Meet a Fluid Power Scholarship Winner—Reagan Lawson

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

Here’s one of the winners, Reagan Lawson. She is attending California Polytechnic State University and is enrolled in the mechanical engineering program. We asked Reagan about winning the scholarship…

What does winning a Fluid Power Scholarship mean to you?
Winning the Fluid Power Scholarship means that I have the resources to pursue research related to fluid power during the last year of my undergraduate schooling to determine if I want to go to graduate school or enter industry. If I choose to pursue graduate school, I will need to take out loans, so any financial help is very appreciated. Even if I decide industry is more beneficial for current growth, I will most likely want to pursue further schooling at some point. I feel honored to receive this scholarship because it validates my excitement and hard work throughout my journey.

Why did you choose to learn about fluid power?
I chose to learn about fluid power because ocean and tidal energy is the future of renewable energy and there are endless opportunities to explore the sea and learn more about the world. It baffles me that we know more about the moon than the ocean, and I know I will be more motivated to explore an engineering field with this passion. Although I originally wanted to enter the biomedical industry, my fluid mechanics professors inspired me and I felt I learned something new and interesting each class I went to. This led me to research how I could use my mechanical engineering degree to learn more about fluid systems, and I began to learn more and more about fluid power and how it’s beneficial for clean energy.

What are your career aspirations? What type of fluid power job do you hope to get after you graduate?
After I graduate, I hope to pursue a career in tidal and ocean energy to help provide clean energy for people who need it. I am considering applying to University of Washington or Oregon State University to learn more about how energy can be extracted from the ocean, and Oregon State University has one of the first testing platforms for ocean energy devices. Many of these devices rely on fluid power, and this industry is fairly new, but has a lot of potential to develop new technology.

The Foundation’s goal is to help individuals enrolled in technical colleges and universities pursue their interests in fluid power. For further information about the Fluid Power Scholarship program, contact Amy Zignego, Workforce Program Manager, at azignego@nfpa.com.

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