Eric Thorpe, IDEXX and Woodboogah
Eric Thorpe, process engineer at IDEXX Laboratories, is owner-operator at Woodboogah. Years at IDEXX: 5.5
Eric Thorpe had worked as a sales engineer in Boston after graduating from Wentworth Institute of Technology with a mechanical engineering degree. In that job, he was exposed to all types of engineering.
“I gained an interest in manufacturing and decided I wanted to head down that career path,” he says.
“It can be fun to work with people from so many areas on one common task.”
— Eric Thorpe
Process engineer, IDEXX
He picked IDEXX Laboratories in Westbrook because of its world-class manufacturing facility. The choice five and a half years ago to work for the veterinary and livestock products developer and manufacturer worked out well says Thorpe, 31, who is a process engineer for the company.
“Every day there is a new challenge,” he says. “It’s never the same routine day to day, and it requires you to think fast on your feet. If there is a problem in production, it is the highest priority to get it resolved ASAP. Sometimes that requires assembling groups of people from multiple different areas of the company that can include marketing, R&D, supply chain and others. It can be fun to work with people from so many areas on one common task.”
He says his experience at IDEXX makes him want to help create more engineering and jobs in Maine by continuing to work with local high school students to expose them to engineering and inspire them to follow careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).
He also has his own manufacturing company, which he started with his partner, Woodboogah, which designs, manufactures and sells cashmere knitwear. He’s working to complete his Six Sigma Black Belt certification, which would make him a master of proactive manufacturing principles meant to reduce errors and defects.
Over the years, he’s learned he doesn’t need to know the answer to every question. “You just need to know how to find the answer,” he said.
And that collaboration is a key to success. “I have found that working in cross-functional teams toward a common goal is the most effective way to solve a problem. The perspectives from people outside of your own group can vary drastically and sometimes that can be a good thing!
”He would tell young people today, “Persistence, if you have a goal take the right steps to get there and understand that when one door closes another one opens.” ■