Polytechnique Montreal Rooted in Meeting Industry’s Needs

For the past two years, FlexPack VOICE® has profiled colleges, universities, and schools that have developed programs to train people for work in industries that support the packaging industry.

In this issue, we talk to Abdellah Ajji, Ph.D., who heads the chemical engineering department at Polytechnique Montreal. He also is a professor at the school in Montreal, Quebec.

Polytechnique Montreal traces its roots to 150 years ago, admitting its first students in 1874.

“It was to meet the needs of the industrial revolution that the School of Sciences Applied to Arts and Industry was founded in 1873,” notes the school’s website. “Seven students appeared for the first session in January 1874.”

FLEXPACK VOICE®: Tell us a little bit about the packaging program at your school What emphasis do you put on flexible packaging?

Abdellah Ajji: In the chemical engineering department of Polytechnique Montreal, we have an industry research chair of Safe, Smart, and Sustainable Packaging. In that program, we train Ph.D. students and master’s—research—students, particularly on flexible packaging. We have a course on polymer packaging engineering offered for both undergraduate and grad­uate students. But we do not have a specific training program on packaging.

FPV: What is the job market like for your graduates?

AA: All of our graduates, whether they are getting a master’s degree or a doctorate, find jobs very quickly. And I know there is a significant demand we are not able to fill.

FPV: What do you see as the future challenges in the packaging industry?

AA: To me, the main challenges for the packaging indus­try are related to sustainability and recycling.