Office of Materials and Infrastructure (OMI)

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The Office of Materials and Infrastructure focuses on transportation research areas that include construction, environmental, geotechnical-structures, and pavement. This office develops and recommends research budget levels and recommends projects to be included in the Department’s Annual State Planning and Research, and Work Plan for roadway or pavement related (construction, maintenance, and design) research. This includes contract research coordination, working with departmental and University staff to assure completion of roadway and or pavement research studies, project monitoring and dissemination of final research results.

Phone: (916) 654-8603
Email: Nick Burmas


What We Do

  • Develop advanced tools and techniques to improve transportation project development costs and life-cycle cost of infrastructures
  • Assist in implementing new techniques for forecasting and mitigating the negative environmental impacts of transportation systems to meet Caltrans obligations under the law and to promote sustainability
  • Focus on research that results in safer and more cost effective bridges and highway facilities with an emphasis on mitigating earthquake, landslide, and other geologic hazards
  • Meet Caltrans need for improved policies, operations, and practices that preserve and enhance California’s pavement resources and investments

OMI Branches


    Michael Samadian, Chief
    Email:  Michael Samadian@dot.ca.gov

    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 researches that leads to deploying product, technique, and tools.  The following areas are in focus:

    • Pavement Preservation
    • Roadway construction alternatives for efficiency
    • Construction traffic analysis and improvement
    • Pavement Material development and Testing
    • Construction cost reduction
    • Manage pavement research done by Universities and Consultants

    • Engineering Seismology Branch

      Brian Chiou, Senior Seismologist (Specialist)
      Email: brian.chiou@dot.ca.gov
      We are responsible for the management and performance of engineering seismology research. Engineering seismology research provide models and tools for seismic hazard assessment and specification of earthquake design ground motion needed by Caltrans to improve safety, reliability, and the 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
    • Maintenance Application Branch

      Joe Holland, Senior Transportation Engineer, CT (Specialist)
      Email: joe.holland@dot.ca.gov

      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. Our research emphasis is in the following areas:

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

    • Foundation Engineering Branch

      Tom Shantz, Senior M&R Engineer (Specialist)
      Email: tom.shantz@dot.ca.gov
      Our studies focus on deep foundations and how to build better for less using innovative construction techniques and better design models.  Recent focus areas include improved field testing techniques in difficult soils and improved design methods for driven piles.  We emphasize in research in the following areas:

      • Driven piles
      • Drilled shafts
      • Ground Improvement
      • LRFD
      • Soil Structure Interaction
    • Pavement and Standards Branch

      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 include the following:

      • 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

      Loren Turner, Senior Transportation Engineer, CT (Specialist)
      Email: loren.turner@dot.ca.gov

      Our research centers on the development and implementation of tools and technologies to address Caltrans needs with a primary focus on structural, geotechnical, and earthquake engineering disciplines. Specific research areas include:

      • Earthquake planning and response
      • Transportation asset management
      • Data and knowledge management

Cliff Roblee, Senior M&R Engineer (Specialist)

    Email: cliff.roblee@dot.ca.gov

    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.  Currently active research topics include:

    • Seismic Bridge Fragility
    • Landslide Inventory Hazards

Tom Shantz, Senior M&R Engineer (Specialist)
Email: gerald.schumacher@dot.ca.gov

Our team manages the Linear Referencing System (LRS), which is the visual representation of the California State Highway System as described in the Caltrans Transportation System Network (TSN). The LRS is used to map postmile events.  Our team also maintains an LRS as required by FHWA for the All Roads Network of Linear Referenced Data (ARNOLD).  ARNOLD is a representation of all Functionally Classified (FC) California roads from FC 1 through FC 7.  A copy of the geometry for ARNOLD is available from the FHWA.  A copy of the current California state highway system road geometry for our LRS is posted to the Caltrans GIS Data Library.


Brian Chiou, Senior Seismologist (Specialist)
Email: gerald.schumacher@dot.ca.gov

Our team manages the Linear Referencing System (LRS), which is the visual representation of the California State Highway System as described in the Caltrans Transportation System Network (TSN). The LRS is used to map postmile events.  Our team also maintains an LRS as required by FHWA for the All Roads Network of Linear Referenced Data (ARNOLD).  ARNOLD is a representation of all Functionally Classified (FC) California roads from FC 1 through FC 7.  A copy of the geometry for ARNOLD is available from the FHWA.  A copy of the current California state highway system road geometry for our LRS is posted to the Caltrans GIS Data Library.


Harold Hunt, Senior Environmental Planner (Specialist)
Email: gerald.schumacher@dot.ca.gov

Our team manages the Linear Referencing System (LRS), which is the visual representation of the California State Highway System as described in the Caltrans Transportation System Network (TSN). The LRS is used to map postmile events.  Our team also maintains an LRS as required by FHWA for the All Roads Network of Linear Referenced Data (ARNOLD).  ARNOLD is a representation of all Functionally Classified (FC) California roads from FC 1 through FC 7.  A copy of the geometry for ARNOLD is available from the FHWA.  A copy of the current California state highway system road geometry for our LRS is posted to the Caltrans GIS Data Library.

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