New Faces in Academic Fluid Power – Jose Garcia

Eric Lanke NFPA CEO


By Eric Lanke

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]’ve written before about the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP)—the network of fluid power research laboratories, academic faculty, graduate and undergraduate students at seven universities—that is making a difference when it comes to preparing a better educated workforce for the fluid power industry. The CCEFP has created a 500% increase in the number of fluid power focused advanced degrees awarded in the United States, with almost half of its graduates going on to work in the fluid power industry. Some CCEFP graduates decide to stay in academia—and that’s a good thing, because they bring an interest and focus on fluid power to institutions around the United States and around the world.

Jose Garcia is one of those graduates, a former student at Purdue University now an Assistant Professor of Engineering Technology at the same institution.

When I asked Jose about his experiences in the CCEFP, what they meant for his academic career, and how he is helping to grow fluid power education, he said:

Jose Garcia“During my years in the CCEFP as a graduate student, I learned the importance of putting research in the context of real life applications. I realized that the ultimate goal of any project is not to grow our knowledge base and write papers, but to advance humanity—making our lives easier, faster, more cost effective, and ultimately, better. The CCEFP created a network of academic institutions, industry and fluid power organizations that fostered collaboration between all of them and enriched the research experience, making it feel more like I was working for a reason more noble than just research.

“That experience is now helping me grow in my career as faculty, as it provided me with the vision to put my own research in that big picture perspective. I particularly enjoy teaching fluid power science and technology to middle and high school students. Seeing that look on their faces, when they finally understand how is it that the bucket on the excavator curls, is priceless.”

Jose is just one of the many new faces in academic fluid power who is helping to bring hydraulics and pneumatics to a new generation of students.

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