Cal Poly Packaging and Design Students Stand Out Among the World’s Best at Global Competition


Teams of Cal Poly packaging, business, and design students received two of the top three awards at the 2017 World Packaging Organisation (WPO) WorldStar International Packaging Design Student Competition that featured innovative package designs from university students from more than two dozen nations.

In addition, two other Cal Poly teams received WorldStar Student Certificates of Merit given to the next 10 highest scoring entries.

The Cal Poly students were honored for designing creative, functional and eye-catching packaging systems for food, healthcare and sports products. The interdisciplinary teams combined industrial technology and packaging students with art and design students to develop a physical prototype of their product complete with branded graphics.

The university’s highest scoring entries were named as WorldStar Student Winners.

The Cal Poly team behind “SticKit,” a two-in-one packaging system to dispense disposable syringes and safely store the empties, was among the top three entries. A pull tab on the bottom of the package dispenses boxed syringes; a hinged-lid on the top of the container can be opened and locked for safe syringe disposal. A plastic divider separates compartments, moving down with gravity as syringes are dispensed until it finally closes the container when all the cartons have been consumed. The entry was designed by industrial technology and packaging students Paul Woodman (Atascadero, Calif.) and Michael Lowe (Pleasanton, Calif.), graphic communications student Dana Shell (San Ramon, Calif.), and art and design students Gina Agapito (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Ashley Vong (San Jose, Calif.).

The other top award went to the team behind “Tea Stems,” an innovative way to package tea. The tea leaves are placed at the end of a cassava starch-based, compostable, stick that makes it easy to stir the tea in the drink without using any utensils. The stems are packaged within a die-cut paperboard folding carton that “blooms” when the box is opened. The package was designed by industrial technology and packaging students Brendan Smyth (San Jose, Calif.), Simeon Comanescu (Pleasanton, Calif.) and Ryan Marrs (San Luis Obispo, Calif.), and art and design students Alexandra Rosado (San Francisco, Calif.) and Lucia Astiazaran (Valencia, Calif.).

Cal Poly’s Student Certificates of Merit honorees included:

“Vera Cruz,” a packaging system for surf wax that integrates a wax comb, a shell that minimizes sun exposure of the wax and a magnetic feature to store a surfer’s car keys. The design is made of injection-molded compostable PaperFoam. Its unique triangular shape offers an ergonomic grip. The dispensing mechanism was inspired by ChapStick packaging, which can contain and reshape a melted product. The package was designed by industrial technology and packaging students Brooke Billmeyer (Solana Beach, Calif.), Grant Badstubner (Danville, Calif.), and Sai Domanico (Hillsborough, Calif) with art and design students Daniel Blenkinship (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) and Zach Baker (Rocklin, Calif.).

“La Habra” houses avocado oil in a recyclable plastic pouch encased by two molded-fiber shells. The package’s shape was inspired by the shape of an avocado. A pour spout with a drip return prevents the oil from spilling on the package. The product was designed by industrial technology and packaging students Katie Exum (Torrance, Calif.), Michael Moorehead (Walnut Creek, Calif.) and Patrick McCaffrey (Irvine, Calif.), and art and design students Jessica Ferguson (San Jose, Calif.) and Deric Shindledecker (Temecula, Calif.).

The competition considered hundreds of packaging design submissions, including structural design and/or graphic design projects, from award-winning undergraduate and graduate student teams from countries around the world including Brazil, China, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand Korea, Oman, Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, South Africa, Germany, Poland, and the United Kingdom. Cal Poly’s teams were entered into the global competition after sweeping the top four awards at the 2017 Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) Ameristar Student Packaging Competition for the second consecutive year.

The student projects were developed in Professor Javier de la Fuente’s IT 435: Packaging Development class and Professor Mary LaPorte’s ART 437: Graphic Design III class. Professors de la Fuente and LaPorte served as student advisors.

For more information about this year’s teams, visit WPO’s website at http://www.worldpackaging.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3294.

Cal Poly Teams Place in National Student Packaging Design


Four interdisciplinary Cal Poly student teams were among the top award winners at the Paperboard Packaging Alliance 2017 Student Design Challenge, announced at PackExpo, an annual packaging industry conference held in Las Vegas on Sept. 25-27.

The 14th annual competition, which is open to universities throughout North America, seeks to foster awareness and appreciation of paperboard packaging among educators and the next generation of packaging design decision-makers.

Students had to design interactive packaging for wearable fitness trackers that allows a consumer to try on the wristband and later reuse it to store the device. More than 60 student teams from 14 universities across the U.S. — including Clemson, Indiana, Michigan State, Rutgers, Rochester Institute of Technology, San Jose State and University of Wisconsin — submitted entries.

Cal Poly students from a variety of majors developed their entries as Learn by Doing projects during a series of packaging and design courses taught earlier this year.

Moov Now PillowThe university’s top entry earned second place for the “Moov Now” product, which featured 100-percent compostable and recyclable materials. The design was considered innovative for the product category because it used part of the packaging as a carrying case. The manufacturing process also employed efficient die lines that reduced material scrap. The design was created by industrial technology and packaging students Nicolas Le (San Jose) and Konstantine Marowitz (Culver City), business administration student Julia McKeag (San Rafael), and Cody Mindling (Santa Cruz), who is studying art and graphic design. The group was advised by packaging Professor Javier de la Fuente, packaging lecturer Irene Carbonell and art and design Professor Mary LaPorte.

Moov NowA second Cal Poly team’s design for the “Moov Now” product earned one of the two runners-up awards. The entry was the work of industrial technology and packaging majors Macintyre Peek (San Marcos) and Adrian Rico (San Luis Obispo), art and graphic design student Paul Guzman (Bay Area) and graphic communication major Amanda Ornelas (Torrance). de la Fuente, Carbonell and LaPorte advised the group.

Cal Poly projects also received two of the judge’s seven “shout out” honors.

“ReCord” was created by industrial technology and packaging student David Dixon (Novato), graphic communication student Jacob “JB” Berkowitz (San Luis Obispo), Recordart and graphic design student Jordon Gonzales (Pismo Beach) and Peter Jensch (Healdsburg), who is studying business administration. Faculty advisors included de la Fuente, Carbonell and LaPorte.

The “TriFit” package was created by graphic communication students Michaela Purcilly (San Luis Obispo), Leah Gilchrist (Santa Ana) and Hanna Crowley (South Pasadena) with industrial technology and packaging major Karan Singh (Los Angeles). The group was advised by graphic communication Associate Professor Collen Twomey.

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 the quality of the finished product. TriFitThe second-place team received a $3,000 to share among team members, and Cal Poly also received $3,000.

Cal Poly has placed highly in the competition since 2015 when student teams took first place. According to faculty, the teams’ interdisciplinary approach that fuses package design and branding has been key to a string of recent success in national competitions.

For more information on the competition and a full list of winners, visit http://www.paperboardpackaging.org/university-features/2017-sdc-winners-and-entries.

Cal Poly to Launch Online Professional Certificate Program in Packaging


Photo of a coworkers working in printing factory

Cal Poly’s Packaging Program will soon offer courses and certificates aimed specifically at packaging industry professionals that will feature interactive coursework on the critical subsets of the packaging value proposition in a global context.

Each nine-unit certificate program will take three to six months to complete, although individual courses can be taken.

Courses for the Packaging for Logistics and Supply Chains Certificate will launch in Fall 2017. The program will explore the impact of commoditization of packaging on its value proposition through global distribution, logistics and supply channel operations.

Packaging Value Chain Certificate courses will be offered in Fall 2017 and Winter 2018. Courses will provide an introduction to the value proposition in the global packaging industry, essential codes of practice as well as marketing and sales concepts.

Packaging Program Director and Professor Jay Singh said classes taken through the certificate program are also transferrable into Cal Poly’s M.S. Packaging Value Chain program, which will launch in the fall of 2018. The master’s program will also be offered exclusively online.

“The dynamic and engaging online curriculum will promote transference of learning to the workplace while providing professionals opportunities to assume leadership roles and advance their careers,” he said. Cal Poly also has plans to offer other specialized certificates in packaging design, analytics and marketing for professionals working across the nation and around the world, Singh said.

Applications for both certificate programs are open to those who have completed a bachelor’s degree in packaging or a related field from an accredited college or university with a 2.5 GPA. Applications also require a résumé, official transcript of coursework and a statement of purpose. The deadline for applications for the certificate programs are two weeks before the first course begins.

For more information on Cal Poly’s packaging certificates and the application process, visit the Orfalea College of Business Graduate Programs website at http://bit.ly/2tbyphU.

Cal Poly Packaging and Design Students Earn National Awards at 2017 Ameristar Student Packaging Competition


For the second consecutive year, four teams of Cal Poly students took first-, second- and third-place awards and an honorable mention in the 2017 Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) Ameristar Student Packaging Competition.

Interdisciplinary teams combined industrial technology and packaging students with art and design students to create packaging solutions for a variety of consumer needs. Each team developed a physical prototype of their product complete with branded graphics.

Industry experts judged entries on environmental impact, marketing, product protection and economics. Award-winning teams will be honored at the PackExpo industry conference in November. Top entries will also represent the United States in a global design competition, the WorldStar Student Awards, hosted by the World Packaging Organisation.

Organizers called these honorees “tomorrow’s packaging leaders.”

Cal Poly’s first-place award was given to “Tea Stems,” a convenient alternative to tea bags. The tea stem is a cylindrical wooden dowel attached to a polymer mesh material filled with tea leaves functioning as a tea bag and stirring stick. The stems are packaged within a die-cut paperboard folding carton that “blooms” when the box is opened. The package was designed by industrial technology and packaging students Brendan Smyth (San Jose, Calif.), Simeon Comanescu (Pleasanton, Calif.) and Ryan Marrs (San Luis Obispo, Calif.), and art and design students Alexandra Rosado (San Francisco, Calif.) and Lucia Astiazaran (Valencia, Calif.).

SticKitSecond place went to SticKit, a two-in-one packaging system that dispenses insulin syringes and safely houses used syringes. A pull tab on the bottom of the secondary container dispenses a boxed syringe while a flap on the top of the container can be opened and locked for safe syringe disposal. A durable plastic divider separates the compartments, moving down with gravity as syringes are dispensed. The entry was designed by industrial technology and packaging students Paul Woodman (Atascadero, Calif.) and Michael Lowe (Pleasanton, Calif.), graphic communications student Dana Shell (San Ramon, Calif.), and art and design students Gina Agapito (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Ashley Vong (San Jose, Calif.).

Vera Cruz Surf WaxVera Cruz Surf Wax earned the third-place award. The packaging integrates a wax comb, a protective shell to minimize sun exposure of the wax and a discrete compartment to store the user’s car keys. The design is made of injection-molded compostable PaperFoam. Its unique triangular shape offers an ergonomic grip. The dispensing mechanism was inspired by chap stick packaging, which can contain and reshape a melted product. The package was designed by industrial technology and packaging students Brooke Billmeyer (Solana Beach, Calif.), Grant Badstubner (Danville, Calif.), and Sai Domanico (Hillsborough, Calif) with art and design students Daniel Blenkinship (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) and Zach Baker (Rocklin, Calif.).

La Habra Avocado OilLa Habra Avocado oil earned an honorable mention. The oil is housed in a recyclable plastic pouch encased by two paper pulp shells molded in the shape of an avocado. A pour spout with a drip return prevents the oil from spilling on the package. The product was designed by industrial technology and packaging students Katie Exum (Torrance, Calif.), Michael Moorehead (Walnut Creek, Calif.) and Patrick McCaffrey (Irvine, Calif.), and art and design students Jessica Ferguson (San Jose, Calif.) and Deric Shindledecker (Temecula, Calif.).

The student projects were developed in Professor Javier de la Fuente’s IT 435: Packaging Development class and Professor Mary LaPorte’s ART 437: Graphic Design III class. De la Fuente and LaPorte served as student advisors.

For more information about this year’s teams, visit IoPP’s website at https://www.iopp.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageID=4335.

Cal Poly Announces a Director of New Packaging Value Chain Center


Brent MoorePackaging industry veteran Brent Moore will lead Cal Poly’s newly approved Packaging Value Chain Center, the university’s Packaging Program announced.

Moore has more than 20 years of experience in packaging-related research and development, and supply chain management. In his role as the administrative director, he will lead fundraising efforts for the center while building relationships with industry partners to enhance the educational and research opportunities for packaging students. Moore will start at Cal Poly on June 26.

“Brent’s incredible experiences as a leader in the packaging industry make him perfectly suited to provide guidance and strategic management for the Cal Poly Packaging Value Chain Center,” said Professor Jay Singh, director of Cal Poly’s Packaging Program. “His industry expertise and passion for packaging will help us radically enhance our international reputation as a leading venue for education, interdisciplinary research and development.”

Moore, who holds a degree in packaging from Michigan State University, began his career at Mars Inc. in packaging engineering and purchasing roles before becoming vice president of supply chain of the global manufacturer of candy, pet food, and other food products. Moore also led Pharmavite in Los Angeles as divisional vice president of procurement and lean supply chain of the dietary supplements company. While at Pharmavite, Moore created and implemented a product innovation team that bolstered the company’s marketing efforts. His most recent role has been vice president of operations at Corr-Jensen Inc., a leading marketer of health and wellness products, in Denver.

Cal Poly’s Packaging Program recently received approval from the university on its plans to establish a Packaging Value Chain Center in the Orfalea College of Business. The program aims to be the nation’s leader in packaging value chain education and research, which prepares students to leverage packaging’s impact at every step of the supply chain, from materials management to branding. The center will be the only one of its kind housed within a business school.

“The center’s vision is to create an internationally recognized education and research hub for all facets of packaging,” said Singh. “The center will provide a forum that will attract decision makers from across industries, share ideas and support interdisciplinary research efforts that leverage the combined expertise of Cal Poly faculty.”

“The Packaging Value Chain Center significantly enhances our ability to provide students with experiential learning and research opportunities,” said Kevin Lertwachara, interim dean of the Orfalea College of Business. “The center will enable us to strengthen industry partnerships and collaboration among faculty across disciplines, which will greatly broaden career opportunities for students. Cal Poly will continue to be a global leader in packaging and supply chain education.”

In addition to bolstering lab space and Learn by Doing projects in its undergraduate program, Cal Poly will debut an online Master of Science in Packaging Value Chain program in 2018. The program will also include specialized certificates in packaging value chain, including specialized certificates in packaging design, analytics and marketability.

With the center in place, the Cal Poly Packaging Program Consortium also aims to grow, adding health care and food and beverage research projects to its current specialty of fresh produce research. The consortium serves the packaging industry through fundamental and applied research in the technologies of the industry and as an active program of knowledge and technology transfer.

Cal Poly’s Packaging Program continues to make national headlines. In April, ValueColleges.com ranked the program No. 1 among the top 20 packaging programs in the nation. The ranking was based on the program’s affordability, the university’s U.S. News and World Report rankings and U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard salary data.