NFPA Invests in University Fluid Power Programs

The NFPA Education and Technology Foundation is committed to supporting university fluid power education and programs across the country. While NFPA has awarded various grants over the years, the University Fluid Power Grant Program is specifically designed to provide funding to faculty to implement new and/or add more fluid power courses and content to their undergraduate agricultural and mechanical engineering programs.

Funding for workforce development programs such as the University Fluid Power Grant are made possible in thanks to NFPA’s Pascal Society donors who provide critical program funding each year.

NFPA awarded the following schools with the University Fluid Power Grant this year:

  • Michigan Technological University
    • Project lead: John Irwin, Professor/Chair, Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology,
    • Grant funds will be used to develop flexible modularized electrohydraulic curriculum that can be delivered in a hybrid environment either in-person, online or in combination. The flexibility of the format is critical due to the current pandemic. The modules will be taught in an advanced electrohydraulic components and systems course which is part of the mechatronics degree program at MTU. The course covers electrohydraulic components including solenoid operated valves, proportional valves and servo valves, and hydraulic systems including open center and closed center along with open-loop and closed-loop circuits.
  • Ohio University
    • Project lead: Dr. Yuqiu You, Associate Professor & Kraft Family Scholar,
    • Grant funds will be used for the purpose of expanding fluid power curriculum included in the lecture and lab to students enrolled in the hydraulics course, ETM 3200, at Ohio University. The project will develop four electrohydraulic learning modules including lectures, design problems, lab activities, and assessment tools. These modules will be combined with the current learning modules in this course as standardized teaching materials and tools. The overall course content and laboratory will be enhanced to meet the current industry requirements.
  • South Dakota State University
    • Project lead: Douglas Prairie, Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering Instructor,
    • Grant funds will be used to expand fluid power curriculum included in the lecture and labs to students enrolled in South Dakota State University (SDSU). SDSU is presently in the construction phase of a Precision Agriculture Center that will be open for classes starting with the fall 2021 semester. One of the highlights of this building will be a centralized hydraulic power unit that will provide fluid power throughout the shop bays and many of the technical teaching labs. Instructors, researchers, and students will have ready access to fluid power for student projects, equipment labs and research purposes.

NFPA is currently accepting applications for the University Fluid Power Grant Program for the 2021-22 fiscal year. If your company knows a university that can benefit from this funding, please encourage them to apply here or contact Amy Zignego at

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