Packaging Program Wins International Competitions, Scholarships


Pack Solutions Win SmallThis fall, Cal Poly’s Packaging Program brought home a number of student competition wins and scholarships from major industry organizations. The streak of success began as two Cal Poly student teams taking first place in competitions at the PACKEXPO conference, held Sept. 28-30 in Las Vegas.

One team of students took first place in the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute’s (PMMI) annual PACK Solutions Challenge after presenting its proposal for a pharmaceutical packaging line to a panel of industry experts. The team included industrial technology and packaging seniors Nick Abbatelli (San Jose), Rebecca Kisch (Paso Robles), Jeff Norton (Emerald Hills) and Patrick Salibi (Felton). The students will share a $4,000 scholarship for their first-place finish. The group’s poster presentation also earned the People’s Choice Award during the conference.

This is the first time Cal Poly has won first place in the PMMI competition. The students came together outside of class during the summer to work on the PMMI project. Under the guidance of Cal Poly Professor Ajay Kathuria, the students developed an end-to-end packaging line solution for a water-sensitive product that incorporated federal regulations, efficiency and economic viability.

Cal Poly Paperboard Packaging Win Sept 15Another team of Cal Poly students at the PACKEXPO conference took first place at the Paperboard Packaging Alliance (PPA) Student Design Challenge, which challenged university teams from across the U.S. and Canada to create limited edition, innovative toy packaging that could also be reused as an interactive structure with the toy. Cal Poly’s team came first out of 53 entries with a Star Wars light saber toy that extended and collapsed from the handle.

The team included four students from Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business: business administration majors Alyssa Harben (Auburn) and Griffin Meinken (Windsor), economics major Michael Udinski (Pleasanton), and industrial technology major Austin Turner (Atherton). The group was awarded $5,000 in cash, along with a $5,000 gift to Cal Poly’s Packaging Program to improve student labs.

Another team of Cal Poly students earned an honorable mention in the PPA competition for their packaging design for a Lego Movie board game. The team included industrial technology majors Catlin Khamashta and Jonathan Molnar, business administration majors Josephina Ma, Jennifer Block and Trevor Smith, and art and design major Doug Huynh.

Cal Poly students developed their projects as part of an IT 408: Paper and Paperboard Packaging course taught by Javier de la Fuente, an assistant professor of packaging. Winners were chosen by a team of paperboard packaging industry professionals who rated submissions based on their response to the competition scenario, innovative structural and graphic design, functionality, and quality of the finished product.

“This is the second time Cal Poly has taken the top spot in this challenge, facing very stiff competition,” says Javier de la Fuente, an assistant professor of packaging. “These projects really show the synergy between marketing and packaging, and I’m incredibly proud of all of our projects.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 5.37.03 PMThe Cal Poly Packaging Program was also recognized for its overall success by PMMI’s Packaging World magazine. It selected the program as the recipient of a $5,000 2016 Future Leaders in Packaging Scholarship. The prize was awarded to David Karditzas and Katherine Exum, two outstanding students in Cal Poly’s Packaging Program, to offset tuition or other education-related expenses for the 2016-2017 academic year.

“Hats off to Cal Poly on being selected as the recipient of this 2016 scholarship,” says Joe Angel, Publisher of Packaging World and President of PMMI Media Group, of which Packaging World is a part. “We’re big believers in the importance of educating the next generation of packaging professionals. We are indeed honored to recognize Cal Poly’s contributions.”

For more information on Cal Poly’s Packaging Program, visit the Orfalea College of Business website.

Cal Poly Students’ Packaging Line Design Wins National Competition


Pack Solutions Win SmallA team of Cal Poly students took first place in the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute’s (PMMI) annual PACK Solutions Challenge held Sept. 28-30 in Las Vegas.

Cal Poly’s team won the competition after presenting its proposal for a pharmaceutical packaging line to a panel of industry experts at PACKEXPO.

The PACK Solutions Challenge asked partner schools across the nation to create proposals for a dedicated production line to package and ship a fictional fast-dissolve, over-the-counter pharmaceutical product.

Cal Poly’s team included industrial technology and packaging seniors Nick Abbatelli (San Jose), Rebecca Kisch (Paso Robles), Jeff Norton (Emerald Hills) and Patrick Salibi (Felton). They will share a $4,000 scholarship for their first-place finish. Cal Poly’s team topped entries from seven other schools, including Michigan State and Rutgers University. The group’s poster presentation also earned the People’s Choice Award during the conference.

This is the first time Cal Poly has won the competition. The students came together outside of class during the summer to work on the PMMI project. Under the guidance of Cal Poly Professor Ajay Kathuria, the students developed an end-to-end packaging line solution for a water-sensitive product that incorporated federal regulations, efficiency and economic viability.

The team won the competition because of its hands-on approach, sound technical understanding, hard work, and good communication skills.

For more information about the PACK Solutions Challenge and the PMMI, also known as the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, visit www.pmmi.org.

Pictured (L to R): Jeff Norton, Patrick Salibi, Professor Professor Ajay Kathuria, Rebecca Kisch, Nick Abbatelli and Marc Ostertag, President of competition sponsor B&R Industrial Automation.

Cal Poly Students Win Paperboard Packaging Alliance Student Design Challenge


A team of Cal Poly students took first place at the Paperboard Packaging Alliance (PPA) Student Design Challenge. Cal Poly’s team won the competition after presenting its design to a panel of industry experts at PACKEXPO, held Sept. 28-30 in Las Vegas.

PPA challenged university teams from across the U.S. and Canada to create limited-edition, innovative toy packaging that could also be reused as an interactive structure with the toy. Cal Poly’s winning team came first out of 53 entries with a Star Wars light saber toy that extended and collapsed from the handle. The team also carefully considered price point, the target audience and efficient material usage in their marketing plan for the product.

The team included four students from Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business: business administration majors Alyssa Harben (Auburn) and Griffin Meinken (Windsor), economics major Michael Udinski (Pleasanton), and industrial technology major Austin Turner (Atherton). The team was awarded $5,000 in cash, along with a $5,000 gift to Cal Poly’s Packaging Program to improve student labs.

Cal Poly students developed their projects as part of an IT 408: Paper and Paperboard Packaging course taught by Javier de la Fuente, an assistant professor of packaging.

“This is the first time Cal Poly has taken the top spot in this challenge, facing very stiff competition,” de la Fuente said. “These projects really show the synergy between marketing and packaging, and I’m incredibly proud of all of our projects.”

Another team of Cal Poly students earned an honorable mention in the competition for their packaging design for a Lego Movie board game. The team included industrial technology majors Catlin Khamashta (Jackson) and Jonathan Molnar (San Diego), business administration majors Josephina Ma (Carson), Jennifer Block (La Jolla) and Trevor Smith (Orange), and art and design major Doug Huynh (San Jose).

Winners were chosen by a team of paperboard packaging industry professionals who rated submissions based on their response to the competition scenario, innovative structural and graphic design, functionality, and quality of the finished product.

For more information about the PPA Student Design Challenge, visit paperboardpackaging.org.

Pictured: Griffin Meinken, Michael Udinski, Professor Javier de la Fuente, Alyssa Harben and Austin Turner at the PPA Student Design Challenge.

Industry Experts Join Cal Poly’s Packaging Advisory Board


pack_img4 smallCal Poly recently added five experts to its Packaging Advisory Board from the healthcare, food and beverage, marketing, and technology industries. Board members, including many Cal Poly alumni, counsel packaging faculty in the Orfalea College of Business as they develop curriculum and help promote the program throughout the nation.

Paul Marchetti, who graduated Cal Poly with a degree in Industrial Technology and a minor in Packaging in 2012, represents Amazon Lab 126 on the Packaging Advisory Board. He focuses on consumer electronic device packaging, on-demand labeling, and other supply chain related challenges. Marchetti also sits on the Institute of Packaging Professionals Golden Gate Chapter board.

Sean Frisby, a Cal Poly alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness and an MBA from Pepperdine, brings his marketing background to the board. Frisby has led brands like Ranir, Eurofresh and NatureSweet across his 20-year career in consumer packaged goods. Sean has launched over 1,200 products and holds a patent for a combined food storage and display container.

Henry Castillo, a Cal Poly Industrial Technology alum with a minor in packaging, represents Niagara Bottling beverage company. As a packaging engineer at Niagara, Castillo focuses on packaging optimization and product development. Today, he leads design and implementation of the company’s products and packaging facilities across North America.

Anthony Bantug, who earned degrees at San Jose State University and Michigan State University, brings more than 15 years of packaging experience Cal Poly’s Packaging Advisory Board. He has spent three years at Amgen as a principal engineer for packaging and labeling. Bantug is also involved in sterile packaging design and validation for biological and pharmaceutical products.

Marc Bevilacqua, a CSU Long Beach alumnus, also joins the board. Bevilacqua is the vice president for global packaging at OIA Global, a third-party logistics provider in more than 75 countries. He helps OIA provide resources, material management programs, and supply chain management to manufacturing plants.

These new board members join a cohort of 25 advisory board members who guide Cal Poly’s Packaging Program. For more than 20 years, the board has helped the program grow to one of the strongest undergraduate programs in the nation. Cal Poly’s packaging program remains the only one of its kind in the nation housed within a business school.

Cal Poly Student Teams Place High at National Packaging Design Competition


Ameristart Award Winning Designs

(Clockwise from top left) Contact Solution and Lens Case; Ergonomic Pill Bottle; EZ Pour Funnel; No Mess-Scara

Four Cal Poly student teams placed high in the recent Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) AmeriStar Packaging Awards Competition.

The teams developed consumer packaging designs for health, beauty, pharmaceutical and other products through the Orfalea College of Business Packaging Fundamentals courses.

A Cal Poly team earned second place in the student competition for its design of an all-in-one contact lens case and solution bottle. The product was designed by business administration majors Kevin Chiu of Fremont, Rachel King of Granite Bay, Elaine Cohen of San Luis Obispo, and Rachel Berman of San Diego. In the design, the contact lens case sits directly above the bottle of solution, and a one-way straw delivers the solution to the lenses by simply squeezing the bottle.

Cal Poly students Mariah Barnum, a business administration major from Loomis; Tyler Beaty, a business administration major from San Diego; Arek Boloyan, an industrial technology major from El Cerrito; Scott Burbach, a business administration major from Mission Viejo; and Kathryn Cassidy, a graphic communications major from Santa Clarita, won third place for their redesign of a pill bottle that is both childproof and ergonomically designed for those with arthritis. By requiring palm strength to open, the bottle reduces stress on the wrist joint.

Two other teams from Cal Poly earned honorable mentions. Taylor Crump, a journalism major from Elk Grove, Rachel Day, a graphic communications major from Bonsall (San Diego County), Galen Dresser, a business administration major from San Luis Obispo, Sean Gorman, an industrial technology major from Atascadero, and Jonathan Han, an industrial technology major from Napa, developed the No-Mess-Scara, a flexible mascara bottle and wand that prevents clumps. Business students Aline Schmitz of Carlsbad, Jordan Sligh of Atascadero, Stephen Smail of Copperopolis (Calaveras County), Devadasi Stuart of San Luis Obispo, and Blake Tillery of McMinnville, Ore., also earned honorable mention for the EZ Pour Funnel, a sleeve-style plastic funnel built into the packaging of a standard motor oil bottle.

Cal Poly packaging Professors Javier de la Fuente and Koushik Saha advised the student teams throughout the year on their projects.