Fluid Power Clubs Conduct Hands-On Projects

This academic year, NFPA supported 13 Fluid Power Clubs on university campuses across the country. The goal of this initiative is to get underclassmen introduced to and interested in fluid power, and connect students to industry professionals to learn about careers in fluid power. NFPA funds each club with up to $2,000 stipends to support the technical projects club participants work on during the school year. Here are some of the projects from this year: 

  • Murray State University designed t-shirts and is building a pneumatic t-shirt cannon to use during university sporting events as a recruitment effort to get more students involved in their club.
  • Purdue University is working on a hydrostatic go-kart that could eventually be eligible to race in Purdue’s annual Grand Prix event. They are also exploring the ideas of a hydraulic excavator and a pneumatic drone. The Club President and Treasurer had this to say about their experience this year. “On behalf of the Purdue Fluid Power Club, we would like to start by thanking you for your most generous donation. Our members already have ambitious project ideas and applications for implementing fluid power into existing mechanical systems. We are all looking forward to the opportunities and experiences that can be offered from this student organization as well as how we can use our skills to improve the club.”
  • With support from Norgren, Purdue University Northwest is collaborating with a local community college to build portable pneumatic trainers.
  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham was unable to formally participate in the Vehicle Challenge this year, so FORCE America mentored them as they built their competition vehicle as an independent project.
  • The University of Cincinnati took an alternative approach to the traditional Vehicle Challenge and built a pneumatic bike as an independent project with guidance and support from Norgren.
  • Western Michigan University is designing a 4-wheel hydraulic powered vehicle based on EV concept. Instead of directly using the electric motor to power the vehicle transmission, they are planning to use hydraulic motors.

Universities are always looking for industry representatives and to speak to their students to guide them as they work on technical projects. There are many opportunities for NFPA members to get connected to local students through the Fluid Power Club program. To get involved, please contact Stephanie Scaccianoce at sscaccianoce@nfpa.com

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