Clemson Fills Cryovac Chair in Packaging Science

December 5, 2006

3 Min Read
Clemson Fills Cryovac Chair in Packaging Science

CLEMSON, SCKay Cooksey has been named to the Cryovac Endowed Chair in Clemson Universitys packaging science department. A professor in the department since 1998, she is the third person to hold the prestigious post.

Her first presentation in her new leadership role will be as the keynote speaker Dec. 15 at FlexPackCon 2006. The Society of Plastics Engineers conference is the premier event focusing on flexible packaging technologies.

Overall, my vision is one of opportunity, growth and fulfillment, said Cooksey. Its an opportunity for me to put more emphasis on research that could benefit our students, department, college, university and industry. The growth of our research program and recognition as a leader in this field will help us fulfill our goal to be the best packaging program in the world and fulfill a long-term career objective Ive held, which is to develop an internationally recognized program in food packaging.

Cooksey also sees her new post as way to help students explore packaging science and will continue to teach the food and healthcare packaging course and be involved in the senior capstone packaging development class.

In teaching, I envision continuing to improve and build the food and healthcare emphasis area, she said. Creative inquiry should be developed and involve more collaborative projects with other departments at Clemson, such as chemistry, engineering and food science.

I will pursue industry funding for research with practical and commercial implementation and develop proposals for federal support, she said.

As graduate admission coordinator in the graduate program, she will work to develop a better system of recruiting students with backgrounds that will make faculty research programs succeed and to develop some new graduate level courses.

Cooksey holds a B.S. in food science from Purdue University, a M.S. in industrial mechanical technology (emphasis in packaging) from Indiana State University and a Ph.D. in foods and nutrition from the University of Illinois. She was a postdoctoral research assistant in the food science department at Purdue. In 1993, Cooksey joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, where she was assistant professor in the packaging program until she joined the Clemson University faculty.

The packaging science professor is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists and International Association for Food Protection. She serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Food Science, Journal of Food Protection, Packaging Technology and Science, and Food, Drug and Cosmetics.

About Packaging Science at Clemson
Clemson is the only university in the Southeast, and one of only six in the nation, that offers a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in packaging science. The department currently has about 140 undergraduate and eight graduate students. The nine-member faculty has extensive industrial experience, enriching academic preparation with real-world learning.
Using the programs state-of-the art laboratories, students get hands-on training. In Clemsons Sonoco Packaging Science Laboratory, students and faculty develop new packaging and evaluate existing designs and materials. A second lab, the DuPont Packaging Evaluation Laboratory, features work on packaging machinery and polymer research and development.
Since the departments beginning in the late 1980s, it has placed 100 percent of its graduates. The current salary average is $47,000 for first-year graduates.
Packaging is a $100-plus billion a year industry. Based on gross sales, it is the nations third largest industry. More people are employed in packaging and packaging operations than in any other single business category in the country.

About Cryovac
Cryovac® food packaging products and systems are one of many innovations from Sealed Air Corporation (see Sealed Air is a leading global manufacturer of materials and systems for protective, presentation and fresh food packaging in the industrial, food and consumer markets.

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