Jared Trefz is a senior in biological engineering, minoring in biomedical engineering, with a planned graduation date of spring semester 2020. He is also the president of the Society for Industrial Biotechnology. Like many students, he had some difficulty finding his path to the right major.
Jared Trefz is a seventh semester senior in biological engineering, minoring in biomedical engineering, with a planned graduation date of spring semester 2020. He is also the president of the Society for Industrial Biotechnology. Like many students, he had some difficulty finding his path to the right major.
“Originally, I wanted to go to college for zoology,” he said. “I was motivated by a strong bond with my dog that I grew up with that suffered from hip dysplasia and cancer. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of animals, and that grew into a desire and drive to make a difference for people.”
Trefz was influenced by his family of engineers. “It soon became a focus of mine to become an engineer since I had seen firsthand what a difference they make and the vigorous challenges they face from an ethical to a technical perspective,” he explained. “I originally applied for chemical engineering and eventually switched to biological engineering. I found this major aligned with my interests and incorporated the different foundations of engineering I was drawn toward.”
Trefz envisions a career within the biotechnology industry, most likely in biopharmaceuticals or biomedical devices such as neuro-prosthetics, research and development in protein therapeutics, or biomechatronic systems. “Through my experience in working in bioprocessing I’ve gained more understanding about where the different angles of this industry meet -- for example, a medical device that can be used to deliver drugs to a patient on a consistent schedule,” he said.
The Society of Industrial Biotechnology was founded in 2018 by Thomas Jaramillo, Jr. and Alyssa Innes, and serves as the focal point for Penn State’s educational, research, and outreach initiatives in industrial biotechnology. “I’m honored to work with great people on both the student and faculty side of this operation,” Trefz said. “We want to involve all kinds of students in our educational opportunities, from our shadowing program to hands-on training. The CSL Behring Fermentation Facility fosters these initiatives among undergraduates and graduate students eager to learn more and prepare for their future.”