Elliot Ferrell Carretey

Photo by John Eisele/CSU Photography

Outstanding Grad: Elliot Ferrell-Carretey
Walter Scott Jr., College of Engineering

story by Haley Candelario
published May 8, 2023

From El Salvador to Ecuador and all the way back to Colorado, Elliot Ferrell-Carretey has worked to make a difference across the world during his time at CSU.

Before attending CSU, Ferrell-Carretey, who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in chemical and biological engineering, started at Fort Lewis College. While completing some general engineering courses there, he developed an interest in designing wastewater treatment systems and joined Engineers Without Borders.

But Ferrell-Carretey wanted to have more research opportunities and have the chance to minor in chemistry, which were not available at Fort Lewis College. He decided to transfer to CSU in Fall 2021 because he felt the chemical and biological engineering program aligned more with his research interests.

Ferrell-Carretey said the transition to a large school like CSU was a challenge for him, coming from Fort Lewis College’s smaller engineering program. He also started his semester late as he worked on a project in Ecuador for Engineers Without Borders. Once he got to CSU, he jumped into his coursework, which included taking sophomore- and junior-level courses while the campus still operated under COVID-19 protocols.

“I think the hardest transition was learning that flipped classroom style,” Ferrell-Carretey said. “I had never done that before. All my classes before had been in person, small (and) very personal. Having online classes and then going to lecture for additional content was a very hard transition for me.”

Despite the challenges, Ferrell-Carretey was able to take advantage of opportunities he had at Fort Lewis College and the opportunities provided by CSU.

“For my second semester, I wanted to start getting involved, so I found Rams Without Borders. I let them know I had some experience, and then a week later, I went with them to El Salvador,” Ferrell-Carretey said. “I came back as the project lead for that, and then I led a trip down there in January 2023. When I came back from that trip, I became the president of Rams Without Borders for this semester.”

Elliot Carretey Sketch

“I wanted to start getting involved, so I found Rams Without Borders. I let them know I had some experience, and then a week later, I went with them to El Salvador.”

—Elliot Ferrell-Carretey

In his final year, Ferrell-Carretey was able to begin his senior project, which focused on designing a desalination system in Mexico. The project involved developing technology that uses electroflocculation to supply water for a community that would not have means to fresh water otherwise because of its proximity to the coastline.

Ferrell-Carretey’s most satisfying experience at CSU has been his work with Engineers Without Borders, which he led as president during his final year of his undergraduate career.

“It’s been super nice and rewarding,” Ferrell-Carretey said. “We ended last semester with seven members at our meetings, and now we have 30 members at our meetings. We’ve added two more projects, and we’ve just built up a good team.”

Along with his involvement in Engineers Without Borders, Ferrell-Carretey took advantage of other student opportunities available at the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, such as providing student insight for faculty candidates, working at the Engineering Success Center and serving as a peer mentor for first-year students.

After graduating with his undergraduate degree, Ferrell-Carretey will return to CSU to pursue graduate studies in the chemical and biological engineering program, conducting research around developing an algae biosensor under advisement from Professor Ken Reardon. He plans to stay involved with Engineers Without Borders as a graduate advisor and as a graduate advisor for his senior design project.

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outstanding grads

The Class of 2023 represents the very best of Colorado State University, showing courage in the face of adversity in the pursuit of their degrees. Read more stories of some of the outstanding students who are graduating this fall. read more