Evan Funderburk of Aiken was among 40 students who represented Clemson University at the nation’s largest packaging industry trade show in Chicago.

Funderburk, a senior majoring in packaging science, went to PACK EXPO International 2012 held Oct. 28-31. He was part of a creative inquiry team of undergraduate students.

The students attended education conferences, toured the 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space and met with representatives from companies in the packaging and related industries.

“The main thing for our students is making industry contacts,” said Bob Moore, adviser to the student group and a lecturer in the packaging science department. “They can ask them questions – technical questions, general questions, all kinds of questions.”

For their creative inquiry project, the students interviewed show attendees and collected a database of industry contacts that can be valuable to them and other students who will be looking for jobs when they leave Clemson.

They also interviewed members of the Packaging Hall of Fame and asked such questions as what they think is the most important thing packaging science students need to learn.

It’s a good learning experience for the students, Moore said.

“No. 1, they learn first-hand and see the equipment and machines in person,” he said. “No. 2, they meet people and they build relationships with people and with companies.”

PACK EXPO International 2012 attracted more than 1,900 exhibitors and more than 46,000 visitors.

Funderburk represents Clemson at expo