Meet a Fluid Power Scholarship Winner & Tom Wanke Legacy Awardee – Tony Hicks Jr.

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, Tony Hicks Jr., is attending Morehouse College, and was selected for a Tom Wanke Legacy Fund Award. We asked Tony a few questions about winning the scholarship.

What does winning a Fluid Power Scholarship mean to you?

The Fluid Power Scholarship is very important to me because I am able to attend my desired university. Morehouse College is considered an Ivy League HBCU, and to attend this school while studying engineering and computer science will benefit me in learning more about fluid power.

Why did you choose to learn about fluid power?

I chose to learn about Fluid Power because it is a crucial aspect that is needed in engineering. The implementation of Fluid Power will also be more convenient because compared to other mechanical and electrical drives, fluid power can transfer the same amount of power in a small area. I believe I will have a positive influence on the fluid power industry as I am already familiar with the control of direction, speed, force, and torque, which is essential for the power transmission part of fluid power.

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

After graduating from Morehouse College, I plan to become either an Aerospace or Electrical Engineer. I will work to improve the electrical methods of controlling speed and torque through power transmissions, regulating the electrical power. Through the Space System as a fluid engineer, I would play a role in engineering the Human Landing System/Mechanism.

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.

Through the Thomas Wanke Legacy Fund Awards, the NFPA Education and Technology Foundation aims to increase both the number of students studying fluid power, and also the quality of fluid power education in our nation’s universities – two goals clearly aligned with and ennobled by Tom’s life and legacy.

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

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