Unit Load Center Names New Director

The Center for Unit Load Design, Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Va.) has announced the appointment of Ralph L. Rupert to the directorship. Rupert joined the center in 1999 and has been instrumental in supporting the center’s mission of developing technologies to support systems-based design. In addition to directorship duties, Rupert’s continuing responsibilities at the center include managing all center testing/evaluations and teaching continuing education courses.

The announcement follows the impending retirement of Dr. Marshall “Mark” White, founder of the center, scheduled for January 2007.

Prior to joining the center, Rupert worked in plastics for several years before taking a job with Weyerhaeuser in northern Illinois where he managed the container board division test lab. He continues to teach classes at Weyerhaeuser. Originally from Ohio, he holds a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Akron. His goal for the center is to continue to expand and apply systems based design across the industry—a concept that fits well with current corporate environmental sustainability initiatives.

Dr. White will retire on January 31, 2007 after 31 years of dedication to the department, center, and pallet and container industry. White will continue his affiliation with the center and department on a part-time basis through undergraduate instruction, service on graduate and research committees, and in a continued advisory role to the center. In his new role as CEO of White & Co., a Blacksburg-based consulting company that will specialize in packaging and pallet design solutions that optimize supply chain performance, he will use the extensive testing and research services of the Center for Unit Load Design. “I am pleased that Ralph Rupert has been selected to direct the activities of the Center for Unit Load Design,” said White. “Ralph brings continuity to the transition, while recognizing the importance and opportunities associated with industry and academia collaboration.

The Center for Unit Load Design develops information and technologies to optimize the relationship between the design and performance of unit loads and to maximize the efficiency of unit load material handling systems. The center focuses on system optimization in studying the mechanical interactions between containers, pallets, and unit load material handling equipment. The center’s team includes experts in packaging, palletization, material handling, and unit load design.

Source: Center for Unit Load Design

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