Meet a Fluid Power Scholarship Winner—Trevor Burke

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. 

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

Here’s one of the winnersTrevor Burke. He is attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, enrolled in the mechanical engineering program. We asked Trevor about winning the scholarship . . .

What does winning this Fluid Power Scholarship mean to you?
I am incredibly honored to have been chosen for the scholarship. This scholarship allows me to focus on my studies in college, and I am excited to learn about fluid power in my major of mechanical engineering and how I can use it to make a difference in the world. This scholarship is changing my life, and I feel so grateful and motivated to do the same to others.

Why did you choose to learn about fluid power?
Throughout different fields of study, powering different machines effectively is hard. In robotics, rocketry club, and at a NASA internship, I looked at different solutions to solve this problem. One of the most effective ways is through the power of fluids. Fluid power is a powerful solution to many problems in many different disciplines and applications. I wanted to understand this power and, more importantly, how use it effectively. Because of its incredible potency, the power of fluids is permeating throughout society, across separate fields of study, and in different technologies. Through an in-depth, thorough understanding of these power systems, I could understand the world a little better and how I could improve it a little bit.

What are your career aspirations? What type of fluid power job do you hope to get after you graduate?
I plan to pursue my Bachelors, Masters, and PhD in mechanical engineering. Although mechanical engineering is a very broad educational discipline, I plan to focus on applications, design, and research involving aerospace vehicles and their integrated subsystems. Last summer, I was fortunate enough to participate in a NASA internship at the CSR (Center for Space Research). There, I conducted extensive research to design a concept of operations of a 6U CubeSat to orbit the moon, identify, and map the locations of various volatiles. Through this internship I gained a greater appreciation for the work of engineers and researchers in this field and an aspiration to explore the opportunities and future in this field.

The Foundation’s goal is to help individuals enrolled in high schools, technical colleges, and engineering schools pursue their interests in fluid power. For further information on the scholarships, contact Amy Zignego, Workforce Program Manager, at

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