Brina Montoya

Assistant Professor

Brina Mortensen Montoya is an Assistant Professor in the Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering department at North Carolina State University.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


Civil Engineering

University of California, Davis


Civil Engineering

California Polytechnic State University

Research Description

Dr. Montoya is interested in bio-mediated soil improvement, cemented sand behavior, liquefaction mitigation, and physical modeling of soils using laboratory and centrifuge testing. Her research interests include evaluating the use of bio-mediated soil improvement as a mechanism to mitigate liquefaction-induced damage in a seismic event. Bio-mediated soil improvement is the use of the metabolic activity of natural soil bacteria to catalyze the precipitation of carbonate minerals. The mineral precipitation cements sand grains together which improves the strength and stiffness of the soil, and reduces the susceptibility to damage due to earthquakes and other loading conditions.


Discrete element method simulations of bio-cemented sands
Feng, K., Montoya, B. M., & Evans, T. M. (2017), Computers and Geotechnics, 85, 139-150.
Quantifying level of microbial-induced cementation for cyclically loaded sand
Feng, K., & Montoya, B. M. (2017), Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 143(6).
The use of microbial induced calcite precipitation to reduce trace element leaching from fly ash
Montoya, B. M., Safavizadeh, S., & Meredith, A. (2016), In Geo-chicago 2016: sustainable geoenvironmental systems. (Geotechnical Special Publication, 271) (pp. 989-997).
Influence of confinement and cementation level on the behavior of microbial-induced calcite precipitated sands under monotonic drained loading
Feng, K., & Montoya, B. M. (2016), Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 142(1).
Simulating mechanical response in bio-cemented sands
Evans, T. M., Khoubani, A., & Montoya, B. M. (2015), (Computer Methods and Recent Advances in Geomechanics, ) (pp. 1569-1574).
Deformation of microbial induced calcite bonded sands: A micro-scale investigation
Montoya, B., & Feng, K. (2015), In Deformation characteristics of geomaterials. (Advances in Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 6) (pp. 978-985).
Stress-strain behavior of sands cemented by microbially induced calcite precipitation
Montoya, B. M., & DeJong, J. T. (2015), Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 141(6).
Bio-bricks: Biologically cemented sandstone bricks
Bernardi, D., DeJong, J. T., Montoya, B. M., & Martinez, B. C. (2014), Construction & Building Materials, 55, 462-469.
Healing of biologically induced cemented sands
Montoya, B. M., & Dejong, J. T. (2013), Geotechnique Letters, 3, 147-151.
Experimental optimization of microbial-induced carbonate precipitation for soil improvement
Martinez, B. C., DeJong, J. T., Ginn, T. R., Montoya, B. M., Barkouki, T. H., Hunt, C., Tanyu, B., & Major, D. (2013), Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 139(4), 587-598.

View all publications via NC State Libraries


Reducing Erosion Susceptibility of Coastal Highways using Biologically-Based Methods
NC Department of Transportation(8/01/17 - 7/31/19)
Establishment of Remote-Sensing Based Monitoring Program for Performance Limit State Assessment of the Sacramento Delta Levees
US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)(1/01/16 - 6/30/18)
CAREER: Stabilization of Mining and Energy Related Byproducts using Bio-Mediated Soil Improvement
National Science Foundation (NSF)(5/15/16 - 4/30/21)
Collaborative Research: Development and Calibration of Particulate Models for the Robust Forward Prediction of Bio-Cemented Soil Behavior
National Science Foundation (NSF)(7/15/15 - 6/30/18)
The Use of Bio-Cementation to Provide Coal Fly Ash Pond Stability
Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.(4/17/15 - 6/30/17)
Re-Appraisal of the Specification for Aggregate Base Course (ABC)
NC Department of Transportation(8/01/15 - 12/31/17)
The Use of Bio-cementation to Provide Coal Fly Ash Pond Stability
NCSU Faculty Research & Professional Development Fund(8/15/14 - 5/15/15)
REU Site: Basic and Environmental Soil Science Training (BESST)
National Science Foundation (NSF)(5/01/14 - 4/30/19)
BRIGE: Improving Resiliency of Coastal Systems using Bio-Mediated Soil Improvement & Promoting Women in Engineering
National Science Foundation (NSF)(1/01/14 - 12/31/17)
Improving Resiliency of Coastal Systems Using Microbial Induced Calcite Precipitation
NCSU Faculty Research & Professional Development Fund(7/01/12 - 6/30/13)