RIT Creates Packaging-Science Plastics Research Lab

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National Science Foundation funds Integrated Plastics Science Center

Note: Digital photograph available

Rochester Institute of Technology is establishing the Integrated Plastics Science Center for multidisciplinary research and education in packaging science, partially funded by a $289,000 grant from the National Science Foundationís Major Research Instrumentation program.

The center will foster innovative applied research with automotive, food, pharmaceutical and plastic-recycling industry partners. Using specialized equipment to evaluate plastic materials and packaging, RIT researchers and students will investigate issues like product shelf life, says Maria Rubino, assistant professor of packaging science and principal investigator.

"Through hands-on experience with advanced equipment, students will gain a better understanding of industry needs," Rubino says. "Theyíll be better prepared to compete in the global market and in multidisciplinary environments that mirror industry."

"With the addition of this equipment, RITís packaging science program will grow in recognition as a leader in food and pharmaceutical packaging research," says Karen Proctor, professor and chair of RITís packaging science program.

The center, in RITís College of Applied Science and Technology, will offer training workshops for manufacturers and new undergraduate courses emphasizing team projects. Funding from RIT brings the total value of the grant to $346,000.