Academic Profile

“Every business participates in technological change as an originator, user, or victim of technological invention and innovation. Managers who understand how they participate in the process of technological change have a powerful advantage.”
– Bruce R. Guile

What is Industrial Technology & Packaging?

The industrial technology and packaging program within the Orfalea College of Business incorporates a broad range of technical skills and business management to cultivate best-in-class industrial leaders. The collaborative, project-based classes create well-rounded problem solving graduates that would be successful and quickly functional in any industry. Students develop a strong foundation in the science, liberal arts, business and management disciplines, as well as extensive hands-on coursework in the two areas of emphasis: Industrial and Packaging technologies.

The Operations Technology encompasses:

  • General operations management
  • Supply chain management
  • Processes improvement (lean)
  • Product development

The Packaging Technology encompasses:

  • Packaging design
  • Packaging performance testing

The program operates an extensive network of industrial labs that provides students exposure to technologies as disparate product fabrication, packaging design/testing, plastic products and rapid prototyping. Reflecting the realities of 21st century business, the program incorporates substantive emphases on lean operations and sustainable packaging practices. Each student completes coursework in these topics and will have the chance to apply their classroom instruction in experiential learning opportunities, both on-campus and in the community. These emphases are in turn strengthened by faculty research and robust industry partnerships. During their experience in industrial technology and packaging at Cal Poly, students are learning-by-doing in many ways: engaging in product development projects, designing prototype packaging solutions, conducting lean manufacturing analyses, developing plans for technology commercialization and throughout, focusing on the intersection between technology, people and organizations. After graduation (usually before receiving their diplomas), they find personally and financially rewarding positions in many sectors, and in companies large and small.

Program History and Accreditation

The Industrial Technology & Packaging program at Cal Poly is an exemplar of a national movement in interdisciplinary industry-focused education that gained prominence in the early 1960′s, and which spoke to the need for managers who could address both the technical and human side of industrial innovation. Cal Poly’s program began in 1959 within the College of Engineering and has the distinction of being the second program in the US to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The Orfalea College of Business has been the home to the Industrial Technology & Packaging program since 1992.