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Retired chemical engineer Charles R. Picek, ’44 BS, graduated from Johns Hopkins University with his degree in Chemical Engineering. He spent 50 years as a chemical engineer, specializing in petrochemical, fertilizer, pharmaceutical and environmental process engineering.


Picek held positions as the Vice President of Engineering for Cuno Engineering Co. and served as President of the CRP Consulting Group. Among his career accomplishments are several patents on filters and processes for groundbreaking work in water purification and in situ serum sterilization.

A process that Picek is well-known for is his method of filtering the “snot” out of bourbon! When bourbon is chilled, the aldehyde colloids cause residue to build up in the bottle. However, his idea to pre-cool bourbon to filter it below 33 degrees solved that problem. His process is still used in distilleries today.

Presently, Picek is enjoying a comfortable retirement in Florida, where he spends a lot of his free time fishing.

Adapted from an article in ChemBE Bond, 2011