Cal Poly

Orfalea College of Business

Javier de la Fuente

Javier de la Fuente

Industrial Technology and Packaging Area Chair

Office 03-425
Phone 805-756-1607
Fax (805) 756-6111

Associate Professor of Industrial Technology & Packaging

Javier de la Fuente

Dr. de la Fuente serves as the Chair of the Industrial Technology and Packaging Area in the Orfalea College of Business at California Polytechnic State University. He is an Associate Professor that teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on design thinking, product and packaging design and development, and healthcare packaging. Dr. de la Fuente also serves as Adjunct Faculty at Universidad de Monterrey, where he teaches product usability and innovation at the graduate level.

His student project mentoring has brought national and international recognition to the Cal Poly Packaging Program. Students in his classes have excelled at national and international packaging design competitions, including the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) AmeriStar, World Packaging Organisation (WPO) WorldStar Student, and Paperboard Packaging Alliance (PPA) Student Design Challenge. In 2019, Dr. de la Fuente, together with Professors Irene Carbonell and Mary LaPorte, earned Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing Scholar Award for their four-year collaborative pedagogical research project, Design Thinking as a Framework for Teaching Packaging Innovation.

Dr. de la Fuente’s background includes industrial design, graphic design, packaging, and scientific research. He is particularly interested in design-driven innovation, the role of affordances in usability, and inclusive design. His research group develops novel methods for using mobile eye-tracking technology in usability testing of physical products.

He has more than 40 publications, including book chapters, peer-reviewed articles, refereed conferences, and trade-press articles. He has co-authored the “Packaging Design and Development” and the “Medical Device Packaging” chapters in the last edition of the Wiley Encyclopedia of Packaging Technology. He is currently co-writing the human factors chapter of the upcoming edition of the “Medical Device Packaging Handbook.” One of his research articles won the prestigious Best Paper Award at the Cambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology organized by the Engineering Department at the University of Cambridge.

Dr. de la Fuente is also co-founder and partner at Factor IDD, a design and innovation consulting firm specializing in packaging, product design, and brand identity.

Dr. de la Fuente holds a five-year degree in Industrial Design summa cum laude from the Universidad de Buenos Aires. He received his Master and Doctorate in Packaging from Michigan State University.


  • PhD, Packaging, Field of study: Human-package interaction
    Michigan State University, 2013
  • MS, Packaging, Field of study: Universal design and child-resistant packaging
    Michigan State University, 2006
  • BID, Industrial Design, Summa cum laude
    Universidad de Buenos Aires, 1998

Professional Experience

  • Co-founder and Partner, Factor IDD, LLC
  • Research/Teaching Assistant, School of Packaging, Michigan State University
  • Industrial Designer, Grupo Estratégico de Diseño
  • Web Designer, Editum SRL
  • Computer Programmer, Best Informática

Selected Awards

  • Most Promising Research Award, IAPRI 2019, Enschede, Netherlands
  • Learn by Doing Scholar Award 2019, Completed Research, Cal Poly
  • Best Paper Award, CWUAAT’10, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Student Mentoring in Competitions

  • 2 awards: California State University Student Research Competition
  • 13 awards: WorldStar Student Design Competition
  • 17 awards: AmeriStar Student Design Competition
  • 14 awards: Paperboard Packaging Alliance Student Design Competition
  • 4 awards: 48-Hour Repack Student Packaging Design Competition

Current Courses at Cal Poly

  • ITP 326 Product Design and Development
  • ITP 408 Paper and Paperboard Packaging
  • ITP 413 Packaging Quality Assessment
  • ITP 430 Healthcare Packaging
  • ITP 485 Packaging Development
  • GSP 536 Packaging Design
  • GSP 538 Quality Evaluation of Packaged Products

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