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ICPF-UTA-Partnership

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Friday, September 21, 2012

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Media Contacts:
Kristin Sullivan, Office:817-272-5364, Cell:817-706-9811, kristinsul@uta.edu
Bridget Lewis, Office:817-272-3317, Cell:214-577-9094, blewis@uta.edu

The International Corrugated Packaging Foundation will establish a new Corrugated Prototype Design and CAD Production Lab at The University of Texas at Arlington through a major, in-kind gift of state-of-the art production equipment and structural design software.

The new packaging and design lab will be located in UT Arlington’s Fine Arts Building and will integrate new corrugated and structural curriculum into the Visual Communication program in the Department of Art and Art History. The program and lab are expected to launch during the 2012-13 session with the installation of ICPF’s online corrugated curricula, a Data Tech computer-aided design table donated by ICPF corporate partner Vanguard Packaging, and Esko donated design software.

ICPF has established similar programs at top academic institutions throughout North America. UT Arlington’s lab, CorrPro Design + UTA, will be the first institute of higher education in Texas to offer corrugated curriculum and structural design instruction.

“We are delighted that when the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation wished to develop a program in the state of Texas, they chose to partner with the Department of Art & Art History at The University of Texas at Arlington,” said Beth Wright, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “We know that this partnership will benefit students, faculty and programs, and it will increase the reputation of UT Arlington as a leader in creative problem-solving and professional achievement."

ICPF’s decision to partner with the University came after extensive research and surveys of graphic design programs at other colleges and universities, contact with Gov. Perry’s office and discussions with corrugated packaging and display business leaders in the region. Wright credited the visual communication and graphic design program’s national reputation, noting that students have won more than 150 state, regional and national awards over the past decade.

Robert Hower, professor and chair of the Department of Art and Art History, said the new partnership aligns closely with the Department’s growth and focus on design.

“The materials and digital technology will immediately provide significant packaging experiences and design problem-solving opportunities for real world design and production,” Hower said. “It is a great example of education and industry teaming up to improve employment opportunities for our students.”

ICPF curricula will provide a brief history and a comprehensive overview of corrugated manufacturing with details on production, design, performance specifications, testing processes, and corrugated's role as a cost-effective, high performance, renewable, recyclable and sustainable packaging choice.

The foundation represents a $26 billion a year industry. Corrugated packaging is durable, versatile and lightweight material and is used for everything from custom-manufactured shipping containers to point-of-purchase displays.

Careers in the industry are diverse, ranging from packaging, graphic design, sales and marketing, business and accounting, to engineering, architecture/structural design and environmental science.  

Mark Sanders, chairman of Texas-based Bates Container and an ICPF board member, said the DFW area has long needed a university or college to introduce students to the corrugated packaging and display industry.

“There are some 20 large and small corrugated businesses in the metropolitan area, as well as scores more in the four or five-state area that I’m sure will be interested in hiring the qualified graduates this new program will produce,” Sanders said.

About International Corrugated Packaging Foundation

Co-sponsored by AICC and FBA, the mission of the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation (ICPF) is to generate a stream of increasingly qualified students to enter the corrugated packaging and display industry. ICPF is dedicated to the continued creation and building of partnerships within the education community, the advancement of corrugated curriculum, the expansion of student internships within the industry and the promotion of corrugated packaging and display career opportunities for packaging design, graphic design, marketing and sales, business, finance and accounting, supply chain management, engineering, environmental science and related graduates. For more information about the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation, visit www.icpfbox.org/ or email rflaherty@icpfbox.org.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The UT Arlington Department of Art and Art History is accredited through the national Association of Art & Design and is one of 12 departments within the College of Liberal Arts. The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 33,200 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.