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Students SBIO at Gobblerfest 2013

Why Packaging Science?

Short answer – great career opportunities in a field where you can make a difference.

Want to make a difference in the world?  Packaging is used for nearly every product and there is a huge effort to make packaging more “green.”  New products are being developed that are based on renewable materials that biodegrade so they do not take up space in landfills.  Packaging professionals make “smart” packaging that, for example, senses when food products go stale (or when pharmaceuticals are past expiration) and then provides a warning. Other packaging professionals are helping to reduce hunger in the world by developing packaging systems that get food and medicine to people in need.  You can be a part of these and other efforts.

Where are packaging systems used?  Just about everywhere - for food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, automobile, and electronics. Large and small companies in these fields need well-educated people to design and produce creative packaging materials to transport and protect products from damage, to market those products to the public, and ultimately to allow the packaging material to be re-used or recycled. 

Image of Lab experiment

The Packaging Science program at Virginia Tech is one of the most unique packaging programs in the United States that focuses on systematic packaging design throughout the curriculum.


Who should enroll?

Students who are interested in

  • the environment and would like to learn how you can help to reduce the waste on the landfills
  • sustainability and you would like to be the one who makes a difference globally
  • design, graphics, and how graphical design influences the customer perception
  • engineering and would like to learn about how to apply the principles of dynamics and mechanics to protect the product throughout the distribution chain
  • food chemistry and would like to know why the apple sauce does not go bad on the self without using any preservatives
  • nanotechnology and polymers and would like to know how the NASA develops packaging to preserve food for the astronauts
  • international business and marketing and would like to work in a global industry


Hands-on and Real Life Experience

The program has a strong focus on hands-on experience with the incorporation of laboratories into most of our courses. 

Internships are highly encouraged for all students and are a great learning opportunity. They  allow students to develop their professional skills, expand their real world experience, and develop industry contacts. We work with packaging companies to provide internship and permanent employment opportunities for our students. Internships opportunities are available with food packaging, corrugated packaging, packaging graphics, and various plastic packaging companies. Our in-house industry outreach center, the Center for Unit Load Design, provides our students with a unique opportunity for hands on real life learning experience.

Small Class Sizes = Personal Connection

Our small class sizes provide extensive interaction between instructors and students. Collaborative team projects are a vital part of every course. Since communication skills are essential in every industry, the packaging science program provides numerous opportunities for every student to advance their presentation and public speaking skills.

Up-to-date Curriculum

By working closely with members of the packaging industry, the packaging faculty frequently modify courses to include the most current technical knowledge to ensure that students graduate with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.



Contact us at Sustainable Biomaterials (540) 231-8853 or (540) 231-7107 or contact one of our packaging faculty members.



Sustainable Biomaterials

230 Cheatham Hall

(540) 231-8853

Brooks Center

1650 Research Center Dr.

(540) 231-7107