A U.S. Army Materiel Command industrial engineer found a more sustainable way to transport liquid hazardous materials.
Charlotte Lent, from AMC's Logistics Support Activity, is the recipient of the 2013 Department of Defense Packaging Excellence Award for her innovative contribution to packaging.
Lent, who works at LOGSA's Packaging, Storage and Containerization Center at Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa., developed a family of packaging designs that will replace loose-fill materials when transporting liquid HAZMAT.
"I'm humbled to be recognized, but I did not accomplish this myself," said Lent. She stressed the close partnership she had with Jim Mott, a consulting engineer with Leidos, Inc. who currently works with Lent as a contractor. Lent and Mott have more than two decades of working together on military packaging.
"I come up with the idea and design, and Jim builds it," she explained. "It's a true partnership of the two skills."
Lent, with Mott, designed and tested environmentally friendly absorbent sheets and fiberboard to eliminate excessive amounts of the more cumbersome and dirty loose-fill materials that eventually end up in landfills.
"I've been working with [loose-fill materials] for 25 years, and it's dirty, expensive and heavy," said Lent. "We were given the opportunity to think outside the box. We worked on the project throughout 2012, culminating in the first test report being released in January 2013."
The new packaging materials are reusable and/or recyclable, and do not require packers to use breathing protection or coveralls. Based on testing so far, the new designs meet stringent hazardous performance test conditions and absorbency requirements. The packaging includes easily replaceable components and require less storage space; the sheet materials are also more consistent and reliable than loose-fill.
"Lent spearheaded the initiative, providing direction in the design, development, and testing," said Sharon Smith, chief of LOGSA's Logistics Testing and Applications Division, in her nomination of Lent. "After their initial success with one package configuration, Charlotte and Jim worked diligently and tirelessly to develop and enhance the design for a number of packaging configurations that will serve and help sustain our military forces for many years to come."
The DoD Packaging Excellence Award honors outstanding teams and/or individuals in the DoD packaging community who contribute significantly to the packaging effort by developing new packaging processes, and improve productivity and efficiency throughout DoD. The award is presented to an individual or team who exemplifies exceptional dedication and excellence in packaging.
"I give my best every day," said Lent. "I'm nearing the end of a long career, and to be recognized with this award is the cherry on top."