Brina Montoya


  • 919-513-0425
  • Fitts-Woolard Hall 3161

Dr. Brina Mortensen Montoya is interested in developing bio-mediated soil processes and improvement, and assessing how material characterization affects levee performance within the limit state framework. Dr. Montoya was selected as a North Carolina State University Outstanding Teacher, received an Alumni Outstanding Teacher award, and was elected to the Academy of Outstanding Teachers at the University in 2019.

She received her doctoral degree from the University of California, Davis in 2012. Before beginning her graduate studies, she worked as a geotechnical consulting engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she performed field and laboratory investigations and developed foundation designs and construction recommendations for residential, commercial, and governmental development projects. Brina Montoya is a licensed engineer in the state of California.


Ph.D. 2012

Civil Engineering

University of California, Davis

M.S. 2008

Civil Engineering

University of California, Davis

B.S. 2003

Civil Engineering

California Polytechnic State University

Research Description

Dr. Montoya's research interests involve developing bio-mediated stabilization approaches to improve the sustainability and resiliency of infrastructure. Applications of microbial induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) on which she has focused include infrastructure subjected to natural hazards, such as earthquake-induced liquefaction and coastal/offshore erosion, and mitigating storage-related hazards of energy-related wastes. Specifically, her research program has focused on elucidating the performance of MICP cemented geomaterials, including: 1) shear response and volumetric behavior, 2) erosion behavior, and 3) physico-chemical influences of MICP.

Honors and Awards

  • Early Career Researcher Award, USUCGER, 2020
  • Outstanding Teacher Award, North Carolina State University, 2019
  • Outstanding Reviewer, ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 2017
  • Arthur Casagrande Professional Development Award, ASCE, 2016
  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER), NSF, 2016
  • Kimley-Horn Faculty Award, NCSU CCEE, 2015
  • T. K. Hsieh Award, Institution of Civil Engineers, 2014


Elucidating factors governing MICP biogeochemical processes at macro-scale: A reactive transport model development
Faeli, Z., Montoya, B. M., & Gabr, M. A. (2023), Computers and Geotechnics, 160, 105514.
Estimating live-bed local scour around bridge piers in cohesionless sediments: applicability and bias of selected models
Shahriar, A. R., Gabr, M. A., Montoya, B. M., & Ortiz, A. C. (2023), CANADIAN GEOTECHNICAL JOURNAL, 60(4), 471–487.
Fluvial geomorphic factors affecting liquefaction-induced lateral spreading
Abayo, N. I., Cabas, A., Chamberlin, E., & Montoya, B. (2023), EARTHQUAKE SPECTRA, 39(4), 2518–2547.
Framework for a reliability-based analysis of local scour and its effect on pile response in clay
Shahriar, A. R., Gabr, M. A., Montoya, B. M., & Ortiz, A. C. (2023), Computers and Geotechnics, 153, 105093.
Geo-Congress 2023: Geotechnical Characterization
Rathje, E., Montoya, B. M., & Wayne, M. H. (Eds.). (2023). , .
Geo-Congress 2023: Geotechnics of Natural Hazards
Rathje, E., Montoya, B. M., & Wayne, M. H. (Eds.). (2023). , .
Local scour around bridge abutments: Assessment of accuracy and conservatism
Shahriar, A. R., Gabr, M. A., Montoya, B. M., & Ortiz, A. C. (2023), JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGY, 619.
Resonant Column Testing Procedure for Microbial-Induced Carbonate- Precipitated Sands
Na, K., Cabas, A., & Montoya, B. M. (2023, January 23), GEOTECHNICAL TESTING JOURNAL, Vol. 1.
Various Bacterial Attachment Functions and Modeling of Biomass Distribution in MICP Implementations
Effect of Treatment Solution Chemistry and Soil Engineering Properties due to Microbially Induced Carbonate Precipitation Treatments on Vegetation Health and Growth
Ghasemi, P., & Montoya, B. M. (2022, October 19), ACS ES&T ENGINEERING.

View all publications via NC State Libraries


Linking Scour Evaluation and Data from Geotechnical, Erodibility, and Hydraulic 4 Investigation-An Integrative Approach
NC Department of Transportation(8/01/23 - 7/31/25)
Toward multiscale evaluations of lateral spreading: Collaborative Research with North Carolina State University, and Bucknell University
US Geological Survey (USGS)(5/16/23 - 5/15/24)
BRITE Pivot: Growing Biological Methods to Improve Soil Behavior for Infrastructure Protection
National Science Foundation (NSF)(5/01/23 - 4/30/26)
Improving Resilience of Transportation Infrastructure to Hurricane Damage
NC Department of Transportation(1/01/21 - 8/31/23)
TSA: Grain Size Testing
Crane Engineering(10/21/19 - 2/29/20)
GCR: Microbial response to a changing planet: The role of microbes in mineral precipitation resulting in exceptional fossil preservation and CO2 sequestration
National Science Foundation (NSF)(10/01/19 - 9/30/24)
Compare NCDOT Bridge Scour Calculations to USGS SIR 2016-5121 South Carolina (SC) Scour Envelope Curves Results
NC Department of Transportation(8/01/19 - 5/15/22)
Collaborative Research: Implementation Strategies and Performance of Unsaturated Bio-Cemented Dune Sand
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/15/19 - 7/31/23)
NSF REU Site: Basic and Environmental Soil Science Training (BESST)
National Science Foundation (NSF)(5/15/18 - 4/30/24)
Reducing Erosion Susceptibility of Coastal Highways using Biologically-Based Methods
NC Department of Transportation(8/01/17 - 12/31/20)