Exciting Project Brings Engineer Home to the State He Loves
by Catherine Zacchi
BELLE, W.Va. -- As a child growing up in Charleston, Glenn Anderson loved tinkering with mechanical gadgets. He and his brother drove motorized go-carts down neighborhood streets and in the deserted parking lot behind Stonewall Jackson High School. As a teen, he got a job fixing bikes in a local shop.
Today, he is part of the team engineering and constructing a new production plant for Kureha PGA LLC at the DuPont site in Belle. Kureha is investing more than $100 million to build the plant dedicated to the production of polyglycolic acid (PGA). When the plant is completed, he will serve as reliability manager, responsible for keeping the plant running safely and smoothly.Anderson credits his father for pointing him toward his present career.
As a teenager, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with life. His father recognized his youngest son’s mechanical aptitude and offered him the opportunity to go to college and study engineering.
Anderson enrolled at what is now West Virginia University Institute of Technology. In 1980, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering—and a new bride, the former Linda Fish.
“As a summer job, my college roommate was a whitewater rafting guide,” Anderson said. “He had access to a retired raft and would lead us on trips down the New River. It was great fun. Later, Linda and I brought the kids back to West Virginia to let them experience the thrill and excitement for themselves.”
After graduating, Anderson worked for a chemical company near Wheeling. A chance for advancement took him to South Carolina in 1990 and to North Carolina in 1995.
“With my father, a sister and brother still living in Charleston, and my wife’s parents still living in the upper Kanawha Valley, we have returned to West Virginia often,” Anderson said. “The visits, especially those at the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, were focused on seeing family. We did find opportunities to fit in some West Virginia skiing with the kids, too.”
While in North Carolina, Anderson heard that a chemical industry colleague, Tom Provost, was leaving to become manager for Kureha’s new plant that would use breakthrough technology to cost-effectively produce PGA in commercially-viable volumes.
What already sounded like an intriguing prospect became irresistible when Anderson heard the new plant would be located in his home state of West Virginia. When Kureha began looking for engineers, he applied.
“Kureha PGA is a very exciting project, an opportunity to work with some great people—and a chance to go back home to West Virginia,” Anderson said.