November-December 2016

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PDS Research and Development Forges Ahead I t is an exciting time for the NWPCA, PDS, and you. The NWPCA recently hired two structural engineers to work with John McLeod, Director of The Pallet Design System™ (PDS), on development of state-of-the-art structural analysis models for wood pallets and unit loads. In addition, the NWPCA was able to leverage PDS to meet the demanding technical requirements of the USDA BioPreferred® program which allows companies that design wooden pallets using PDS to stamp their pallets with the USDA Certified Biobased Product label. Read more about the USDA BioPreferred® program and PDS on page 20. In the last issue of PalletCentral, NWPCA announced the hiring of Kristen DeLack, PE, who began work in September. Kristen holds a master and bachelor degrees in aerospace engineering from Virginia Tech and has more than 20 years of diverse multi- disciplinary experience in design, engineering, manufacturing and construction. Joining the PDS team in December is Farhad Shahabi. Farhad recently completed his PhD in civil engineering/engineering science at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He is a computational mechanical engineer with research and development experience in the mechanics of materials and structures. NWPCA has also expanded its footprint in Blacksburg, Virginia, and began leasing office space in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VTCRC) in September. Adjacent to the Virginia Tech campus, the VTCRC is home to over 180 research, technology and support companies. NWPCA funded construction of the William H. Sardo Jr. Pallet and Container Research Laboratory, which provided the impetus to obtain additional resources to build the first phase of the Brooks Forest Products Center, a 35,000 square foot complex to what is now the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. It is fitting that NWPCA has an office in the Tech Center. The NWPCA has also contributed to the Virginia Tech graduate program and now has a VT graduate student, Page Clayton, funded by The Pallet Foundation, set to begin testing of unit loads of corrugated boxes on wood pallets. Page will attend the 2017 ALC in Tucson and have preliminary results available in March. Brad Gething, NWPCA Director of Science and Technology Integration, recently attended the annual meeting of VT's Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design (CPULD), of which NWPCA is a Gold-Level Member. As part of NWPCA's Gold Membership, John McLeod is working with two undergraduate students on a follow-up project related to the work conducted last year by the four undergraduates who presented their results at the NWPCA March 2016 ALC in Orlando. Amazing Fall Plant Tour and Upcoming NWPCA 2017 ALC The NWPCA Fall Plant Tour, October 11-12, held in beautiful Monterey, California, sold out quickly once again. Thank you to Frank, Cindy, and Lindsey Shean, Valley Pallet, Inc., for being gracious hosts and opening their doors for a plant tour of their facility. Also, thank you to Misionero Vegetables and Growers Express for the tours of live harvesting of celery and lettuces in their fields and processing plants. Attendees learned about the vastness of the fruit and vegetable markets in California and its close link to the wooden packaging industry. The biggest lesson was food safety, and how critically important it is to the produce industry. 8 PalletCentral • November-December 2016 INSIDE NWPCA N W P C A A N N O U N C E M E N T S A N D U P C O M I N G E V E N T S

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