Home WE@BYU Spotlight Webyu Students Sharlan Montgomery

Sharlan Montgomery with a co-worker on the Utah Pilot Bridge

Sharlan Montgomery

Civil Engineering, Student

What got you started in your engineering research?

In Oct. 2009, I was hired by Dr. Guthrie to work as a research assistant in the BYU Materials and Pavements (MAP) Research Group. Since then, I have worked more than 1,200 hours studying full-depth reclamation, soil and aggregate stabilization, frost heave of soils and aggregates, and concrete bridge deck performance. 

What is your research experience?

Performing extensive literature reviews, designing experiments, collecting data in the laboratory and in the field, preparing technical papers and reports and communicating and collaborating with research sponsors and other research group members. I entered my research paper into the ASCE Rocky Mountain Student Conference Competition in April 2011 and placed first. 

What are some of the projects you have been involved in?

I have been heavily involved in the Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Program sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration. This allowed me to collaborate on a project with Sara Carlock, head chemist at the Utah Department of Transportation, and I am currently preparing a journal article describing my findings. 
I have attended the Transportation Research Board (TRB) meeting twice, and assisted in presenting research during two poster sessions. I also assisted in presenting two papers.  

What international experience have you had?

In 2010, I traveled with the civil engineering department to China studying Mega-Cities and Mega-Structures. We studied the impacts of the World Expo on transportation in Shanghai. I studied the design of the Oriental Pearl Tower in Mega-Structures, and then visited it while we were there.
I traveled to Mexico and worked with students from the University of Zacatecas and BYU in developing a solution to a flooding problem in the neighborhood of Guadalupe to prevent sewer water from backing up a storm drain and into nearby homes.

What have you learned through your experience in engineering?

I think the culmination of my experiences have helped me learn that I can do hard things, and that my capacity to serve has been expanded through the experiences I have had. I am excited to continue to use what I have learned to do hard things that will bless the lives of those around me.