Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design Announces Pallet Design Short Course April 23-25, 2019

Pallet Design for the 21st Century, April 23-25, 2019 at Virginia Tech


What is the short course about?

To be held April 23-25, 2019 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg VA, this intensive three-day short course will teach techniques that pallet designers can use to save money when designing pallets by considering the interactions between all of the components of the material handling system. The course will use a state-of-the-art pallet design software called “Pallet Design System” (PDS) to better demonstrate the steps that go into the pallet design process. You will also be taken on a tour of a working, state of the art, pallet testing laboratory!


Who should attend?

Pallet design is an integral part of the material handling system. Wood pallet suppliers, sales professionals, professionals responsible for pallet purchases, packaging engineers and pallet specifiers will all benefit from an understanding of how to design pallets that will last longer and perform better.


Short Course Agenda

Day 1: 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
• Effects of pallet design and selection on materials handling costs.
• Tour the laboratories of the Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design.

Day 2: 8:00am – 5:00pm
• Effects of wood materials on pallet performance.
• Fundamentals of new and remanufactured stringer class pallet design: including pallet part grades and fastener specifications.
• Practice designing stringer class pallets using PDS.
• Fundamentals of block class pallet design.

Day 3: 8:00am – 12:00pm
• Practice designing block class pallets using PDS.
• Case Studies


Dr. Laszlo Horvath is the Director of the Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design at Virginia Tech. He also teaches package engineering and pallet design to both undergraduate and graduate students. His research areas include the analysis of interactions between the components of unit loads and the development of bio- based and sustainable packaging materials. Dr. Horvat is one of the 50 ISTA Certified CPLP professionals, a member of various ASTM, ANSI, and ISTA committees.

Dr. Brad A. Gething is the Director of Science and Technology for the National Wood Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA). Dr. Gething’s role includes participation in various standards bodies, promotion of research and development, and support on other technical issues related to the wood packaging industry. He also serves as a point of contact for “Pallet Design System” (PDS) software support.


Registration: $445 for 1-3 registrants from one company, $395 for 4-8 registrants, $345 for 9 or more registrants. Early registration ends on March 20th, 2019. After then, add $50.00 to each rate. The registration fee includes all course materials, CEU certificate, daily continental breakfast, lunch and refreshment breaks.

You can register for this short course by:

◼ Calling: Erich Sawyer at 540-231-4084

◼ Visiting: and clicking the registration link

Lodging: A block of rooms is reserved for short course attendees at the Courtyard by Marriot in Blacksburg, VA. It is located only a mile from where the short course will be held. More information can be obtained by calling Holly at the Marriot at 540-552-5222 and asking about the rooms reserved for the Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design or by visiting our website and clicking the lodging link. These rooms will be held at this rate until March 20th, 2019.

Location: Brooks Forest Product Center, Virginia Tech, 1650 Research Center Dr. Blacksburg, VA 24061

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