By Laszlo Horvath

Students SBIO
The center for packaging and Unit Load design at Virginia tech started its competitive Sustainable Packaging Designer Trainee (SPDT) program in 2012. Since then every year, four undergraduate students from Virginia Tech’s Packaging Systems and Design program are accepted to participate in this year-long program. during the year, the students learn how to design and conduct industrial packaging tests, how to communicate more effectively in writing and through professional oral presentation, how to manage projects more effective and how to optimize processes using the principles of Lean management. in 2014, the students also had the opportunity to par- ticipate in an industry accepted certification program administered by the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA). All of the 2014 SPDTs, Joe Dietrich (junior), Steven Brown (senior), Erica Roesel (junior), and Samantha Phanthanousy (senior), successfully passed the certification and became ISTA Certified Laboratory Technicians. In addition, to the certification, the board of ISTA awarded a $500 scholarship to each of the students. In April 2015, the students had a chance to represent Virginia Tech’s packaging program at the 2015 ISTA Transpack meeting.