus, through our partnership with industry, academia, internal and external customers, is to provide research that leads to deploying product, technique, and tools.

  • Our main focus:

    • Pavement Preservation
    • Roadway construction - efficiency alternatives
    • Construction traffic analysis and improvement
    • Pavement material testing and development
    • Construction cost reduction
    • Management of Universities and Consultants pavement research

Brian Chiou, Senior Seismologist (Specialist)
Email Brian Chiou
(916) 227-7151

We are responsible for the management and performance of engineering seismology research. We provide models and tools for seismic hazard assessment. We study the specification of earthquake design ground motion needed by Caltrans to improve safety, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of the transportation network.

  • Our studies focus on:

    • Development of strong ground motion database
    • Ground-motion prediction models
    • Near-fault ground motion characteristics
    • Seismic hazard analysis

Joe Holland, Senior Transportation Engineer, CT (Specialist)
Email Joe Holland
(916) 227-5825

Durability is important to the long-term efficiency of our transportation system. Our responsibilities include increasing durability results in reduced maintenance, extended life of facilities, and reduced impacts to the public.

  • Research Topics:

    • Maintenance operations and improvements
    • Material durability
    • Non-destructive testing
    • Highway durability
    • Asset Management
    • Sustainability Practices
    • Pavement Recycling
    • Improved Pavement Structure Design


Vacant, Senior Transportation Engineer, CT (Specialist)

Our research seeks to improve pavement infrastructure, resources, service, and investments. We apply innovative methods, tools, and partners through a system view of the pavement, vehicle, and freight components.

  • Research topics:

    • Varying types of pavement, vehicle, and freight
    • Physical interaction of system components
    • Logistics and driving behavior
    • Economic and environment effects
    • Direct benefits from pavement research


Cliff Roblee, Senior Environmental Engineer (Specialist)
Email Cliff Roblee
(916) 227-7183

Our research is broadly focused on assessing the risks and effects of geotechnical hazards on Caltrans built infrastructure and operations. We also provide expertise in geotechnical and geophysical methods for site characterization and earthquake site response.

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12-14-17