We all know that of the ways to get more fluid power-educated engineers is to increase their exposure to fluid power classes and concepts during their college careers. The NFPA Education and Technology Foundation has awarded grants to university professors to develop new curricula that can be used at their universities but, just as importantly, that can be freely shared with professors at other institutions.
The materials developed through NFPA grants are available on our website in a curriculum tree and align with competencies identified by NFPA members as important for students to know to be successful in a fluid power career. Recently, we added two modules focusing on integrating sensing and electronic control functions into fluid power components and systems. These two modules cover open and closed loop controls and include both lectures and labs, allowing schools to easily integrate these modules into their existing courses or use them to develop new courses.
In addition to the modules on open and closed loop controls, another grant funded experiments in hydraulic motor speed control using both valve actuation and pump actuation. This material used the Simulink model environment to allow students to learn the material even if they were not able to be present in the physical lab. This was especially important early in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another interesting project funded by NFPA’s university grants is the development of two remote-controlled hydraulic vehicles. The design was published in the Journal of Engineering Technology and the modularity aspect of the vehicle was presented at the annual American Society of Engineering Education conference this summer. Work is ongoing to make the vehicles applicable to classroom instruction. When that is complete, those lessons will be added to the curriculum tree as well.
These grants are made possible in part by the generous support of Pascal Society donors to the NFPA Education and Technology Foundation. To become a Pascal Society member, please contact Stephanie Scaccianoce at email@example.com.
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