Meet a Fluid Power Scholarship Winner – Gabriel Schroepfer

The NFPA Education and Technology Foundation has awarded 23 $2,000 scholarships to students pursuing fluid power related fields of study.

One of the winners, Gabriel Schroepfer, is attending NFPA Power Partner Northern Illinois University. We asked Gabriel a few questions about winning the scholarship.

What does winning a Fluid Power Scholarship mean to you?

Receiving a scholarship is a great honor and an enormous confidence booster. It is more than money; it is an acknowledgement and belief made by people and organizations that what I am doing is worthwhile. It is also a huge sacrifice and act of generosity on the part of the donor and I will make sure that it is not wasted.

Why did you choose to learn about fluid power?
Growing up on a farm I loved working with tractors that provided mechanical and hydraulic power.  I was always amazed how useful things like hydraulic jacks, compressed air, and pneumatic tools were. I was always interested in how hydraulic machines worked and how they utilized the properties of fluid to provide reliable and powerful solutions. Fluid power allows flexibility in transfer, great output force, and intuitive systems that are easy to understand. On a farm hydraulic power is in a word – indispensable. 

What are your career aspirations? What type of fluid power job do you hope to get after you graduate?

I hope to finish my bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering and then go to work as engineer in the Rockford, IL area. I would love to work in the heavy equipment industry designing tractors, excavators, cranes, or any type of engine (all heavy equipment has hydraulic systems and engine oil pumps). I want to eventually run my own business; either a manufacturing shop or farm. I like working in the industrial environment and hope to utilize the skills gained in my fluid dynamics and hydraulics classes to help me be a better engineer.


A minimum GPA of 2.5 out of 4.0, 500-word essay, and letter of recommendation were required from each applicant. The NFPA Foundation’s goal is to help graduating high school students, and individuals enrolled in community colleges, technical schools and universities pursue their academic interests in fluid power.

One way NFPA members can get involved with scholarship programs is to volunteer as a judge to serve on the application review committee or mentor a robotics team as they work towards incorporating pneumatics in their designs. This year 16 judges from 13 NFPA member companies reviewed 50 student applications to the Fluid Power Scholarship program. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Haley Nemeth at hnemeth@nfpa.com.

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