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Alum Odio named as 2018 DEA

Photo of Carlos Odio
Dean Mung Chiang (l) presents the DEA
to Carlos Odio (r)
Photo of Odio speech
Odio gives an acceptance speech
Photo of Odio and students
Odio meets with IE students
The College of Engineering honored its 2018 Distinguished Engineering Alumni/Alumnae during an award ceremony last month (Feb. 22). IE alumnus Carlos E. Odio (BSIE 1965, BSCE 1965) was one of 13 honorees were selected for their engagement in engineering work and recognized from a range of disciplines.
Odio's solutions have enhanced the lives of thousands in his home country of Costa Rica. Odio says problem-solving was among the most worthwhile of the skills he gained as a Purdue student, by "starting with a clear identification of the problem, followed by an analysis of the possible solutions and their impact in the overall picture."  
In the 1980s, Odio was keenly aware that coffee production had yielded economic, social and political stability to his home country. At the time, he asked himself what he could do for the sections of Costa Rica at lower altitudes where coffee would not grow. His problem-solving answer was citrus.
Odio co-founded TicoFrut in San Jose, Costa Rica, in 1987 and served as president and CEO until 2014. The success of TicoFrut has meant significant economic progress for Costa Rican lowland farmers and their families. TicoFrut also built 11 computer centers that provided Internet access in the areas surrounding its groves. TicoFrut also collaborated with the Nicaraguan government and its citrus farmers to establish orange plantations, a project resulting in a 17,500-acre orange grove in Nicaragua.
While on campus for the DEA Award Banquet, Odio spent time with IE students at an Alum Breakout Session, talking about his career and answering their questions.