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Technical Service Center
Materials Engineering and Research Lab

MERL Staff & Technical Specialties

Bill Kepler, Group Manager of the Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory (86-68180), has been working in the Materials Lab since 1987. He earned his Ph. D. from the University of Colorado in 1999 and is a registered Professional Engineer in Colorado and Wyoming.  Dr. Kepler has extensive experience in concrete materials and construction.

The Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory has experts in the construction materials fields including: concrete and aggregates, roller-compacted concrete (RCC), concrete repair, cementitious and chemical grout, corrosion, coatings technology, geosynthetics, instrumentation, structural modeling and testing, and materials testing. Our staff belongs to various technical societies including ASTM, ACI, NACE, and SSPC. MERL continues to develop partnerships with various government and private entities.

Specialties

Staff

Name Technical Specialties

Dr. William Kepler
Civil Engineer
Group Manager,
Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory
303-445-2386

  • Concrete
    • Technology
    • Aggregates
    • Quality Control
  • Non-Destructive Evaluation

Katie Bartojay
Civil Engineer
303-445-2374

  • Mass concrete
  • Concrete
    • Construction Issues
    • Technology and mix design
    • Quality Control
  • Constrution materials & methods
  • Unique laboratory testing
  • Soil-cement
  • Cementitious masonry

John Buck
Materials Engineering Technician
303-445-2390

  • Construction Issues

Zeynep Erdogan
Civil Engineer
303-445-2348

  • Engineering properties of soils and rocks
  • Erosion potential and filter
  • Soil sampling in TP, STP
  • Chemical stabilization of soils
  • Seepage and slope stability

Doug Hurcomb
Geologist/Petrographer
303-445-2336

  • Petrographic analysis of concrete and concrete aggregates

Bethany Jackson
Civil Engineer
303-445-2387

  • Geotechnical
    • Engineering
    • Testing
    • Research

Westin Joy
Civil Engineer
303-445-2382

  • Concrete
    • Technology
    • Repair
    • Testing
  • Construction materials and methods

Dr. Daryl Little
Materials Engineer
303-445-2384

  • Corrosion technology
    • Inspection
    • Materials selection
  • Cathodic protection
    • Design, testing, and repair
  • Non-destructive evaluation
  • Failure analysis
  • Metallurgy
  • Materials testing and characterization

Veronica Madera
Civil Engineer
303-445-2424

  • Roller-compacted concrete
  • Concrete
    • Testing
    • Repair
  • Non-linear testing/behavior
  • FEM analysis
  • General materials testing
  • Structural analysis and design
  • Civil design
  • Dam safety engineering

Dr. Bobbi Jo Merten
Chemist
303-445-2380

  • Coatings Specialist
  • Coatings
    • Inspection
    • Testing
    • Technology
  • Corrosion technology
    • Inspection
    • Materials selection
    • Embedded sensors
  • Sacrifical coatings

Khadija Ngozi-Bullock
Civil Engineer
303-445-2375

Rick Pepin
Materials Engineering Technician
303-445-2391

  • Coatings
  • Concrete
    • Quality Control
    • Aggregate Testing
  • Laboratory testing
  • Specifications and estimating

Brandon Poos
Coatings Technician
303-445-2389

Dr. Audrey Rager
Geologist/Petrographer
303-445-2377

  • Petrographic analysis of concrete and concrete aggregates

Dr. Robert Rinehart
Civil Engineer
303-445-2395

  • Geotechnical
    • Research
    • Engineering
    • Construction QA
  • Soil and rock mechanics
  • Properties of soils and rocks

Bret Robertson
Civil Engineer,
303-445-2316

  • Concrete
    • Testing
    • Technology
    • Mix design

Bruce Schulte
Materials Engineering Technician
303-445-2391

Dr. Lee Sears
Materials Engineer
303-445-2392

  • Corrosion Technology
    • Inspection
    • Materials selection
  • Cathodic protection
    • Design, testing, and repair
  • Failure analysis
  • Thin films
  • Materials testing and characterization

Dr. Allen Skaja
Polymeric Materials Chemist
303-445-2396

  • Coatings specialist
  • Coatings
    • Inspection
    • Testing
    • Technology
  • Composites

Warren Starbuck
Mechanical Engineer,
303-445-2317

  • Materials testing
  • Testing equipment design and manufacturing
  • Concrete repair
  • Mechanical engineering

Tom Strauss
Civil Engineer
303-445-2343

  • Soil and rock mechanics
  • Geotechnical engineering

Jay Swihart
Materials Engineer
303-445-2397

  • Geosynthetics

Dr. David Tordonato
Materials Engineer
303-445-2394

  • Coatings specialist
  • Coatings
    • Inspection
    • Testing
    • Technology
  • Metallurgy
    • Physical
    • Welding
  • Non-Destructive Evaluation
  • Failure analysis
  • Corrosion
  • FEM analysis
  • Ropes inspection

Dr. Jessica Torrey
Materials Engineer
303-445-2392

Fred Travers
Electrical Engineer
303-445-2398

  • Instrumentation

Roger Turcotte
Materials Engineer
303-445-2383

  • Corrosion technology
    • Inspection
    • Materials selection
  • Cathodic protection
    • Design, testing, repair

Kurt von Fay
Civil Engineer
303-445-2399

  • Concrete
    • Quality control
    • Roller-compacted
    • High-performance
    • Technology and mix design
  • Concrete Repair
    • Cementitious grouting
    • Chemical grouting
  • Laboratory testing
  • Calibration

Janet White
Civil Engineer
303-445-2373

  • Concrete
    • Technology and mix design
    • Investigations
  • Low strength concrete

Concrete Technology Staff

The Concrete Technology Staff provides technical expertise on concrete and related materials. Experts develop and conduct testing for the evaluation of water resources structures. Staff members provide technical advice and guidance on numerous concrete related subjects, including quality evaluation of concrete materials, construction, condition assessment and repair.

Expertise

Group members develop and maintain standards and programs for:

The services provided by this staff include:

Plastics and Geosynthetics Specialties

Plastics Technology

The Plastics Technology (geosynthetics/polymeric materials) Staff provides technical advice on polymeric construction materials, including geosynthetics (geomembranes, geotextiles, geogrids, and geocomposites), sealants, waterstops, roofing, rubber gaskets, and plastic pipe. Experts in the section evaluate new and conventional geosynthetics/polymeric materials to develop more economical construction methods, to lower maintenance costs, to improve repair and design approaches and to provide for seepage, erosion and pollution control. Some of the services provided are:

Staff members have produced numerous publications documenting results of technical studies on new, improved, or conventional geosynthetic/polymeric materials and methods for more economical construction, less frequent maintenance, and new repair or design approaches.

Contact:
Jay Swihart

Electronics / Instrumentation Specialties

Full Scale Structural and Similitude Modeling