NFPA’s workforce development programs work to get more students at all levels interested in fluid power. Just recently, NFPA member companies and staff developed a university-level curriculum resource to help get more university students already in mechanical engineering programs interested in pursuing fluid power education and careers. The resource is available at NFPA.com, along with the projects that were funded through NFPA’s Curriculum Grant program.
This Fluid Power Curricula resource includes an explanation of the core competencies that serve as a guideline for skills newly graduated mechanical engineering students should possess before they enter the workforce. The competences were developed by NFPA’s University Committee to help define what teaching fluid power means. Each resource was reviewed by the committee to determine which core competency each one covers.
Students educated in fluid power who are entering the workforce are expected to:
- Understand fluid power benefits and limitations.
- Possess a conceptual and theoretical understanding of fluid power laws and principles.
- Understand fluid power components and circuits.
- Understand machine level requirements and translate into fluid power system requirements.
- Be able to apply design, simulation and analysis tools to fluid power components and systems.
- Be able to appropriately size components in fluid power systems.
- Be able to integrate sensing and electronic control functions with fluid power components and systems.
- Have had hands-on experience with fluid power components and systems. (Lab experience)
- Be able to inspect, analyze and develop corrective action for product failure.
University professors are encouraged to use the resources to incorporate the competencies into their own mechanical engineering courses. You can help, too, by promoting the resource to your local university professors. More students learning fluid power means more job candidates.
There are even more ways that your company can get involved in workforce development:
- Be a mentor or donate equipment and parts for fluid power labs and class projects.
- Visit a local university and talk to students about careers in fluid power. NFPA has a customizable PowerPoint presentation for you to use.
- Host or judge a Fluid Power Action Challenge event—a competition that challenges middle school students to solve an engineering problem using fluid power.
- Hold a Student Career Connections event and invite students to your company for a plant tour and introduction to fluid power. This is also a great opportunity to hand out Careers flyers.
- Be a reviewer for Fluid Power Scholarships or Fluid Power Robotics Challenge Scholarships.
- Help judge a Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge competition where college students redesign a bicycle using fluid power as the mode of power transmission.
Contact Carrie Tatman Schwartz at (414) 778-3347 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.