Meet the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Teams – Part 3

Byline: Mary Pluta

Programs like the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge are made possible in part by the generous support of industry volunteers as well as NFPA Education and Technology Foundation, Pascal Society, and Tom Wanke Legacy Fund donors. Support these efforts by making a donation.


Twenty-three teams from universities around the country are getting ready to participate in the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Final Competitions in April at Norgren in Colorado and Danfoss Power Solutions in Iowa.

The Vehicle Challenge is an undergraduate program that requires engineering students to redesign a traditional bicycle using hydraulics as power transmission as a senior capstone design project or as an extracurricular activity. Students experience real-world engineering under strict deadlines for designing, building, testing, and demonstrating their designs. NFPA members serve as mentors and judges to guide the students in their learning. Through the program, students learn about fluid power, build a network of peers and industry professionals from all over the country and compete for cash prizes in four separate races – sprint, efficiency, regen, and endurance.

In addition to our five Power Partner universities, here are some of the teams competing this year.

North Carolina Agriculture and Technological State University is a second-year team participating in the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge program. Ranked as the top HBCU by Degree Choices, a higher education research organization, you can recruit these students through the NCAT Office of Career Services.

Also in their second year participating in the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge is Ohio University located in Athens, OH. Their Center for Advising, Career and Experiential Learning is your link to recruitment opportunities at Ohio University.  

Purdue University Northwest has participated in the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge for four years. Last year, they won the Judge’s Choice Award for Workmanship. Get to know these students through the PNW Career Center.

South Dakota State University is participating in the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge for the third year. South Dakota State’s Office of Career Development can connect you to students through career fairs, outreach and private interview space.

Another team that has participated in the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge for three years is the team from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Last year, they won the Judge’s Choice Award for Design. Visit their Office of Career Services to recruit these students.

Western Michigan University is one of the original teams to participate in the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge. Recruit their students through the WMU Career and Student Employment Services office.

The students who participate in the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge have hands-on experience designing and testing fluid power systems, working as a team, and presenting their findings. We encourage you to recruit from these schools. Please reach out to the NFPA Workforce Team if you would be interested in connecting directly with the teams or their advisors.

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