Meet the New CEE Faculty

Alex Brand

Dr. Alex S. Brand is joining the Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as an Assistant Professor in the Transportation and Infrastructure Systems Engineering Program. Prior to joining Virginia Tech, he earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Brand’s research interests include materials science of cementitious materials with particular interest in advanced characterization techniques to interrogate the nature of bonding, microstructure development, and reaction and hydration kinetics. He also studies concrete sustainability through using recycled and by-product aggregates, and looks at the materials design and analysis for two-lift concrete paving, roller-compacted concrete, fiber-reinforced concrete, and concrete with high volumes of recycled materials.

He was a postdoctoral research associate at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland where he developed an unprecedented digital holographic microscopy technique to monitor real-time evolution of surface topography with nanoscale vertical precision to quantify rate kinetics. Prior to that, he served for five years as a graduate research assistant for multiple classes at the University of Illinois. Specifically, he was a laboratory and lecture teaching assistant for Pavement Design I, Pavement Design II, and Construction Materials Characterization classes.

Brand is a professionally licensed engineer in the state of Illinois. He has won several accolades at conferences and is an active member of honors organizations such as Chi Epsilon, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Stan Grant

Dr. Stan Grant is joining as a Professor in the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Program in the Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory. He comes to Virginia Tech from his position as a Professor of civil and environmental engineering in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering at the University of California, Irvine.

Grant earned his B.S. from Stanford University in Geology, as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering Science from Caltech in Pasdena, California.

His research interests focus on human and ecosystem water security, coastal and drinking water quality, environmental fate and transport modeling.

He has given many invited lectures, received academic and non-academic awards and honors, and also has extensive environmental consulting experience.

Outside of the classroom, Grant enjoys chamber music, running, hiking, and rock climbing.

Megan Rippy

Dr. Megan A. Rippy is joining as an Assistant Professor in the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Program in the Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory. She previously served as an Assistant Project Scientist in civil and environmental engineering at the University of California Irvine.

She earned her B.S. from the University of California Santa Cruz in Marine Biology. She also earned an M.S. from the University of California San Diego in Marine Biology and a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography.

Her research interests include coastal, estuarine, and riverine water quality and fate and transport modeling of contaminants including pathogens, fecal indicators, and micropollutants. She is interested in both natural and engineered systems, with an emphasis on sustainable, green engineering designs with a biological component.

She has 17 publications and submitted manuscripts and has given 17 invited presentations.

She is a recurrent guest lecturer in the Urban Water Sustainability course at University of California Irvine and in the undergraduate Probability and Statistics course. Between 2013 and 2017, she co-developed a yearly, six-week interdisciplinary and international undergraduate program with a sustainable water focus. The program involved two weeks of lectures in the United States, two weeks of data collection in Australia, and two weeks of data analysis back in the United States.

Rodrigo Sarlo

Dr. Rodrigo Sarlo is joining as an Assistant Professor in the Structural Engineering and Materials Program. He earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech.

His research interests include resilient infrastructure and smart cities, instrumentation and sensing, machine learning internet of things, vibrations and dynamics, and modal analysis.

He worked in the Virginia Tech Smart Infrastructure Laboratory doing automated smart infrastructure monitoring. In this role, he performed system identification of a multi-story smart building using a network of 225 accelerometers relying only on ambient excitation such as wind and human activity. He also conducted research in human-structure interaction in violin acoustics in the Virginia Tech Vibration and Adaptive Structures and Testing Lab, and multi-functional Biomaterials research in the Virginia Tech Biomolecular Materials and Systems lab.

In 2017, he was awarded an American Society of Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) graduate fellowship grant and was also named a FOCUS Fellow at Georgia Tech. Prior to that, he has won numerous awards for his teaching and for various research papers.

He serves as a member of the Civil Infrastructure Technical Committee, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Experimental Mechanics, the American Society for Nondestructive Testing, and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.