The Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences will present “Trends and Implications for the Future of Packaging: A Panel Discussion” from 3-4:15 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Building, 602 Duncan Drive.
Packaging is a trillion-dollar market and currently the third-largest industry in the world. This growth, coupled with the rising consumer demand for eco-friendly packaging, is inspiring many traditional forest product companies to expand their operations to include sustainable biomaterial and packaging.
“This is a very good opportunity for the school to show that we have outstanding teaching, research and outreach platforms for the Sustainable Biomaterials and Packaging Program,” said Yucheng Peng, assistant professor of Sustainable Packaging Systems with the Forest Products Development Center in the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, who will moderate the discussion.
Panel speakers Dana Breed, global research and development director of packaging and sustainability at the Coca-Cola Company, and Laurent Matuana, associate director and professor of biomaterials and composites in the School of Packaging at Michigan State University, will explore how partnerships between academia and industry have the potential to propel innovation forward through education, research and development.
Peng said discussion topics will include career outlooks for students enrolled in the program as well as ways in which the program’s research is linked to practical life—helping to build a more sustainable society and decreasing dependence on petroleum-based chemicals and materials.
“We will also discuss how the research in this area could help to relieve the social, economic and environmental pressure on our society,” he said.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Dean Janaki Alavalapati added that that the panel discussion could be eye opening to those interested in packaging and sustainable biomaterials.
“This event will offer the public a rare opportunity to get an in-depth view of research and possibilities in packaging and sustainable biomaterials from specialists who are top experts in the field,” Alavalapati said.
The mission of Auburn’s Forest Products Development Center is to discover, innovate and publicize new information for industry, government, society and students in the areas of biomaterials and packaging. The center collaborates in a systems approach to research with the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, College of Architecture, Design and Construction, College of Agriculture, Raymond J. Harbert College of Business and the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.
The panel discussion is hosted as part of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Advisory Council meeting and will be held in the school’s Conference Hall, room 1101. Light refreshments will be offered from 2:30-3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Parking will be available on the third and fourth levels of the South Quad Parking Deck. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Written by Teri Greene)