What is Packaging Engineering
Packaging Engineering is focused on the development and optimisation of protective packaging systems. Protective packaging systems are commonly used for products such as fruit and vegetables, beverages, mobile phones, toys, etc. However, it is also used in other contexts, such as protecting equipment or even people from damage or discomfort. Packaging Engineering is interdisciplinary because it draws from many disciplines, mostly from Mechanical (materials, dynamics) and Chemical Engineering (materials, food spoilage).
For instance, those who specialise in Chemical Engineering can focus on packaging systems to protect food from spoiling. On the other hand, the Mechanical Engineering components are generally focused on the dynamics of packaging, and how they protect products and equipment from damage due to vibrations, heat, etc. A Packaging Engineer should be able to determine a product’s fragility, and have a good understanding of the supply chain and any environmental situations which can cause damage or spoilage.
Packaging Engineers are also responsible for designing and optimising protective packaging systems, and therefore sustainability is a key factor in this discipline. Packaging can also be focused on its interaction with consumers, and how a product is packaged can have a significant influence on its profitability. You will commonly find packaging engineers working in a wide range of different fields, such as food and beverage (e.g. Coca Cola, Tesco, etc.), consumer products, electronics (e.g. smartphones), and even in the automotive and aerospace sectors (e.g. Tesla).