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June 16, 2017 2:48 PM

Packaging Engineering Technician students win international competition

Adrian Sutherland and Jamie Zabarte, students in Conestoga’s Packaging Engineering Technician diploma program, have been named one of the winners of the 2017 Young Package competition. Their submission was selected from more than 700 entries received from nearly 60 countries. In recognition of their skills, the Conestoga team was awarded the Innovation Centre prize which includes a paid internship in the Czech Republic. The win was announced at the Design Award ceremony held May 26 in Prague.

Young Package Competition 2017.jpg
Packaging Engineering Technician students Adrian Sutherland and Jamie Zabarte were recognized with an international award for their creative children's shoe box design. The pair have won a paid internship with a packaging innovation centre in Prague. Photo credit: Young Package

Founded in 1996 by Czech packaging manufacturer Model Obaly, Young Package is an annual competition open to designers under the age of 30. This year, competitors were required to create an interactive package that could be used for play. Sutherland and Zabarte designed a shoe box for children’s soccer cleats that becomes a table-top soccer pitch when spread out. It comes with 2 nets and a mini soccer ball for use.

Competitors were required to submit entries in the form of a full-scale functional model. According to Model Obaly, the manufacturing of Sutherland and Zabarte’s work was the “highest in its category” and said the simple graphics and thoughtful design captivated the competition jury. Entries were assessed on a number of criteria including: innovation and creativity, package ergonomics, functionality, environmental aspects, shape and originality.

The shoe box was made from paperboard and used about 50 per cent less material than a traditional shoe box. It was also made without adhesive to avoid contaminates during recycling.

“I am so proud of Jamie and Adrian for a job well done,” said faculty member and advisor Sarah Pomfrey. “They demonstrated strong packaging development skills, tenacity and critical thinking skills. Their concept was both innovative and playful. I look forward to watching them continue to grow into packaging professionals.”

Pomfrey said the students followed strict packaging development processes during the development of their design which included creating a critical path and building a PBED (Plan, Brief, Execute, De-Brief) document to track their objectives. They presented revisions of their concepts weekly in advance of the competition to enhance their development and presentation skills.

Local industry experts that included CCL, Jean-Francois Guillerez of Mondelez, Jeff Mills of Cascades, and Shaun McNaughton at PDD Studios, supported the students’ competition submission by providing mentorship and lab facilities.

The student’s internship will be at the Model Obaly Innovation Centre in Prague, Czech Republic. Specialists at the Centre develop innovative packaging and displays made from cardboard and corrugated board. Through exploration of construction methods, materials, printing and finishing techniques, they create multi-sensory products designed to meet customer needs.

The complete Young Package winner’s list is available on the competition website

Conestoga’s two-year Packaging Engineering Technician diploma program launched in September 2015 to meet industry demand. The program provides training in the structural design of packaging materials and students learn to design packaging utilizing different materials including metal, glass, plastic, paper and corrugated.

Spaces in the program are still available for September 2017 entry. For more information, visit the program page

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