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Packaging students engage with local industry

Oct. 20, 2015 –  

By John Boulding


Packaging students and Unit Load Design Corning plant, Christiansburg, Virginia. From left, Matthew Baker (Ph.D. candidate), interns Landon Holbert, Bradley Sisson, Teddy Polk, and William Bagby; Samantha Phanthanousy (Master’s student), Laszlo Horvath, John Bouldin, and Tyler Matusevich (Master’s student).

The Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design (CPULD) is an integral part of the Packaging Systems and Design major and the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials at Virginia tech. The CPULD laboratory conducts packaging and unit load testing and simulations for industrial clients from around the world. Undergraduate student interns are the main driving force behind our daily operations. Under the leadership of faculty and graduate students, these interns not only learn testing and research skills but also earn the Certified Packaging Laboratory professional designation from the international safe transit association. Most interns go on to participate in industry internships before graduation. These skills and accomplishments help them to successfully compete in and contribute to the future of the packaging industry. This year’s interns are Landon Holbert, Bradley Sisson, Teddy Polk, and William Bagby.

One of the goals adopted by CPULD is to meet with local businesses to enhance awareness of our program, establish working relation- ships, and to encourage the hiring of our students for internships and full-time employment. During the months of July and August, students and faculty were invited to visit two firms in Christiansburg; the Corning Plant on North Franklin St. (hosted by Mr. Wes Jarrell), and Hubbell Lighting on Electric Way (hosted by Mr. Rick Mayer). We are grateful to these companies for treating our group to presentations on their company histories and product offerings, and tours of their facilities including manufacturing, warehousing, packaging, and distribution operations.

These opportunities enabled our students to observe first-hand how the concepts learned in the classroom are actually applied in the field. In addition, students could observe how the packaging and distribution tests conducted in the lab relate to the conditions experienced by packages and unit loads in the real world.



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