Growing up, Brendon loved taking things apart, discovering how they worked, and then giving them new purposes. Over time, he realized his ideal career would combine his love for building things with his strong desire to help others. Brendon’s experiences at UGA, along with his passion for “functional aesthetic flair,” have illuminated the ways in which he can use his civil engineering skills to strengthen communities.
Brendon served as the vice president of the UGA Student Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), a team of engineering students who take on projects for campus organizations, the Athens area and communities abroad. EWB has partnered with leaders in Kenya to develop a biogas latrine as an alternative, sustainable fuel source for the Emulanda Primary School. Currently, the school’s only source of cooking fuel, used to feed its 500 students, is firewood. The biogas latrine will eliminate the need for gathering firewood, a task that interrupts the school day and limits students’ time in the classroom.
Brendon also is serving as a research assistant for Matt Sullivan ’18, a graduate student in the College of Engineering. Working alongside Dr. Mi Geum Chorzepa, Brendon and Matt are helping to evaluate the strength and durability of concrete mixtures. The project will test whether a clay-based additive might increase the longevity of the concrete used to build U.S. bridges, roads and highways, in turn creating safer and less expensive solutions for the country’s infrastructure needs.
After graduation, Brendon plans to attend graduate school or pursue one of the many job offers he’s received — opportunities he attributes to the connections he’s formed on campus. No matter his next steps, he is fully committed to pursuing a career that will help improve people’s lives.
“The financial relief [that my scholarship provided] gave me more time to focus on building a meaningful career, not just landing an everyday job. Knowing that someone out there is looking out for me and my educational goals has allowed me to commit to making a difference.”
Update: Brendon has accepted a job with Michael Baker International and will begin as an entry level structural engineer after graduation.