MSOE Dedicates New Motion Control Lab

Eric Lanke headshot 2017


By Eric Lanke
NFPA President/CEO

On May 13, I attended a dedication event for the new Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Motion Control Lab. The NFPA Education and Technology Foundation supported the project by giving MSOE a $97,000 Lab Grant in 2013, which they used to rebuild and upgrade the existing lab to reflect current technology. NFPA started awarding such grants to universities and technical colleges in 2012 as part of its workforce development strategy to help build state-of-the-art teaching facilities that will impact hundreds of students each year.

The new MSOE lab was completed in the summer of 2018. It will help students stay current with advances in fluid power technology and support senior capstone projects, elective courses, and undergraduate research. It will also reinforce the fundamentals of automatic control systems in the associated required senior-level course. The main objectives of the lab pertaining to the automatic controls course are to:

  1. Prepare students to work on real-world motion control applications by providing them with hands-on experiences applying control system design ideas and concepts.
  2. Expose students to electromechanical and fluid power hardware.
  3. Educate students about the benefits and capabilities of fluid power and electromechanical actuation.

After working in the lab, one student said, “It helps clarify what is really going on when you make a controller. I did not physically understand how it worked until seeing it in lab.”

Supporters of the lab include:

  • NFPA Education and Technology Foundation
  • Otto Maha Endowment Fund
  • Parker Hannifin Corp.
  • Controlled Dynamics
  • Sun Hydraulics Corp.
  • Yaskawa America Inc.
  • Ifm Efector Inc.
  • Thermal Transfer Products

For questions about NFPA’s Workforce Development programs, please contact me at or (414) 778-3351.

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