CalPoly wins annual PACK Solutions Challenge

Oct. 8, 2015
Michigan State and Rutgers University take second and third place.

Students from CalPoly took first place in the annual PACK Solutions Challenge competition, sponsored by B&R Industrial Automation and presented by the PMMI Foundation. Teammates Nick Abbatelli, Rebecca Kisch, Jeff Norton and Patrick Salibi, will share the prize, a $4,000 scholarship.

The PACK Solutions Challenge is a contest in which students attending PACK EXPO work to address real world packaging problems. For this year’s edition, students were tasked with developing a packaging solution for fictional company “Innovative Pharmaceuticals Inc.” and its new fast-dissolving OTC product.

Students presented their proposals to a panel of end user judges (Frank Bieganousky, Montesino Associates LLC; Tom Pack, Johnson & Johnson; Travis Powell, Schrieber Foods Inc.; and James Powers, Teva Pharmaceuticals) on Tuesday, Sept. 29. Marc Ostertag, president of sponsor B&R Industrial Automation, announced the winners that afternoon.

In addition to the first place prize awarded to CalPoly, the team from Michigan State, which placed second, received a $2,000 scholarship. Students on the third-place Rutgers University team took home a $1,000 scholarship.

The other participating schools were Purdue University Calumet, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Florida, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical Institute.

"I would like to thank the schools that have participated in this year's contest. No matter what the final judgment, you have all won ... It was quite a challenge for the judges to rank you. In fact, judging took most of the day," said Ostertag. 

Visit to learn more about PACK EXPO Las Vegas, Pharma EXPO and the 2015 PACK Solutions Challenge.