Alumni Spotlight: Chandler Quesenberry
Chandler Quesenberry is a local Southwest Virginian who attended Virginia Tech for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He grew up on a farm with his brother and many farm animals. Quesenberry took part in many different sports depending on the season, but his favorite was basketball. His hobbies include hiking, fishing, woodworking, and rooting for the Hokies basketball team.
Quesenberry credits a presentation in his freshman seminar class with sparking his interest in the field of packaging. After hearing the lecture, he started doing research into the world of packaging and ended up choosing the field because of the job prospects. He pointed out that “as long as people are on earth, products have to get to them somehow… and safely! It interests me because designing decisions are very impactful up and down the supply chain.”
Quesenberry said his favorite classes included Packaging Design for Global Distribution because, “ It is the most comprehensive guide a student can take for protective packaging. It teaches the ability to identify hazards, design, and test or understand testing for proof of concepts of packaging designs and… many ways/materials/processes to protect products.” He also enjoyed Wood Mechanics, as “wood is a complex material to understand” and he learned how wood behaves in different scenarios. Statistics was another of Quesenberry’s favorite classes because he “enjoys having data and being able to make educated data-driven decisions.” These classes all taught him skills he will be able to take with him throughout the rest of his life.
Quesenberry completed his master’s degree in December of 2019 after researching “The Effect of Pallet Top Deck Stiffness on Box Compression Strength.” He feels that the two most important things he learned throughout his education at Virginia Tech are, first, the fact that “everybody can uniquely bring something to the table, no matter their background.” Secondly, he learned to make sure to “double and triple check everything (during work, calculations, emails, projects, tests, test setups, etc.),” as following this rule “will easily limit your mistakes.” And, as Quesenberry pointed out, “This can apply everywhere in life — be organized and prepared… measure once cut twice… Just kidding! Measure twice cut once!”
Since graduating, Quesenberry has started his career as a pallet program and design specialist at The Pallet Alliance, Inc. in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He spends his days designing pallets and unit loads, doing process audits, supporting IoT (the internet of things) initiatives, and helping with material sourcing. He credits his time at CPULD with preparing him for the job: “CPULD provides students with many projects that expose them to different materials, ideas, designs, and processes that are currently being used in industry. CPULD directly bridges the gap between classroom and industry. Also, it was valuable to be exposed to project deadlines, customer interactions, schedules... all things you will have to face in the future.”
Quesenberry says he wants to continue learning, staying active and up on current research, as CPULD sparked research interest and testing interest in him. He also found himself looking up to many mentors during his education. “I would say the best part of working in the lab was learning from Dr. Bouldin and Dr. Horvath. They are a wonderful resource. I appreciate that they taught me the importance of precision and repeatability needed for scientific testing, wood/packaging science, continuous improvement, standard testing, and much more, all the way down to the details of woodworking,” he said.
Quesenberry was an excellent student and received the following awards during his education:
· 2020 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant of the department
· 2020 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant of the college
· 2019 ISTA Transpak Forum Speaker
· CPLP Lab Technologist
· CPLP Lab Technician
· 2017 E.G. Stern and Marianne Stern and J. Stern Fromberg Memorial Scholarship
· 2017 Grupo Phoenix Scholars Scholarship
· 2016 Paperboard Packaging Alliance Scholarship
· 2015 G. Scott Francis Scholarship
According to Quesenberry, his imaginative future involves being a dog, living at the beach, and eating seafood for the rest of his life, but he would probably get tired of the beach pretty quickly and move back to the mountains. He added that “a better dish would probably be yogurt with granola, berries, chocolate chips, honey, and seeds… It is a well-balanced food for my overall health. Plus, really tasty.”