Though the teaching of college classes and labs have been impacted due to the pandemic, the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation (ICPF) has continued its ongoing University Awards Program to provide equipment and grants to its partner universities in preparation for their return to 100 percent “on campus” programming.  

Earlier this fall, ICPF purchased and placed a TMI Medium Fluter and accessories at North Carolina State, where ICPF launched a new corrugated packaging program last year through the purchase and donation of a CAD table. Additionally, a TMI Sommerville Screen and Disintegrator were purchased and placed at Cal Poly, where plans are underway to incorporate the corrugated testing equipment into an online virtual lab course during the winter term. Plans are also underway for the purchase and donation of 20 computers, 20 computer desks and chairs and a stipend for new adjunct packaging instructors at University of Texas – Arlington, where ICPF purchased and placed a large scale digital printer last year.

The partnership grants provided through ICPF’s University Awards initiative also have been cited by Indiana State University (ISU) for its success in growing its packaging engineering technology program. The ICPF grants have enabled the hiring of a graduate assistant to assist in regularly marketing the packaging program to Indiana high schools and ISU college students, the development of packaging sales certification curriculum, the launch of a corrugated packaging, structural and graphic design certificate, the expansion of corrugated packaging courses in design and materials being taught to freshman, sophomore and junior students and a substantial 24 percent increase in packaging technology enrollment.

An Introduction To Packaging

Though the size of the groups had to be altered due to the pandemic, Indiana State University continued its annual ICPF hands-on learning experience program this past summer to introduce corrugated packaging careers to students at a younger age. High school participants toured the ISU Corrugated Packaging Lab and were provided an overview and introductory materials about the ISU corrugated curriculum. Elementary and middle school participants engaged in activities to design their own swords and shields using corrugated materials. See photos.

ICPF Commitments Continue

Other recent equipment and financial awards have been provided or committed to Rutgers, Western Michigan University, Millersville University, Virginia Tech, and Lewis Clark State College. These ICPF award commitments have been subject to each university meeting annual goals that are tracked by both ICPF and ICPF’s independent auditor.

Some of the elements of the new initiatives enabled by ICPF provided equipment, software and grant awards during the past three years include creation of three new corrugated packaging design labs; funding for additional corrugated faculty at four universities; introduction of sales & business into packaging courses; launch of corrugated packaging curricula in two paper science engineering programs; creation of a program to promote corrugated packaging to attract high school students into university packaging programs; introduction of digital printing on two campuses; expansion of a packaging design program to include evaluation and testing of corrugated materials; creation of new packaging degrees and certification programs for undergraduate students; and expansions of existing corrugated testing and packaging design labs.  

In addition to thanking its corporate partners for their pledges, ICPF wishes to thank TMI, Arden Software, Gerber Technology, Esko and other corrugated suppliers for the discounts and donations provided in support of ICPF’s university awards program.

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