Graduate Student Spotlight: Clark Sabattus
Clark Sabattus came to CPULD after getting his undergraduate degree at NC State in Sustainable Materials and Technology. Clark started out getting a business degree, but found his passions lay in learning more about sustainability. He grew up in Arlington, Texas with two brothers and four sisters. Due to his father’s work, they transferred back and forth between TX and Raleigh, NC during Clark’s growing up years, and many of his siblings still reside in NC. Clark’s hobbies include hiking and playing basketball. He also enjoys watching baseball, and he enjoys learning.
When asked what brought him to VT, and to CPULD in particular, Clark told us, “My professors at NC State had mentioned the Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design at Virginia Tech and had told me to research and see if I was interested in the possibility of obtaining my master’s degree. Needless to say, after looking into the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials, and more specifically CPULD, I was more than impressed with the amount of real-world applications and hands-on experience that the graduate students experience.”
Clark will be helping CPULD update our FasTrack testing procedures by investigating the magnitude of impacts that pallets experience during material handling operations. He explained further by saying, “I expect to discover a wide variation in the magnitude of impacts from warehouse to warehouse, as each warehouse has its own system of operations. I expect to see warehouses operating under heavy time constraints to have harsher impacts on a pallet.”
When asked how his research will help the industry, Clark explained, “this data will give an insight into the real-world application of the durability of pallets in industries supply chains. The results from this research will allow industries to make informed decisions on which pallets they want to use for distribution. Pallets are a vital part of large-scale distribution, being able to make the correct decision on pallet design will improve the efficiency of distribution as a whole.”
The data Clark collected will allow the Center to develop better pallet durability testing standards, and help companies to both better estimate the durability of their pallets and design more efficient pallets.
Lastly, we asked Clark what were his future career goals. He told us, “my current career goal is to be able to work in some aspect of supply chain management and distribution. Working in the CPULD lab will prepare me for my future career as it provides for me the opportunity to understand testing procedures, and how they are implemented. CPULD and the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials do a fantastic job of making sure that their students are well-networked, giving them as many opportunities to pursue their goals as possible.”