My name is Branko. I'm a PhD student in the civil engineering department at UC Berkeley. I'm part of the civil systems group, under the supervision of Steven Glaser. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Florida.
My research focuses on intelligent infrastructure, operational hydrology, and cyber-physical systems. More specifically, I am interested in the deployment of large-scale wireless sensor networks, and the applications of control and machine learning theory to Civil and Environmental Engineering problems. In short, I want to build the Internet for water.
Long-term goals: Intelligent Water Grids
Recent droughts and shortages in water supplies, especially evident in the state of California, are calling for new tools to aid in critical water management decisions. Oblivious water consumption in the residential sector, along with soaring demand for agricultural and industrial applications, have created a heavily demand-driven water distribution infrastructure, where little, or no coordination exists between parties. There are inherent inefficiencies associated with transporting water from its source to where it is needed. I am interested in control and optimization methods that can be utilized to optimally control water grids. Furthermore, I want to investigate how new technologies can be deployed to mitigate water waste and increase reliability of the existing water distribution infrastructure during extreme events.
Current Focus: Large Scale Wireless Sensing
Please see the Sierra Net Project for more info...
The implementation of intelligent water grids hinges directly upon the availability real-time information. The majority of California's water supply is stored in the snowpack. My research is part of a larger initiative under the direction of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute to monitor snowmelt phenomena in mountain basins. We have deployed a network of 60 wireless nodes and over 250 sensors to monitor mountain hydrology processes. Lessons learned during these deployments have set the stage for a massive-scale measurement cluster (20 networks, 1000+ sensors) in the American River basin, which will be deployed over the next two years. One day, the real-time data obtained by these networks will be coupled with snowmelt models to optimally control water storage and distribution, forming a closed loop system from the mountain to the tap.
As part of my master's thesis in Electrical Engineering I've been collaborating on the OpenWSN project. OpenWSN is an open source implementation of an IPv6-based IEEE802.15.4 network stack. The project also features a fully implemented IEEE802.15.4E MAC layer (Time synchronized channel hopping). My primary research interests in this area include MAC layer enhancements, crystal-free synchronization and communications, and adaptive channel hopping.
I've colaborated on, and developed a number of smartphone applications. Each App uses real-time civil infrastructure data feeds to provide users with a service. Please see each project page for more information.
BayTripperFormerlyTransitR Real-time public transit trip planner.
University of California Research Video: A critical research zone in the Sierra, July 26, 2011 Original video link.
KQED California Report: Snow Surveys of the Future. Link to blog and photo slideshow.
. Link to radio program
Fresno Bee article: Sierra's rain-snow zone promises water insight. Article link.
Mariposa Gazette: Wireless sensors improve snowpack measurements. Article link.
Patterson Irrigator: Wireless sensors may measure snowpack more precisely, improve water shares. Article link.
PSYSORG.com article: Wireless sensors to improve Sierra snowpack measurements. Article link.
YubaNet.com: Wireless sensors to improve Sierra snowpack measurements. Article link.
Wireless Sensors to Improve Sierra Snowpack Measurements. Article link.
Article also ran in the Merced Sun-Star. Article link.
Sacramento Bee: UC Merced professor designs sensor system to measure snowpack depth. Article link.
Central Valley Business Times: Wireless sensors for snowpack measuring. Article link.
February 2011 CITRIS article: Water Sense - CITRIS MOTES and Wireless Networks Deployed to Help Monitor and Manage California's Water Supply. Article link.
February KTVU news station in Oakland: Researchers Measure Snow Pack With Wireless Censors. KVTU report
Western Farm Press January 5, 2011 article: Wireless networks could improve water forecasting. Article link.
- Kerkez, B., Glaser, S.D., and Bales, R., Meadows, M., Design and Performance of a Wireless Sensor Network for Catchment-scale Snow and Soil Moisture Measurements, Water Resources Research, under revision for publication.
- Kerkez, B., Glaser, S.D., Dracup, J.A., and Bales, R.C., (2010). Hybrid System Model of Seasonal Snowpack Water Balance. Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control, 13th International Conference, Stockholm, Sweden. Published in the proceedings of the ACM.
- Bales, R.C., Conklin, M.H., Kerkez, B., Glaser, S.D., Hopmans, J.W., Hunsaker, C.T., Meadows, M., and Hartsough, P.C., 2011, Sampling Strategies in Forest Hydrology and Biogeochemistry, Forest Hydrology and Biogeochemistry: Synthesis of Past Research and Future Directions, Ecological Studies 216, D.F. Levia et al. (eds.), DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-1363-5_2, Springer Science, Business Media B.V.
- Kerkez, B., Kelly, A.E., Lucas, R.G., Son, K., Glaser, S.D., Bales, R.C., Effects of evapotranspiration heterogeneity on catchment water balance in the Southern Sierra Nevada of California (oral presentation), Eos Transactions, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, Fall Meeting, 2011.
- Welch, S.C., Kerkez, B., Glaser, S.D., Bales, S.C., Rice, R., Estimating Snow Water Equivalent over the American River in the Sierra Nevada Basin Using Wireless Sensor Networks (oral presentation), Eos Transactions, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, Fall Meeting, 2011.
- Meadows, M.W., Hartsough, P.C., Kerkez, B., Bales, R.C., Kelly, A.E., Hopmans, J.W., Hedge, C., Goulden, M., Glaser, S.D., Comparing methods for quantifying soil moisture in the southern Sierra Nevada, California, Eos Transactions, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, Fall Meeting, 2011,
- Kerkez, B., Rice, R., Glaser, S.D., Bales, R., Meadows, M., and Saksa P., Wireless Sensor Networks for Distributed Snow Depth Monitoring in the Sierra Nevada, Western Snow Conference, 2011, Lake Tahoe, CA.
- Kerkez, B., and Glaser, S.D., Leveraging Real-Time Hydrologic Data for the Control of Large-Scale Water Distribution Systems in the Sierra Nevada. SPIE Smart Structures and Materials 2010, San Diego.
- Kerkez, B., and Glaser, S.D., Remote Sensing and Monitoring Strategies of Large Scale Natural Systems Subjected to Extreme Conditions. Proceedings Fifth International Workshop of the Asian-Pacific Network of Centers for Research in Advanced Smart Material and Smart Structures Technology, Boston, MA, July 30-31, 2009.
- Kerkez B., Rice, R., Glaser, S.D., Bales, R., and Saksa, P., Design and Development of a Wireless Sensor Network to Monitor Snow Depth in Multiple Catchments in the American River Basin, California: Hardware Selection and Sensor Placement Techniques (oral presentation). Eos Transactions, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, Fall Meeting, 2010, Abstract IN34A-07. (Outstanding Student Paper Award)
- Meadows M., Kerkez, B., Hartsough, P., Lucas, R., Bales, R., Hopmans, J., and Glaser, S.D., (2010), Comparing Plot-Scale Sensor Measurements to the Watershed Level: a Comprehensive Case Study of Snow Depth and Soil Moisture in the Southern Sierra Nevada, California (oral presentation). Eos Transactions, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, Fall Meeting, 2010, Abstract C13C-03.
- Kerkez B., and Glaser, S.D., SmartDust in Environmental Monitoring: Case Studies from California, Wireless Applications for Machines and Systems, Akustiikka, Ylivieska, Finland, Dec. 13, 2010.
- Jariyasunant, J., Work, D., Kerkez, B., Sengupta, R., Glaser, S., and Bayen, A., Mobile transit trip planning with real-time data, 89th Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., Jan. 10-14, 2010.
- Kerkez, B., Watteyne, T., Magliocco, M., Pister, K., Glaser, S.D., Feasibility Analysis of Controller Design for Adaptive Channel Hopping, First International Workshop on Performance Methodologies and Tools for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNPerf), Pisa, Italy, 23 October 2009.
- Kerkez, B., Meadows, M., Glaser, S.D., Bales, R.C., The Science of Wireless Sensor Networks: Improving engineered systems through scientific analysis (oral presentation), Eos Transactions, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, Fall Meeting, 2009, Abstract IN13C-03.
- Bales, R.C., Hunsaker, C.T., Meadows, M., Kerkez, B., Galser, S.D., Li, F., Water and geochemical responses to seasonal changes across the rain-snow transition in the Southern Sierra Nevada (oral presentation), Eos Transactions, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, Fall Meeting, 2009, Abstract B32A-06.
- Rice, R., Bales, R.C., Meadows, M.W., Kerkez, B., Glaser, S.D., Anderson, M., Marks, D.G., Mazurkiewicz, A., Dozier, J., McGurk, B.J., Design and implementation of a snow measurement network using ground-based wireless networks and space-borne measurements in the American River Basin of California Eos Transactions, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, Fall Meeting, 2009, Abstract C33B-0504.