Packaging designer turned Principal Lecturer, Peter Macqueen, will lead a group of up to 60 BSc students from Sheffield Hallam University’s unique packaging degree course to the Packaging Innovations event in February.

With a background spanning from the late ’90s to a decade at Smurfit Kappa and now heading the Higher Degree Apprenticeship Packaging Profession BSc (Hons) at Sheffield Hallam, Macqueen’s journey encapsulates the evolving landscape of the packaging industry.

Macqueen’s unconventional path

Peter Macqueen, now at the helm of the Higher Degree Apprenticeship Packaging Profession BSc (Hons) at Sheffield Hallam University, reflects on his deliberate entry into the packaging sector at the age of 17.

His diverse experiences at Dyson, Hasbro and Smurfit Kappa, coupled with a decade in the industry, underscore the stability and global significance of packaging in manufacturing.

Macqueen emphasises the sector’s unique position, constituting 5 to 7% of all manufacturing and remaining vital as long as manufacturing and retail persist.

Changing perceptions of the packaging industry

Macqueen acknowledges the challenges in altering perceptions of the packaging industry, particularly following the negative impact of the BBC Blue Planet II series.

He emphasises the sector’s broader role in the functioning of capitalism and urges a more nuanced understanding of its benefits beyond consumer packaging.

 Addressing the need for a solid message to the public, he highlights the importance of awareness and education in the Packaging Profession BSc (Hons) program at Sheffield Hallam University.

Sheffield Hallam’s packaging degree

With the fifth intake of the Packaging Profession BSc (Hons) programme scheduled for January, Macqueen discusses the unique structure of the course.

Describing it as three degrees in one, he outlines the R&D design, material science and business development components.

Influenced by trailblazer groups comprising major industry players, the programme aims to empower students with evidence-based knowledge to navigate the diverse and dynamic field of packaging.