Alumnus Andy Ferrell ’90, ’93 returned to East Carolina University on September 14 to talk with students about the many career opportunities in engineering, especially bioprocess engineering.
Bioprocess engineering is the creation of biological products such as vaccines and certain medications using live organisms and enzymes rather than inorganic chemicals and reagents, as in chemical engineering. It is one of six areas of concentration within the engineering major in the College of Engineering and Technology. The program is looking to expand and recruit more students through alumni visits.
An industrial technology graduate, Ferrell often hires bioprocess engineers as the founder and president of Pharmaceutical Calibrations and Instrumentation. Since 1996, PCI has provided compliance services for the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry. With more than 200 clients, the company is based in Raleigh with seven satellite offices across the country.
“We’ve grown tremendously in the last 10 years, which mirrors our industry,” Ferrell said. “While overall enrollment at ECU has grown, this concentration has remained the same.”
Originally from Wilson, Ferrell was accepted to multiple universities in North Carolina, but ECU “felt like home,” he said. ECU prepared him very well for his career; in fact, the idea for his graduate school thesis eventually became his company.
“At East Carolina, you learn a lot of skill sets that will help you across the board,” Ferrell said, adding he would love to hire more bioprocess engineering graduates from ECU. “We need some more purple and gold in my office.”
Ferrell remains very active with ECU, serving on both the College of Engineering and Technology Advancement Council and the Engineering Advisory Board. He also hosts events and raises money to generously support ECU.
Click here to read more about bioprocess engineering at ECU.
By Jackie Drake