Asia Pacific Symposium Speakers


Stay tuned! We keep adding to the following list as new speakers are confirmed.

Challenges of Packaging in the Fresh Produce Cold Chains in Thailand: Material and Design Innovation

Vanee Chonhenchob, Ph.D.
Department of Packaging and Materials Technology
Kasetsart University

Maintaining fresh produce cold chain from growers to consumers is challenging. Keeping temperature close to the optimum temperature maximizes the shelf life of fresh produce. We explored efficient and cost-effective solutions for fresh produce cold chain. This presentation will share the test results of different packaging materials used in the cold chains of selected fruits and vegetables in Thailand. Not only material, but also packaging design plays a critical role in the cold chain performance. Key factors to consider in packaging design for fresh produce cold chains will be described.

• Materials innovation for cold chain packaging;
• Packaging design challenges;
• Total packaging solutions for the fresh produce cold chain: Case studies in Thailand
Biography: M.S. in Packaging and Ph.D. in Food Science from Michigan State University.  Author and co-authors of a number of research papers, books and book chapters in packaging and distribution areas focusing on fresh produce. Activities: Board of Directors - ISTA Asia Pacific Division. Past member of IAPRI Board of Directors.

Empowering Effective Package Design

A.J. Gruber
President & CEO


Technology and commerce are rapidly evolving and greatly impacting the demands for product protection in distribution. If packaged-product designs don't evolve, damage and waste in distribution will continue to grow.  Learn about the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA), its role in the global packaging industry, and its efforts towards solving these problems through effective package design and resource optimization.

Biography: Mr. Gruber is President & CEO of the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA), an association focused on empowering organizations and their people to minimize product damage throughout distribution and optimize resource usage through effective package design.  Prior to joining ISTA as the VP Technical in 2012, Mr. Gruber spent 6 years focused on the specific concerns of transport packaging and dangerous goods at UPS where he led the development of the UPS Eco Responsible Packaging Program.  His various industry activities include the Editorial Board for the Journal of Applied Packaging Research (JAPR), Packaging Industry Advisory Boards for Cal Poly State, AMERIPEN’s Technical Advisory Group, and Michigan State University Alumni Association Board of Directors. 

Developing Test Standards for Today and the Future

Eric Hiser
Vice President of Technical


Learn about ISTA’s process for developing test standards, what new test standards are currently being worked on and how test standards will be delivered in the not so distant future.

Biography: Mr. Hiser is Vice President of Technical Operations at the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA), an association focused on empowering organizations and their people to minimize product damage throughout distribution and optimize resource usage through effective package design.  He manages the ISTA Technical Division including all technical activities, development and maintenance of ISTA Procedures and Projects, and ISTA Certification programs for labs, packaged-products and people.
Prior to joining ISTA in 2014, his packaging career included solving supply chain challenges at UPS’s Package Design and Testing Laboratory as well as developing Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) for Scott’s Miracle-Gro.  Mr. Hiser is a graduate of the Michigan State University School of Packaging with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Packaging. He is an Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) Certified Packaging Professional (CPP) and is involved in industry activities as a Packaging Industry Advisory Board member for Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).


Supply Chain Hazard Measurements Driving New & Updated Laboratory Testing

David Jin
Asia Manager
Chief Representative of Lansmont Corporation China Office
NVT Group

Biography: Lansmont “Field-to-Lab” methodology and applications 18 years. 8 years ISTA China Console member, 4 years ISTA global technical board member, member of IAPRI – Packaging for Suitability Work group. 

International Standardization and Service Design-based Research on Temperature-controlled Supply Chain

Jongkyoung Kim

Director, Packaging Technology Center
Korea Conformity Laboratories. 

Cold chain, or temperature controlled supply chain, has been one of the hottest topics in logistics industry due to increased consumer's demand on fresh, safe and secured fresh product delivery. This presentation will introduce recent activities in ISO and other countries on standardization of cold chain technology and service. In addition, on-going research projects will be discussed: super-chilled product packaging and bio-medicine delivery in South East Asia.


  • Updated information on international standardization activities from last year that may impact on global trade and supply chain industry
  • Utilization and incorporation of ISTA Thermal standards (Standard 20, Test Standard 7E and Thermal Lane Data Package) into ISO standards
  • Service design concepts and researches on precisely temperature-controlled distribution (super-chilled product packaging) and bio-medicine delivery service in South East Asia.         

Biography: Current position: Director, Packaging Technology Center, Korea Conformity Laboratories.  Education: Ph.D. Packaging from Michigan State University. Activities: Asia-Pacific Division Chair, ISTA. Convenor and Project Leader for ISO TC122 (Packaging) WG16 (Temperature controlled product packaging, Project leader for TC122 WG13 (Returnable Transport System), Expert in TC122, 104 (Container), 51 (Pallet) & 204 (Intelligent Transport System). Vice-president of Korea Packaging Professionals.

Customized Solutions for Your Future Packaging Needs

Cathy Mu
OAKJ PE Customer Development Engineer
ExxonMobil Chemical Asia Pacific

This importance to optimize the secondary and tertiary packaging to meet the future packaging needs through enhanced packaging design, products innovation and customized solutions to have safe, reduce wastage and minimize rework package to meet the future logistics and storage requirements. In this paper, we would introduce the concept of load stability and how we could enhance the package integrity by using less materials with enhanced the protection with improve puncture, holding force and stable load during transportation and storage. Customized solutions in Stretch Wrap, Stretch Hood and collation shrink to meet your day to day needs. Create awareness to adopt the right applications, right gauges and right methods to maximize the load stability.

Takeaways: Customized solutions to achieve more protection with less wastage.  Achieve more with less.  What are the key future packaging trends and needs? How to achieve more with less?


Global Packaging Research Initiatives

Brian O’Banion
Vice President of Research & Education

This presentation will explain ISTA’s research initiatives, including the data collection program and the efforts of the ISTA Advocate Council.  The goal of these initiatives is to collect distribution environment hazard data that will be used to improve existing ISTA test procedures and develop new protocols.

Biography: As ISTA's Vice President of Research & Education, Mr. O’Banion plays a critical role in establishing and executing the association's long-range strategy and vision for research programs and education services.  Mr. O’Banion has nearly 20 years of trade association management experience addressing packaging industry issues in a wide variety of areas, including technical, environmental, health, safety, RFID, competing materials and sustainability.  He also has notable experience within the global food and beverage packaging technologies space.  In addition, he has served as a U.S. delegate on several ISO standards initiatives and contributed to other industry organizations, such as ASTM, ANSI, TAPPI and IoPP.  Mr. O’Banion holds a Master of Administrative Science degree from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan.