Zenia Adiwijaya and Nathan Davis received honorable mention and second place, respectably, at the 2017 Student Flexible Design Challenge. They are pictured with Dr. Keith Vorst, instructor of the class in which the students were assigned to create their flexible packaging designs. Photo by Whitney Sager
Zenia Adiwijaya and Nathan Davis received honorable mention and second place, respectably, at the 2017 Student Flexible Design Challenge. They are pictured with Dr. Keith Vorst, instructor of the class in which the students were assigned to create their flexible packaging designs. Photo by Whitney Sager

Iowa State students place at flexible packaging competition

What started out as a class assignment ended with two Iowa State University students earning top honors at a national competition.

Students from Dr. Keith Vorst’s fundamentals of packaging class were assigned the task of creating and designing flexible packaging products. The designs were then entered in the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) 2017 Student Flexible Design Challenge.

The purpose of the challenge is to encourage students to think of innovative ways to apply flexible packaging to satisfy the growing consumer demand for convenient, easy-to-use packaging. Students were asked to come up with designs that address a packaging issue, such as food protection or consumer convenience.

Iowa State graduate student Nathan Davis tied for second place in the competition with his QuickFIX design. QuickFIX consists of small units of grout or mortar material that are packaged in an environmentally-friendly, water-soluble material, similar to laundry soap pods. To use the product, simply place a unit in a disposable cup, add water and stir.

The product is ideal for small, around-the-house projects that do not require the 10- to 90-lb. bags of grout or mortar that currently are available on the market.

“I was shocked,” Davis said of when he received word of his second place finish. “I didn’t expect to do so well.”

Zenia Adiwijaya, a senior in food science and MBA student, received honorable mention for her “Ice Dronettack,” which enables cold beverages kept in pouches to be delivered via drones. The pouch in which the drink is packaged provides thermal, spill and environmental protection. The drink pouch is housed within a primary package, which can be reused.
In an email the FPA sent to Adiwijaya regarding her placing in the competition, they said an honorable mention award has never been given in the competition before, but they felt it was necessary because the judges wanted to recognize her for her “innovative, out-of-the-box thinking for the future of flexible packaging.”

“This comment definitely encouraged me to keep being innovative and recognize the talent inside of me,” Adiwijaya said.

Vorst said the students’ placings in the competition are particularly impressive, considering Iowa State does not have its own packaging design program, and many of the schools that entered the competition do.

“My class is excited as this was our first time competing and we beat [several] schools with dedicated packaging programs,” Vorst said.

The top designs were on display during the FPA Annual Meeting, which took place last month in Boca Raton, Florida.

CONTACTS:

Zenia Adiwijaya, senior in food science, zeniaadi@iastate.edu

Nathan Davis, graduate student, davisn@iastate.edu

Keith Vorst, associate professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, 515-294-6957, kvorst@iastate.edu

Whitney Sager, communications coordinator, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, 515-294-9166, wjsager@iastate.edu

  • “My class is excited as this was our first time competing and we beat [several] schools with dedicated packaging programs.”

    -Dr. Keith Vorst

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