media release

Date: March 17, 2016
Contact: Liz Novak, Director of Marketing and Communications, +913.345.1005


IAPD Sponsors Student-Organized Hawkathon at UMass Lowell 

Overland Park, KS — The International Association of Plastics Distribution (IAPD) is pleased to announce that it is a sponsor of the inaugural Hawkathon, a student-organized event to be held at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. The event, which will be March 25-26, 2016, is open to all students. The organizers expect participation from college and high school students from throughout the United States and Canada. The concept for the event is based on a hackathon, in which participants have a limited amount of time to create an application. The term Hawkathon is a nod to the school's mascot, Rowdy the River Hawk. This event is designed to provide students with professional growth opportunities and connections with future employers.

Hawkathon organizers expect students from multiple disciplines, including plastics engineering majors, to participate. In their studies, students:

  • Have designed and built a walker that uses hydraulics, allowing for the legs of the walker to be quickly adjusted so that it can be used on stairs
  • Are designing a series of low speed and high efficiency commuter vehicles that use hub motor technology to allow people to travel using solar energy
  • Are developing a wearable device connected via Bluetooth technology to a mobile phone, that, when activated, sends emergency alert signals to a list of emergency contacts

As part of IAPD's sponsorship, IAPD is offering a valuable prize to the best application made from performance plastics: complimentary registration to the 60th Annual IAPD Convention, complimentary hotel accommodations and a travel stipend. The winning application will be on display during the trade show hours on October 6, 2016 and the students will have the opportunity to network with IAPD members.

"IAPD is pleased to support the Hawkathon at UMass Lowell. We've been impressed by the plastics engineering students we've met who have come through that school and are interested in seeing the winning performance plastics application," said IAPD CEO Susan Avery, CAE. "Sponsoring this event is the first step in IAPD's plan to reach out to the emerging workforce and present the many excellent career opportunities available in the performance plastics industry."

IAPD member companies are welcome to sponsor the event and/or provide a donation of materials. See for more information

About IAPD

The International Association of Plastics Distribution (IAPD), established in 1956, brings together distributors, fabricators, manufacturers, manufacturers’ representatives, recyclers and service providers in an environment which encourages a free flow of ideas and information that help members build their businesses. Every program and service we provide is designed with the simple goal of helping our members increase profitability. Membership in IAPD is an affordable business investment. IAPD provides training, connections with customers and suppliers and information about developments that impact the industry. What makes IAPD unique is a commitment to educating customers and other key end-users about plastics. In other words, IAPD works with members to build the demand for plastics. Central to this effort is the reinforcement of the value of distribution.

This release and more are available in IAPD’s Press Room.