First off, for those Biomedical Engineering (BME) rising seniors who enrolled at NC State specifically to take Dr. DiMeo's design course, I apologize. Twelve generations of BME students have taken his Senior Capstone experience to then go out into the world armed with relevant skills as medical innovators. This announcement marks the end of a chapter and the beginning of something special.
Andrew has an amazing story. His passion for design started as an 8-year old with an obsession for drawing cars. His parents took the time to send his amateur sketches to his favorite toy company, Matchbox. The gesture was returned by a designer with professional sketches, handmade models, and plans to put them on store shelves.
By the end of high school, Andrew started working as a set dresser through his family's multi-generational involvement in the NYC film industry. Though we joke about Andrew being the godfather of medical devices in North Carolina, he blew us away when he revealed that he knew the late James Gandolfini from working on the Sopranos, and that his family name is credited at the top of the fictional crime family.
While learning film production in the city, Andrew attempted to pursue an engineering degree at Stevens Tech in Hoboken NJ with the goal of fulfilling his childhood dream of being a car designer. His life was torn between two worlds of film production and calculus classes, separated only by the Hudson River. In an effort to find peace between these worlds of art and engineering, Andrew set off on a Harley Davidson. The journey started in the summer of '93, took him from Maine to Key West, a Physics degree, creative writing minor, and secondary education training at UNC Charlotte, and ultimately to Chapel Hill where he started studying Biomedical Engineering.
Upon graduating from UNC, Andrew joined Alaris Medical Systems to help manage and launch five devices. Dr. DiMeo then became a founding member of Gilero Biomedical as VP of Business Development, serving for two years to help grow the company. He parted ways in 2004 upon discovering an opportunity to shape how the state of North Carolina understands the medical device market through founding the North Carolina Medical Device Organization, which attracted board membership of 20+ business leaders of medical device companies and built a community of 250+ organizations across the state. Andrew's selfless mission to transform North Carolina leaders and policymakers brought a spotlight on the medical device community and economic development opportunities that continues to shine today.
In 2006, Andrew began his teaching career in the UNC & NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering where he rose to the rank of Associate Professor of Practice. Andrew embodied the NC State University values of Think and Do by providing his students with a unique immersion into clinical settings and industry regulations while identifying problems and creating meaningful solutions. His course included a process of innovation, professional speakers and mentors, and an entrepreneurial family culture. Several of his students' work went beyond pedagogy and became start-ups, including Novocor Medical Systems, 410 Medical, and MEDIC.
Andrew is an industrial designer at heart, having long embraced the Design Thinking principles in his teaching practice. What started off as an 8 year old boy drawing cars, to dressing sets in Silvercup Studios, to contributing to the Biodesign book, evolves today at Trig. And to those rising seniors studying Biomedical Engineering at NC State, Andrew promises to come visit and see the latest team presentations.