Cleveland State University, Michigan Technological University Overall Champions of 2021 Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Events

Michigan Technological University and Cleveland State University took Overall Champion in the 2021 Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge events hosted by Norgren and Danfoss Power Solutions. This year’s program expanded to support two separate Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge competitions in an effort to reach more students and industry members. The events took place virtually April 7-9 and April 14-16, 2021 and was our largest attendance to date with nearly 200 university and industry participants involved for the duration of this eight-month program.

The Vehicle Challenge is a competition that combines two technology platforms that are not normally associated with one another—human-powered vehicles and fluid power. In a typical year, teams design and build their own fluid power vehicles and then compete against each other in three races with the help of NFPA industry sponsors, judges, and mentors. While this year was different due to the virtual nature of the competition, students were still able to complete their projects and submit video footage electronically to demonstrate their vehicles performance in the three races. Students also gave a presentation on the vehicle construction, quality of vehicle design, and lessons learned. 

The champions of the Norgren-hosted event are:

  • Overall Champion: Michigan Technological University
  • 2nd Place: California Polytechnic State University
  • 3rd Place: University of Cincinnati

A full list of winners from the Norgren event is posted here.

The champions of the Danfoss-hosted event are:

  • Overall Champion: Cleveland State University
  • 2nd Place: Kennesaw State University
  • 3rd Place: University of Louisiana at Lafayette

A full list of winners from the Danfoss event is posted here.

This year’s events also highlighted the use of pneumatics and electronics in addition to the traditional hydraulic systems in teams’ designs. The prize for Best Use of Pneumatics, sponsored by Norgren, was taken home by Murray State University and Milwaukee School of Engineering. The prize for Innovative Use of Electronics, sponsored by Iowa Fluid Power, was taken home by Iowa State University and California Polytechnic State University.

Thank you to the NFPA Foundation donors who support this program:

Event Hosts

  • Norgren
  • Danfoss Power Solutions

Program Sponsors

  • Iowa Fluid Power
  • Norgren
  • SunSource

Founding Sponsor

  • Parker Hannifin Corporation

Product Suppliers

  • Danfoss Power Solutions
  • Eaton Corporation
  • Lubrizol
  • Source Fluid Power

We would also like to thank the industry representatives who served as judges during the Midway Reviews or Final Competition, served as mentors to guide students throughout the program year, and the representatives who met with the students during each event to talk about career opportunities at their companies. Representatives from these companies participated:

  • Applied Industrial Technologies
  • Bosch Rexroth Corporation
  • Caterpillar
  • Continental Hydraulics
  • Danfoss Power Solutions
  • Deltrol Fluid Products
  • FORCE America Inc.
  • Gates Corporation
  • GPM Controls LLC
  • HYDAC
  • International Fluid Power Society
  • Iowa Fluid Power
  • JARP Industries
  • Kawasaki GTF
  • Muncie Power Products
  • Norgren
  • QCC
  • Source Fluid Power
  • SunSource
  • Trelleborg Sealing Solutions

For further information on the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge, contact Stephanie Scaccianoce, Workforce Program Manager, at sscaccianoce@nfpa.com.

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