Brandon Tapia is from Chantilly, Virginia, and is a sophomore in Chemical Engineering with a 4.0 GPA. He says the best thing about being a Virginia Tech engineer is all of the opportunities available for us to take advantage of such as design teams, research, and interdisciplinary learning! When he was in middle school, he wanted to be an F-22 Raptor fighter pilot. Now that he is at Virginia Tech, he’s hoping to continue on to earn a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and work in the research and development of renewable energies. Brandon says if he could change one thing, it would be something a little out of left field, but he would increase the volumetric energy density of hydrogen. If hydrogen were to have a higher volumetric energy density, more energy could be produced per volume thus solving one of the largest challenges of using hydrogen as fuel and helping to drastically reduce the amount of fossil fuels used.
Brandon is a Resident Advisor in the Galipatia LLC where he supports over 40 student engineers. He is also an Undergraduate Researcher in the Martin Research Group under Dr. Martin of the Department of Chemical Engineering where they’re developing novel membranes, sorbents, and processes for water desalination and gas separation applications. He volunteers by being a pro-bono Consultant in The Consulting Group at Virginia Tech for local Blacksburg businesses all the way up to Fortune 500 companies. Brandon and his family have fostered over 50 dogs. This summer he will be helping to coach youth sports. In his free time, Brandon likes to listen to indie music, play sports, eat good food, and hang out with friends.
Brandon shared that his role model is his father. He expresses how he finds inspiration in how his father approaches all aspects of life--the good and the bad--and actively tries to model his approach to situations after his father. Brandon has three siblings and a Cocker Spaniel mix named Oliver. He mentions that his favorite cartoon character is Dr. Doofenshmirtz because he’s a "villain" who is easy to like, has an incredible backstory, and whose nemesis is a platypus. Brandon's favorite film is “The Martian.”