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NETL Mentor Profile: Michael Buric

Michael BuricName: Michael Buric

Position: Staff scientist, Functional Materials Team, Research and Innovation Center

How long have you been at NETL? 10 years

How long have you been a mentor to research associates? More than six years

How has this research associate’s research/experience contributed to the NETL team?

Nagesh is a valuable member of the Optical Interrogator Development program I started at NETL. This research is focused on building and testing interrogators for distributed fiber optic sensors. That is, we make sensors out of optical fibers. The “box” that connects to these fibers and generates data from external conditions is called an “optical interrogator.”

Nagesh is an expert in optical interrogation and has provided invaluable contributions to the field. He has invented new methods for making these usually rather expensive systems into lower-cost devices, and has invented new ways of measuring parameters that would ordinarily be very difficult to measure. These techniques will ultimately help operators of large pipeline and distribution systems to operate more safely and with less-expensive maintenance schedules.

How do you think Nagesh’s experience at NETL will benefit his future career plans?

Nagesh has contributed to some high-profile projects in natural gas infrastructure that will ultimately help him further his career through the dissemination of publications he helped to author or led in authorship.

What have been the most valuable parts of your mentorship?

I enjoyed the opportunity to attend and present at the annual SPIE Defense and Commercial Sensing Conferences with Nagesh. We had some excellent discussions with colleagues and learned a lot from each other.

Please share some information about what ignited your early interest in science. Was it a parent, a teacher, your participation in a science competition or some other experience?

When I was about 10 years old, I read Robert E. Iannini’s “Build Your Own Laser, Phaser, Ion Ray Gun & Other Working Space-Age Projects.” Quite literally, the book sparked my interest in science and led me to a career in electronics and later in lasers.

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