NFPA Foundation Awards Eleven Fluid Power Research Supplements

The NFPA Education and Technology Foundation is actively working to increase the number of university students educated in fluid power, and one of the ways it does that is by supporting academic researchers in fluid power. This helps to engage current and build the careers of future university faculty who are and will be in a position to teach fluid power to undergraduate engineers on their campuses. With this purpose in mind, the NFPA Foundation has just awarded eleven $10,000 research supplements to eleven faculty members working on fluid power research at five universities.

The recipient universities, faculty members, and research projects are:

Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Michael Varenberg – Dynamics of rolling friction in soft-rigid interface

Milwaukee School of Engineering

  • Paul Michael – Polymer-Enhanced Fluid Effects on Mechanical Efficiency of Hydraulic Pumps

Purdue University

  • Andrea Vacca – Individual electro-hydraulic actuators for off road machines
  • Jose Garcia – Distributed Compact Hydraulic Regenerative Breaking for Heavy Duty Transport Vehicles

University of Minnesota

  • Thomas Chase – High Efficiency Hydraulic Pump-Motors Employing Partial Stroke Piston Pressurization (PSPP)
  • William Durfee – Hydraulic Ankle Foot Orthosis for Prescription of Orthoses for Children with CP
  • Perry Li – Hybrid Hydraulic-Electric Architecture for Mobile Machines
  • Kim Stelson – Increasing the Efficiency of Wind Turbines through Understanding of Their Transient Responses
  • Zongxuan Sun – Modeling and Optimization of Trajectory Based HCCI Combustion
  • James Van de Ven – Efficient, Compact, and Smooth Variable Propulsion Motor

University of Wisconsin – Madison

  • Eric Severson – Seamless Electric to Hydraulic Conversion


These research projects independently represent more than $2.9 million in funding from a variety of organizations, including the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP). They are an excellent sample of the growing body of fluid power research being funded by the federal government and other research organizations.

The research supplements from the NFPA Foundation are intended to provide travel support so that each faculty member and one of their graduate students can attend and present their research at a series of designated industry conferences and research summits. This will help better connect these researchers with the fluid power industry and allow better cross-fertilization of ideas. Any funds not spent on travel will be used in general support of the research project itself.

This year, the designated conferences will be the two CCEFP Summits, scheduled for October 2019 and April 2020.

Registration for the October CCEFP Summit, taking place October 22-24, 2019, is now open. NFPA members are welcome to attend this event. The CCEFP is offering two registration categories – one for NFPA members who are also CCEFP members, and one for NFPA members who are also Pascal Society donors. An NFPA member who wishes to attend who is neither a CCEFP member nor a Pascal Society donor should first contact me at or (414) 778-3364.

Please watch NFPA News for further updates on the CCEFP Summit and the eleven research projects receiving support through this important program.

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