Specialty plastics provider collaborates with nationally recognized packaging science program.
KINGSPORT, Tenn., USA — Jan. 30, 2018 — In collaboration with Clemson University’s Department of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences, Eastman completed its first semester as a corporate sponsor of Dr. Robert Kimmel’s Fall 2017 Package Design and Development course, considered the “capstone” of Clemson’s undergraduate Packaging Science curriculum.
“We have long been aware of Eastman’s preeminent position as a supplier of key materials used in medical device packaging,” said Kimmel. “We were therefore delighted to work with Eastman’s medical device packaging team to provide an opportunity for interested students to work on a medical device packaging project and to help us understand the technical and marketing requirements of this industry segment.”
The course offered students a window into a medical packaging design career while providing Eastman an opportunity to build relationships with academia and future design engineers. Along with funding, Eastman contributed polymer expertise specific to medical packaging, market experience and knowledge of industry standards. Aneta Clark, global market segment leader, served as Eastman’s sponsorship liaison.
“Collaboration is part of our fabric at Eastman. When Dr. Kimmel expressed interest in our participation, we felt we could contribute to the learning process and leverage Eastman’s years of expertise in this area. Once the objectives for the project were set, we moved to outline the project scope.”
This involved the design and fabrication of a prototype rigid medical package system to accommodate various sizes of orthopedic hip implants. The students began by conducting ethnographic research at a local hospital and then moved into the ideation phase, keeping in mind requirements for sterilization, shelf-life requirements, shipping and distribution.
The students worked under the guidance of Eastman medical packaging technical expert, Gary Hawkins. “We outlined the project to allow the participants to experience as many facets of design and testing of medical packaging as possible. Although extensive validation was not possible due to semester timeline constraints, we were impressed with the level and quality of work completed by the team,” said Hawkins.
A performance and regulation-driven industry, rigid medical packaging sits at the intersection of safe medical product delivery and forward-thinking industrial design, providing an excellent opportunity for industry to partner with academia. A growing number of Clemson packaging students are seeking and finding employment in the medical industry.
“We have a strategic objective to expand our teaching and research efforts in health care and add faculty and laboratory capabilities to support these efforts. We are confident that the collaboration that we developed with the Eastman Medical Packaging team will be extremely valuable in supporting our strategic goals in health care packaging,” says Kimmel.
Eastman and Clemson will continue their partnership in Fall 2018, with a new team of students. Project work will resume with a focus on validation and testing. Eastman and Clemson hope to engage other value chain partners as additional program sponsors.
About Clemson University
Clemson University ranks 23rd among top public national universities by U.S. News & World Report and is South Carolina’s land-grant institution and its premier higher education institution. With a presence in every county and research centers and economic development initiatives across the state, Clemson combines the benefits of a major, science- and technology-oriented research university with a strong commitment to individual student achievement and enrollment scaled to ensure a quality intellectual environment.
About Eastman Chemical Company
A global advanced materials and specialty additives company, Eastman produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive markets like transportation, construction and consumables, while consistently creating superior value for all stakeholders. Globally diverse, Eastman serves customers in 100 countries, with 2016 revenues of $9.0 billion. Headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA, Eastman employs 14,000 people around the world. Visit
Laura Mansfield, APR
The Tombras Group
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