Manufacturers, OEMs, researchers, and media from around the nation will convene at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., from October 13-16, 2014 for the Fluid Power Innovation and Research Conference 2014 (FPIRC14), an extended series of educational events hosted by the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP). The event will feature collaborative technical breakout sessions, networking opportunities, tours of local research laboratories, and panel discussions on the technologies and workforce skills transforming the fluid power industry.
Attendees at FPIRC14 will learn the latest in creative solutions to overcome hydraulic and pneumatic technical challenges. In addition to presentations on all the research and education activities of the CCEFP (which the NFPA Foundation now helps to support through its Pascal Society), there are some great opportunities for individuals and companies to connect with the talented students who are working on fluid power in the CCEFP. The technical poster presentations on the night of October 14 are an ideal general venue for this, but so are more targeted opportunities like the corporate kiosks and the corporate/student speed meetings. Human resource professionals will find those activities worthwhile, especially those looking to add Bachelors, Masters, or PhD engineers to their workforce.
Another rare opportunity will be the tour of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on October 16. ORNL is home to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s new manufacturing demonstration facility on additive manufacturing, and they are actively looking for industry partners to engage in some short-term projects to explore the applicability of these techniques to a variety of manufactured products, including fluid power components. Leading the tour is Dr. Lonnie Love of ORNL, who has been a vocal champion for fluid power in this regard and with regard to the NFPA’s efforts to expand fluid power’s footprint within the DOE.
NFPA participated in the study prepared by Dr. Love for the U.S. DOE and is using it to help frame new technology development initiatives for the industry.
The FPIRC14 will feature a can’t-miss panel, “Innovation—Marketplace—Workforce,” a discussion on public-private partnerships in innovation, research to marketplace opportunities, and the need for an educated workforce.