Ph.D. graduate students Ke Li and Chen Zhang won the $10,000 first prize in the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA). Ke and Chen work with Professor Zongxuan Sun on the hydraulic free piston engine project at the University of Minnesota. The hydraulic free piston engine stores energy in hydrocarbon fuel and converts it to fluid power in real time as the main power unit for on-road vehicles or off-road heavy machinery. The award, a program of IonE and the Dow Chemical Company, recognizes and rewards students and universities for innovation and research that encourages and promotes sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing social, economic, and environmental problems. More information can be found at http://environment.umn.edu/challenges.
The NFPA Fluid Power Challenge is a 2-day, skills-based competition for eighth-grade students that challenges them to solve real-life engineering problems using fluid power (hydraulics and pneumatics). The first day of the event, Workshop Day, took place on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus. Students were given an introductory presentation from PhD candidate Ben Adams and then began building a pneumatic filter. The participants returned to their schools with Challenge supplies where they are now working on designing and building a prototype. On Challenge Day (Day 2), the teams will come together for a second time to build their fluid power mechanisms and compete in a timed competition. Over 80 eighth graders are participating from Orono Middle School, Washington Tech, Osakis Public, North Branch Middle School, and Capital Hill Magnet School. All of the students were engaged and energized during the Workshop Day.
For more information on the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP), visit www.ccefp.org.
Learn more about the CCEFP from a collection of articles that appeared in the Fluid Power Journal since 2008-present.