Respect Your Boxhead, Er, Packaging Engineer

Rodney Dangerfield should have been a packaging engineer.

 Norbert Sparrow

I was having a conversation the other day with a colleague who has deep knowledge of the medical packaging sector. She was telling me that packaging engineers are sometimes called "boxheads." Not to make too much of in-office banter, but the term is linguistically adjacent to "blockhead." And it is illustrative of something that comes up in more muted terms in some of the conversations on Medical Packaging Innovation and at industry events: Medical packaging engineers just get no respect.

Medical packaging experts frequently complain that they are often invited late to the party, well after a product has been through the R&D mill. Far too often, packaging is treated like an afterthought, not a critical part of the delivery system.

I'm curious: As a medical packaging engineer, do you sometimes feel you don't get the respect you deserve from colleagues in the medtech ecosystem? Is packaging the redheaded stepchild in the development stream?

Bonus question: Do you have similarly descriptive names for other people in your work environment? I know you have a nice one for those folks dealing with sterility assurance...

Getting back to "boxheads," you might take solace in the fact that, even though Rodney Dangerfield couldn't get any respect, he always got the last laugh.

Stay relevant as a medical device packaging engineer

Norbert Sparrow, Editor in Chief, UBM Canon

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