Karen Proctor is a professor on the faculty in the Packaging Science Department. She has been at RIT since 1983. This includes tenure as chairs of both the graduate and undergraduate programs. Previously, Proctor was a packaging professional at both the Xerox and Amway Corporations. Additionally, she actively consults for various companies. Her areas of expertise include distribution, process control, sustainable packaging innovation, and packaging at the point of purchase. She has the distinction of developing and teaching the first packaging class designed for the RIT course titled Space Tourism. Karen spent the 1991 school year in Melbourne, Australia where she helped develop the first packaging degree program in Australia at the Victoria University. In 2007, she was a Visiting Professor in the Packaging Engineering Program at The State University of New Jersey-Rutgers, Biomedical Engineering. She also developed the RIT Packaging Science Executive Leader International program. In 2006 - 2007, Karen was on sabbatical at the Colgate-Palmolive Corporation as Director of Homecare Packaging and a member of the Colgate Sustainable Packaging Taskforce (August 2006 - July 2007). She was instrumental in the development of the Global Sustainable Packaging Strategy for Colgate-Palmolive. Her most recent developmental activities at include working with the RIT Golisano Institute for Sustainability (www.sustainability.rit.edu) to expand and develop packaging related research projects in sustainability. This includes two recent undergraduate research projects to utilize the Wal-Mart Scorecard to design more sustainable innovative packaging. In addition, she is consulting for a number of companies to meet the sustainability issues in packaging mandated by global retailers. Her goal in the Packaging Science Program is to enhance the educational environment of sustainable packaging innovation through the use of applied tools. Proctor is an active member of many packaging professional associations; American Society for Testing and Materials, Institute of Packaging Professionals, International Association of Packaging Research Institutions, International Safe Transit Association, National Institute of Packaging, Handling and Logistics Engineers, and Women in Packaging.
Currently, she is the Educational VP for International Safe Transit Association and is actively involved in the development of packaging standards to reflect "good sustainability practices" in the Wal-Mart supply chain: Sam's Club test procedure development program (www.ista.org/SamsClubProject.htm). Karen is a packaging sustainability advocate for designing "Just Right Packaging" to meet the supply chain requirements. Over her extensive career, Karen has received many honors and awards from her affiliations in professional organizations.
Research interests include: working with the RIT Golisano Institute for Sustainability (www.sustainability.rit.edu) to expand and develop packaging related research projects in sustainability.