Cal Poly Students Earn Praise in National Packaging Design Contest

Four teams of Cal Poly students earned recognition in the AmeriStar Awards Competition, a national contest sponsored by the Institute of Packaging Professionals that highlights the year’s most innovative packaging designs. Among 28 student entries from university packaging programs throughout the nation, Cal Poly students stood out with projects relating to the health and beauty, food and beverage, and electronics industries.

Susanna Hintergardt, Anita Ho, Brandon Holle, Neil Holliday and John Zeolla took second place in the contest’s student division with the “iPackage,” a coated cardboard insert that turns tablet packaging into a convenient carrying case. The insert features a tablet tilt support and compartments for accessories like charger cables and headphones.

According to the students, the iPackage’s functionality would encourage buyers to reuse the packaging instead of disposing of it. The team, comprised of Orfalea College of Business students in various majors and concentrations, was awarded a trophy and $500 at the contest’s awards banquet. The students intend to enter the iPackage in the WorldStar Competition for global packaging innovation this fall.

Three other Cal Poly student teams received an honorable mention from AmeriStar for their product designs. Jacob Garber, Taylor Severn and Wes Zimmerman designed a spherical sunflower seed container that mimics the appearance of a baseball.

The “Coat N’ Clean,” developed by Maddie Back, Dylan Burau, Mary Butcher, Kelly Harding and Andrew Morey, fuses a nail polish bottle cap with a small nail polish remover reservoir and wand for touch-ups.

Rebecca Kisch, Emily Mallet, Megan Smith and Michael Stracey were recognized for creating a waterproof, shatter-proof makeup case with customizable color options.

“This is Learn by Doing at its best,” said Koushik Saha, assistant professor in the packaging program and advisor to three of the four winning teams. “Our packaging program has cemented itself in the industry on a national and global scale because our students feel empowered to apply their skills collaboratively and solve problems right now, not just after they graduate.”

The teams developed their designs during Packaging Fundamentals courses led by Saha and Cal Poly Packaging Program Director Jay Singh. This is the second consecutive year that Cal Poly students have placed highly in the competition. In 2013, Cal Poly teams swept first and second place honors from AmeriStar’s student division.

About the Orfalea College of Business and Cal Poly
The Orfalea College of Business, one of six academic colleges at Cal Poly, is a nationally ranked, four-year, comprehensive public university in San Luis Obispo, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on the Central Coast. Cal Poly is a distinctive learning community offering academically focused students a hands-on educational experience that prepares them for today’s scientific and technical world.