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Wood Pallet Design and Performance

Short Course: Wood Pallet Design and Performance, Dates TBD, 2021

This course will inform attendees about the effects of pallet design and selection on materials handling costs, the fundamentals of new and re-manufactured stringer class pallet design, how to design block class pallets, and how to design stringer and block class pallets using the PDS software.

Wood Pallet Design and Performance, Short Course



"Course instructors were passionate and extremely knowledgable. Unit load software has vast capabilities and can be utilized for several different applications. Keep up the good work!" Attendee, 2019



"Everything was over-all great! A truly wonderful learning opportunity as well as a great time!" Attendee, 2019



Who should attend:

  • Wood pallet suppliers
  • Pallet designers
  • Pallet sales professionals
  • Pallet purchasers
  • Packaging engineers
  • Pallet specifiers

Topics covered in this short course:

  • Learn how pallet design and selection affects materials handling costs.
  • Learn the fundamentals of stringer class pallet design and performance, including both new and re-manufactured wood pallets.
  • Learn the fundamentals of block class pallet design and performance
  • Learn how to use the PDS software to design stringer class pallets.


Laszlo Horvath


Dr. Laszlo Horvath

Associate Professor, Virginia Tech
Director, Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design

In 2010, Dr. Horvath received his Ph.D. in Forest Biomaterials from NC State. He is one of the few packaging professionals who have received the "ISTA CPLP – Professional Level" certification. He is the chair of the ASTM D1185 working group, a U.S. delegate of TC 51, and a voting member of ANSI MH1 and MH 10 committees.

Brad Gething


Dr. Brad Gething

Director of Science and Technology Integration
for the National Wood Pallet and Container Association

Brad Gething became a member of the NWPCA staff in July 2013, taking on the role of Technical and PDS Manager. Brads role includes participation in various standards bodies, promotion of research and development, and support on other technical issues related to the wood packaging industry. He also serves as a point of contact for PDS design support.


When this course is held in-person, it consists of three days of lectures, assignments, and tours. These classes are held at the Brooks Forest Products Center in Blacksburg, VA.

  • Tuesday: 1:00pm-5:00pm
  • Wednesday: 8:00am- 5:00pm
  • Thursday: 8:00am-12:00pm

When this course is held ONLINE it consists of four, live, interactive afternoon sessions. If you have registered, about a week before the short course, you will be sent information to use in connecting to the live sessions each of these afternoons:

  • Monday: 1:00pm-5:00pm
  • Tuesday: 1:00pm-5:00pm
  • Wednesday: 1:00pm-5:00pm
  • Thursday: 1:00pm-5:00pm



Course Content Information:
Laszlo Horvath, Director, Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design
Phone: (540) 231-7673

General CPULD Information:
Angie Riegel, Secretary
Phone: (540) 231-7107

Registration Questions:
Erich Sawyer, Virginia Tech Outreach Program Development
CPE Enrollment Coordinator, Virginia Tech Outreach Program Development

Or Registration Questions via phone: (540) 231-4084





The Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design works with the Courtyard by Marriott to make sure there are rooms available at a discounted rate for anyone attending this Wooden Pallet Design and Performance short course.

The Courtyard by Marriott is located less than two miles from the Brooks Center building, where our short courses are held, and it offers many amenities including an indoor pool, exercise room, business area with free WIFI, and a delicious cafe on the premises. They also offer a shuttle service to and from the hotel that short course attendees have found helpful in the past.

Check back once this short course has been officially scheduled to find out the reduced rate for rooms that will be held for short course attendees

Please call Holly at 540-552-5222, or register online, for your hotel room at the Courtyard by Marriot. Be sure to mention the short course you're in Blacksburg to attend in order to receive the discounted rate on your hotel room!


Hilton Garden Inn Blacksburg



The closest airport is the Roanoke Regional Airport (ROA), which is approximately 35 miles from Blacksburg, VA.

There are multiple car rental agencies as well as cab services located at the airport to transport visitors to Blackburg, VA.


The other nearby airports used by short course attendees are: