What is Packaging Engineering?
Design, engineering, and innovation are integral parts of the coursework for students in the Biological Engineering major who choose to specialize 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. This program offers 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.
Minor in Packaging Engineering
A minor in Packaging Science incorporates useful tools for commerce with courses in real-world challenges facing packaging industries, including package decoration, distribution and transport, and computer tools for packaging.
The Packaging Science minor is open to all students and is designed to complement studies to help prepare the student for a career in or closely associated with packaging.
The minor consists of a minimum of 15 semester credits with a grade of “C” or better. No courses may be taken as S-U credit. Students applying for the minor must obtain written approval from their academic advisor and the undergraduate coordinator in PKG at least two semesters prior to graduation.
Coursework for Packaging Engineering Minor
To obtain a minor in Packaging Engineering, a student must successfully complete a total of 15 credit hours from the list of pre-selected courses that provide a concentrated focus on packaging-related knowledge, technology, and skills.
Required Courses (15 credits)
- PKG 3001- Principles of Packaging (3 credits)
- PKG 3103 - Food Packaging (3 credits)
- PKG 4008 - Distribution & Transport Packaging (3 credits)
- PKG 4101C - Computer Tools for Packaging (3 credits)
- Approved elective
Certificate in Packaging Engineering
The Packaging Engineering certificate emphasizes engineering solutions to problems associated with packaging systems related to design, functionality and sustainability of packaging and product distribution.
This certificate is limited to undergraduate engineering students in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering.
For more information, visit the Undergraduate Catalog.
Coursework for Packaging Engineering Certificate
Required Courses (15 credits)
- PKG 3001: Principles of Packaging (3 credits)
- PKG 3103: Food Packaging (3 credits)
- PKG 4008: Distribution and Transport Packaging (3 credits)
- PKG 4011: Packaging Production and Processing (3 credits)
- PKG 4101C: Computer Tools for Packaging (3 credits)
Engineering students may substitute one advisor-approved engineering elective, or a packaging-related internship or coop for a required packaging engineering course, where the student’s engineering academic advisor approves the substitution.
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 $70,000/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 ensure that products stay safe from contaminants, arrive on store shelves in one piece, and are tamper and theft-resistant.