KANSAS CITY, MO. — Engineering, architecture, construction and consulting firm CRB announced the appointment of Katie Ireland to senior packaging engineer. An industry-leading packaging expert, Ireland brings more than two decades of experience across global brands, including Starbucks, Conagra Brands, Kellogg, Ford Motor Company, Unilever and Hershey, to her new role.

Hiring Ireland will bolster CRB’s position in the packaging arena to better serve clients seeking holistic packaging, equipment and line design “to maximize product shelf life, safety, ease of use and marketing appeal,” according to CRB.

“In an intensely competitive environment, manufacturers are more focused than ever on product packaging that’s safe, simple to use and can capture consumer attention,” said Jason Robertson, CRB’s vice president of Food and Beverage. “No one is more locked in on those goals than CRB, and few in this industry can match Katie’s deep packaging credentials and impact. We can’t wait to see what she’ll do for clients.” 

Prior to joining CRB, Ireland spent more than 10 years at Starbucks as a technical manager and program manager in global packaging and engineering. During her tenure, she led a Center of Excellence (CoE) equipment group that oversaw standards, specifications and governance for the company. In addition to her time at Starbucks, Ireland held lead packaging roles at ConAgra, Kellogg Company, Ford Motor Company and Unilever.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Packaging Engineering from Michigan State University and earned her Master of Business Administration degree from Washington University in St. Louis. 

“Smart and sustainable package design can retain customer loyalty while reducing the amount of material used and making products easier to manufacture and designed with consumer use in mind,” Ireland said. “I’ve spent my career tackling these critical challenges on the client side, and I’m excited to bring that unique perspective to CRB, whose culture of collaboration, client focus and technical excellence are unmatched.” 

Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.