This week’s hybrid AMIC lunch with industry seminar drew over 60 attendees! Kevin Nelson, a senior engineering fellow at Amcor, AMIC advisory board member, and UW-Madison College of Engineering alum, gave a very informative presentation on materials science behind packaging materials and various challenges the industry faces.
Amcor is a global packaging company with over 5000 employees working in Wisconsin, aiming to have all packaging products recyclable and reusable by 2025. Amcor’s excellent packaging with sound barriers can significantly extend the shelf life of food, reduce food waste and benefit the environment. Seminar participants also got a refresher review of Fick’s First Law, which guides the molecule permeation process. It is interesting to hear that EVOH, a flexible, crystal clear, glossy, thermoplastic copolymer suitable for food packaging, is facing such a severe shortage that Amcor needs to develop other food packaging materials and technologies for replacement. Steve, Kevin’s colleague who also joined us, shared that he was very proud of their engineering work, “whenever walking along the aisles in a supermarket, I would around and say to myself, ‘look at that beautiful packaging material, and I helped develop it!'” Kevin shared that the transport phenomena course he took as a student many years ago is widely utilized in Amcor’s everyday business. The company provides excellent career opportunities for our engineering students to apply to collaborate with product managers, marketing & salespeople, and even customers.
We thank the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center for sponsoring this inaugural seminar series and our AMIC community members who contributed to this inaugural seminar series. Special thanks go to Professor George Huber, who brought his entire “Plastics recycling” class to the session. Please visit our event calendar for an updated schedule, and we hope to see you at our next seminar with CTI Consulting, Inc. lots of food will be provided!