International Fluid Power Researcher Profile: Elvira Rakova

We’ve written before about the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP)—the network of fluid power research laboratories, academic faculty, graduate and undergraduate students at seven universities—that is making a difference when it comes to preparing a better educated workforce for the fluid power industry. The CCEFP has created a 500% increase in the number of fluid power focused advanced degrees awarded in the United States, with almost half of its graduates going on to work in the fluid power industry.

In addition to increasing interest in fluid power among students studying in the United States, the CCEFP has also hosted a number of international visiting researchers interested in fluid power. One such visitor is Elvira Rakova.

Fluid power researcher Elvira Rakova“Every day is an adventure!” says Elvira.


Elvira Rakova, a visiting scholar from Dresden, Germany, had this to say about her daily bus rides to the University of Minnesota.  Elvira comes to the U.S. from Germany but actually grew up in the far western part of Russia near Ukraine.  She earned her master’s degree at the Moscow Technological University.  Elvira, who began as a research assistant in September of 2012, is currently pursuing her PhD at the Technical University of Dresden in Dresden, Germany.


Elvira plans to complete her PhD in the area of pneumatic drive systems next fall.  Although most of her technical experience has involved pneumatic handling systems, Elvira has a strong interest in pneumatic medical or renewable energy applications.  After meeting Professor Stelson at a conference last fall, she jumped at the chance to assist Professors Van de Ven and Li on the EFRI-RESTOR: Novel Compressed Air Approach for Off-Shore Wind Energy Storage project.  As Elvira’s two months of research comes to a close, she wanted to express her gratitude to all of the professors for the wonderful opportunity she has had here.


Elvira speaks Russian, English, and German and is now learning Italian.  Elvira spent a summer in the U.S five years ago, working on the boardwalk at Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey.

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