What is Packaging?
Design, engineering and innovation are integral parts of the coursework for students in the Biological Engineering major who choose to focus in packaging engineering.
It’s more than just a question of ‘paper or plastic?’. Whether it’s bagged, boxed, or wrapped, virtually every modern industry relies on packaging engineering and technology to contain, protect, preserve or enhance the value of its goods as they hustle from factory to customer.
Unique package designs and decoration entice customers to buy new products. Packaging materials and new technologies help preserve freshness and provide protection from damage and tampering. In short, products cannot effectively reach the consumer without packaging. It's the nation's third largest industry!
The Biological Engineering major allows students to concentrate their electives in a specific set of packaging courses including consumer packaging, food packaging, distribution and transport, and computer tools in packaging in addition to offering students a foundation in engineering design and the pure sciences including biology, chemistry, physics and math. Students learn about new technologies and methods in packaging design and production.
Students with skills in packaging engineering are helping to fill the increasing demand for graduates in this $100 billion+ industry. Many students participate in paid industry internships during their undergraduate program and graduates are employed as packaging engineers at top companies including Kraft, Campbell's, Estee Lauder, Johnson and Johnson, Cryovac, Anheuser Busch, and Schwan Foods. Starting salaries average over $50,000/year.
Since virtually every product needs packaging, engineers must design and develop packages and packaging materials that will protect a variety of products during transportation, handling, storage, and use. Packages must be able to withstand vibration, temperature, impact, humidity, and other external forces. Packaging Science Engineers help to insure that products stay safe from contaminants, arrive on store shelves in one piece, and are tamper and theft resistant.