Ralf Birken

StreetScan Inc.

Dr. Ralf Birken is a goal oriented executive and engineering leader. He is a geophysical engineer by training and experienced in the creation of multi-modal mobile sensing systems for civil infrastructure inspection (below and above ground) and their condition assessment. He co-founded StreetScan Inc. in April 2015 and led the company as their CEO to ~$4M in sale, over 120 clients, and ~40 employees in two countries, until December 2019. Before he was a Research Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University from 2009 until the summer of 2015. Throughout his career he has managed large research and engineering projects and teams, successfully written research and project proposal, run a small company, and been an advisor and mentor to many students. He received his Ph.D. in Geophysical and Geological Engineering from The University of Arizona in 1997 and a MS in Geophysics from the University of Cologne, Germany in 1992. He completed a Post-Doc in 2000 with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University before joining Witten Technologies Inc., a start-up that commercialized the first GPR arrays for utility mapping. Dr. Birken is an expert in applied electromagnetic geophysics and has 20+ years of research and engineering experience in industry and academia in near-surface geophysical mapping, designing new mobile measurement systems, dealing with Big Data sets, and sensor technology mainly for civil infrastructure health monitoring applications. He is an inventor listed on 7 patents, the author of 4 book chapters, 15+ journal publications, 70+ conference proceedings, and 30+ other miscellaneous publications, posters, or major technical reports. Since 2011 he is a mentor to Gordon Fellows accepted to the Gordon Engineering Leadership Institute.