Meet a Fluid Power Scholarship Winner – Paton DeSha

Programs like the Fluid Power Scholarships are made possible in part by the generous support of industry volunteers as well as NFPA Education and Technology Foundation and Pascal Society donors. Support these efforts by making a donation.The NFPA Board of Directors convened in Massachusetts in June 2022 to review NFPA’s performance over the past fiscal year and to make strategic decisions for moving the association forward into the future.

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

Here’s one of the winners, Paton DeSha. Paton is attending Chattanooga State TCAT. We asked Paton about winning the scholarship…

What does winning a Fluid Power Scholarship mean to you?
Winning the fluid power scholarship is a big deal for me. Money is always in the way as a young college student and this will help me continue my education. My instructor posted the ad on our wall and after reading it, I went straight to my computer and got to work on it.

Why did you choose to learn about fluid power?
In high school I had good grades, but I always knew I could never work in an office job. I had to be hands on to fully understand something. The work industry is slowly replacing people with machines. These machines run on high-pressure air and fluid. I want to be the person that knows exactly what I’m looking at when I see one. I want to be the person that is called upon to repair and keep these machines up and running.

What are your career aspirations? What type of fluid power job do you hope to get after you graduate?
After I graduate from Chattanooga State, I am ready to get a big job that I can keep for a long time. I am hoping to get a job strictly in robots. Preferably, I would love to be able to build them, program them, and watch them work. Most robots run on hydraulics. You have to know what you are doing to be safe around high-pressure systems.

The Foundation’s goal is to help individuals enrolled in technical colleges and universities pursue their interests in fluid power. The Fluid Power Scholarship application is available from January 2023 until early April 2023. Please share this opportunity within your network. Additionally, if you would like to serve on the application review committee, please contact Eric Pannell at

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