Students Visit Staples for a Behind the Scenes Look at New Packaging Technology


On April 2, while most students were tucked away in classrooms on campus, 19 digital media program students from the University of Houston College of Technology’s Package and Design class stood in the Houston Staples Fulfillment Center. They watched alongside Professor Jean Pierce as various sized boxes were created and sent down a long conveyor belt. These students were witnessing Packsize On Demand Packaging®, the latest innovation to revolutionize the supply chain system. The students were also given an overview of the process that takes place when customers place orders online.

The tour was hosted by Robert Dennen, a Dallas based Senior Packaging Engineer for Staples and the President of the Texas chapter of the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP). Mr. Dennen decided to host the tour for the students after crossing paths with Joshua Dorrell, a senior in the Digital Media program at the College of Technology. The two originally met when Joshua was chosen to attend a tour of the same facility for the Gulf Coast chapter of the IoPP last fall. Joshua made an impression on Mr. Dennen, and other industry players in attendance, with his interest and eagerness to learn.

As the first and only packaging program in the gulf coast area, Mr. Dennen is eager to support the program as a means to provide local businesses with quality employees once the students graduate. Professor Pierce agreed that the students will be valuable to Houston area companies. "University of Houston students have so much to offer local businesses," she said. "I am so proud that our students are representing the program so positively to my colleagues in the industry."

Mr. Dennen was so impressed by the interest and caliber of the students he met on April 2, he is now working with Professor Pierce to set up tours of bottling and other packaging facilities with her Packaging Technology course for the upcoming fall semester.