NFPA Awards Ten Fluid Power Research Supplements

The NFPA Education and Technology Foundation is actively working to increase the number of university students educated in fluid power, and one of the ways it does that is by supporting academic researchers in fluid power. This helps to engage current and build the careers of future university faculty who are and will be in a position to teach fluid power to undergraduate engineers on their campuses. With this purpose in mind, the NFPA Foundation has recently awarded ten $5,000 research supplements to ten faculty members working on fluid power research at six universities.

The recipient universities, faculty members, and research projects are:

Iowa State University

  • Brian Steward – Off-Highway Vehicle Chassis Dynamometer

Milwaukee School of Engineering

  • Paul Michael – Polymer-Enhanced Fluid Effects on the Dynamic Response of Hydraulic Pumps

Purdue University

  • Andrea Vacca – Individual Electro-Hydraulic Drive for Off-Road Vehicles
  • Jose Garcia – Lateral Micro-Drilling Autonomous Robotic System

University of California Merced

  • Ashlie Martini – Understanding Interfacial Mechanisms to Design and Manufacture High-Performance Ionic Liquid Lubricants

University of Minnesota

  • Perry Li – Hybrid Hydraulic-Electric Architecture for Mobile Machines
  • Kim Stelson – Short-Term Energy Storage System for Hydraulic Hybrid Wind Turbine Transmissions
  • Zongxuan Sun – Electrohydraulic System Diagnostics with Recursive Spectral Analysis
  • James Van de Ven – Efficient, Compact, and Smooth Variable Propulsion Motor

Vanderbilt University

  • Eric Barth – Soft Robotics: The Next Opportunity for Fluid Power

These research projects independently represent more than $5.9 million in funding from a variety of organizations, including the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP). They are an excellent sample of the growing body of fluid power research being funded by the federal government and other research organizations.

The research supplements from the NFPA Foundation are intended to provide travel support so that each faculty member and one of their graduate students can attend and present their research at a series of designated industry conferences and research summits, whether they are virtual or in-person events. This will help better connect these researchers with the fluid power industry and allow better exchange of ideas. Any funds not spent on travel will be used in general support of the research project itself.

This year, the designated conferences are the two CCEFP Summits in September 2020 and April 2021.

The recent September Summit had more than 50 university and industry attendees and fifteen university research presentations. NFPA members are welcome to attend the April event. The CCEFP will offer two registration categories – one for NFPA members who are also CCEFP members, and one for NFPA members who are also Pascal Society donors. An NFPA member who wishes to attend who is neither a CCEFP member nor a Pascal Society donor should first contact me at lbeyer@nfpa.com or (414) 778-3364.

Please watch NFPA News for further updates on the upcoming CCEFP Summit and the ten research projects receiving support through this important program.

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